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In search of global talent: is South Asia ready?

Shaista E. Khilji (Department of Human and Organizational Learning, The George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia, USA)
Brian Keilson (Department of Human and Organizational Learning, The George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia, USA)

South Asian Journal of Global Business Research

ISSN: 2045-4457

Article publication date: 29 July 2014



Using human capital theory and resource-based view (RBV), the authors argue that individuals and societies derive economic benefits from investments in people (Becker, 1992; Sweetland, 1996), thus effective management of talent is critical for economic development (Lepak and Snell, 2002; Khilji, 2012a). Next, the authors review governmental policies in three of the world's most populous countries, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, in order to highlight their national talent development efforts. The authors discuss how each country is meeting the challenge of making the talent they own, as well as buying diaspora talent in order to strengthen their local capabilities. The paper aims to discuss these issues.


The authors adopted a comparative analysis approach in order to frame our arguments and discussion.


The paper finds that Bangladesh, India and Pakistan have implemented a wide range of initiatives, from skill development programs to citizenship policies for its diaspora, in order to upgrade their local capabilities. In addition, these countries are simultaneously using inclusive, exclusive, and subject dimensions (Gallardo-Gallardo et al., 2013) in developing their national talent. The paper highlights prevalence of the paradox of development and retention particularly in Bangladesh and Pakistan, where youth is also being trained to emigrate.

Research limitations/implications

Global talent management (GTM) has become an increasingly important policy initiative, in view of a global generational divide that will require youth-rich emerging economies and aging developed countries to implement policies that help them meet global talent needs.


This commentary advances a macro GTM view, and argues in favor of promoting a policy perspective to better connect policy, research and practice that may lead to maximizing human potential globally and addressing global talent shortages.



The author would like to acknowledge Ibraiz Tarique and Randall Schuler for their encouragement and valuable feedback on this paper. All errors are ours.


E. Khilji, S. and Keilson, B. (2014), "In search of global talent: is South Asia ready?", South Asian Journal of Global Business Research, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 114-134.



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