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How Sector-Specific Digital Networking Platforms Can Prove To Be A Game-Changer For Senior Leaders

From face-to-face offline meetings to networking in the digital era, the concept of networking has evolved significantly.

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Networking is crucial for every working professional in the Indian workforce for establishing new professional networks and exploring new opportunities. From face-to-face offline meetings to networking in the digital era, the concept of networking has evolved significantly.

Until the 18th century, most people lived in an agrarian culture where networking was a foreign concept. It became popular during the industrial revolution, when businesses needed to collaborate and trust a broader range of stakeholders in order to grow global trade. Transitioning from the Industrial Revolution to the IT Revolution (mid-late twentieth century), followed by the Internet Revolution (late twentieth century), and now the Network Revolution is producing a new world economy and reinstating the importance of networking.

While on-ground events, conferences, and formal/informal group meets provided enough possibilities for professionals to broaden their circle, they were still restricted due to the limited geographical coverage, time and money. The Network Revolution gave rise to Social and Digital Networks, which transformed us into "Networked Individuals" living, working, and learning in a "Networked Society," laying the groundwork for the next wave of change. Platforms such as LinkedIn and Xing allowed professionals to go beyond simply making connections by allowing them to engage with individuals from all over the world for potential employment possibilities, business leads, and knowledge exchange.

LinkedIn is the world’s biggest professional networking site with more than 700 million users. Though a remarkable pioneer, it has grown into sales and marketing rather than professional networking. As per a GUILD survey, 38% of LinkedIn users state that they find “LinkedIn has become too cluttered to be functional”.

The existing professional networking channels are ineffective for senior leaders who have limited time due to their demanding schedules. They are being driven away by irrelevant interactions and contacts. While these decision-makers or senior leaders represent a much smaller portion of the overall professional pie, their presence has a higher desirability value due to their brand value and professional stature. So the question is, "How do you persuade such an audience to enjoy a digital networking platform from which they can truly acquire value?"

One such approach that can assist senior leaders in emerging from the congested and chaotic digital environment is to establish a sector-specific networking platform that can provide them with relevant industry content, relevant business prospects, dialogues, and connections. A sector-specific platform may play an important role in accelerating the growth of each of these industries and aiding them in realigning themselves to the changing realities.

As new age technologies continue to disrupt traditional way of doing business, enabling an influx of start-ups and unicorns, resulting in a record spike in c-suite hiring, CXOs must work with diverse multi-sector stakeholders and geographies to maximise business and professional prospects. To become adaptive, they must become more agile and constantly cultivate a learning culture.

This is catalysing the need for sector-specific networking platforms, the success of which will be dependent on the creation of the right ecosystem, which should not only help them to stay relevant in a clutter-free environment, but also provide opportunities to explore other sectors of interest and establish quality dialogues.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Goutam Anand

The Author is the Co-Founder & Director of Community Engagement at Blue Circle

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