BENGALURU: Private language coaching centres, industry chambers and universities find that employees speaking both English and Japanese are sought after by organizations, and these are not necessarily restricted to IT companies.“Earlier, only corporate employees would come in to learn Japanese. Of late, we are seeing non-technical persons in desk work, logistics, manufacturing, HR, management, bankers and auditors expressing interest,” says Srividhya, co-founder of Sakuraa Nihongo Resource Centre, a Japanese language training institute.
She says that for filing audit reports or knowing the law of the land, understanding the language is necessary. “To file audit reports or understand the laws, a professional who can speak and read the language comes in handy for recruiters from say, Mitsubishi Motors or Toshiba. We find people from the automobile sector enrolling, as Japan-based companies set up base here or collaborate with Indian companies,” Srividhya observes.
Jyothi Venkatesh, chairperson of Centre for Global Languages, Bengaluru Central University, says that the class strength for Japanese, since they began in 1991, has been a minimum of 40 to a maximum of 80-90 students.“Technical skills are just one aspect of the work. Though we don’t have a placement cell, companies such as Toyota, IBM, Kirloskar and Dell contact us for hiring Japanese-speaking Indians. To crack business deals, spoken acumen takes precedence. At present, translation services occupy a major chunk of the demand,” says Jyothi
“International and even CBSE schools have incorporated foreign languages in their syllabus, calling for teachers. Japan is quite tourist-friendly, but most locals do not speak English there. This opens up a requirement for Indians, many of whom, speak English by default,” Jyothi adds. Making use of the language barrier, Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) introduced a Japanese language course on May 26 this year. “So far, 18 students have joined.
They are from corporate, manufacturing, robotics, accounting and marketing fields, as well as BA, BCom students planning to study abroad. There are around 1,500 Japanese expats in our city, and they find it difficult to do business or discuss contracts in English,” says K Ravi, president of FKCCI.
“As 250 to 300 Japanese companies operate in Karnataka, we thought it useful to offer the course on weekends. This is needed when even their accounting software is in Japanese. Hence, a translator makes them comfortable,” Ravi adds.