Universidade Europeia: www.europeia.pt  |  Licenciatura em Secretariado e Comunicação Empresarial: http://bit.ly/sce_ue

sexta-feira, 6 de dezembro de 2013

À conversa com... Homai H. Mehta, Presidente Emérita da IASAP (Índia)

Mrs Homai H. Mehta was one of the founding members of the National Institute of Personal Secretaries (NIPS), in 1970, and its President from 1976 to 1984. NIPS became the Indian Association of Secretaries and Administrative Professionals (IASAP) in 2003. She now is President Emeritus of IASAP and Director of the Sir J J College of Commerce, a leading institution in secretarial training in Mumbai, India.

Maria João Borges (MJB): In Portugal, a higher education degree in this area has been offered since 1962. However it seems that less and less people choose this career as a 1st option, even though there are lots of employment opportunities. Is there a similar trend in India?
Homai H. Mehta (HM): Yes, even in India, less number of girls choose the Secretarial profession as a career.  In fact, the Secretarial course was and is our forte.  However, we also conduct in-house company programmes for secretaries. Companies invite me to conduct these courses as many of their office assistants have just risen from the ranks, without completing a secretarial course.

MJB: Initially a profession undertaken only by men, positions are now mostly filled by women. Can you estimate a distribution between men and women in India?
HM: Since the 1970s, secretarial positions have been largely filled up by women.  Presently, it is even more so - 75%women and 25% men.

MJB: Is this a well rated profession in terms of the employment outlook for the next, say, 10 years?
HM: For the next 10 years, I would say it is a well rated profession in terms of employment. 

MJB: Do recruiters and employers look for specific skills? Do they look for technical training or base their choice mostly in soft skills?
HM: Specific skills - Only 20% of current offices ask for shorthand skills, which was till 1970 a pre-requisite.  The most wanted skills are: computer technology and communication skills - both spoken and written.  Soft skills are always a plus point.

MJB: Do these professionals have to have a specific license or to be part of a trade union in India?
HM: Unfortunately, we have no recognised/standardised secretarial diploma or degree in India.  There are many pvt. colleges (not affiliated to University) running the secretarial course, just as we do.  So, diplomas are given by the requisite colleges; but these institutes are few and far between.

MJB: In Portugal, as in some other countries, there is a wide range of names for this profession, which often do not translate into levels of responsibility or autonomy. What is the situation in India? In some countries there is a (somewhat) vigorous debate about the name secretary vs assistant. Is that the case in India? Why?
HM: Today, all over the world Administrative Professional is a more recognised and used name than Secretary.  Designations in the offices also vary and so do salaries and responsibilities.

MJB: How is the virtual dimension of the profession evolving in India? Do companies look for virtual assistants?
HM: Virtual dimension of the position has not evolved in India.  USA has a lot of it. 

Maria João Borges
Docente das UC de Práticas de Secretariado e Assessoria

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