New technologies, globalised economy to drive job growth in India in 2019

New technologies, globalised economy to drive job growth in India in 2019 Representative image

Santosh Pai, a legal expert, feels that India is on the cusp of a second wave of globalisation after the 1991 reforms due to various factors including the US-China trade war, rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI), impetus to expand manufacturing sector, among others. Hence keeping in mind such factors legal professionals that are equipped to cater to the demand of corporates in these areas is increasing in India and will be in demand in the times to come. Interestingly, Pai passed out from the prestigious National Law School in Bengaluru and now works for a Delhi-based legal firm, Link Legal India Law Services, and is currently helping Chinese companies to establish their presence in India

Pai further feels that although many aspects of the legal profession are being rationalised due to advances in technology, the core skills of a legal professional, that include culling out relevant facts and applying legal principles in the context of a specific regulation, will remain relevant since complexity in various walks of life are only increasing with progress. “Multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural professionals will be in greater demand due to the nature of the interconnected and increasingly technology driven globalised economy. However, the number of legal professionals are increasing but centres of excellence which can produce quality lawyers are still too few to meet the increasing demands of various industries,” remarked Pai.

As the Indian economy is struggling with unemployment and challenges in the job market, there are some sectors and segments that are expected to usher in job creation in the times to come. Within these segments, there are many sub segments that will see more job creation and would require multi-level skill sets to fit in those positions.

Experts say that the ongoing fourth industrial revolution has ensured that IT/ITES remain the highest growing sector across the globe and within the larger IT/ITES landscape there is this accelerated growth of innovative technologies such as such as Cloud Computing, Data Science, Internet of Things (IoT) and Mobile App Development among others. “Revolutionary technologies such as Machine Learning (ML), AI, blockchain, Augmented/Virtual Reality and Natural Language Processing are already creating millions of jobs in the country. However, it is important to note that these domains demand professionals with a very specific skillset that Indian graduates unfortunately lack. Therefore, there is a dire need for graduates and professionals to upskill themselves by unlocking the potential of online learning platforms. Such platforms allow professionals to combine traditional and new-age competencies to strengthen their position in the competitive job market,” Zairus Master, CEO, told THE WEEK.

Master feels that besides IT/ITES, a major chunk of professionals will be absorbed by the retail, BFSI, healthcare and e-commerce sectors. “The evolution of technology in these sectors has transformed jobs and created the need to hire more professionals who possess top-notch technological skills along with traditional ones. For instance, a typical BFSI position would require a professional to be equipped with sales, actuarial, GST as well as IT skills. Similarly, a professional in retail would be given preference and even a higher package if he possesses a basic knowledge of AI, ML, Automation or Robotics. Thus, cross-functional skills will be all the rage in the coming years. As businesses continue to go digital, we can expect a sharp rise in the digital marketing, content writing and social media marketing domains. Avenues from coding and programming in Python and Django to UI/UX development and data visualisation are also set to gain momentum in India,” said Master. 

Master sauggest that even those professionals who aspire for traditional roles such as those in healthcare and banking sectors will also require some degree of technological know-how as technological innovation continues to transform the jobs landscape. “While jobs will be in abundance, it is the lack of relevant skills that can hold back Indian professionals from finding their place in the new-age jobs landscape. Currently, there is a stark lack of skilled employees in the country which would be a cause for concern. However, we are taking significant steps towards skilling its working population and provide a fillip to the employment scenario of the country. Across the nation, a greater focus is being laid upon moving beyond traditional rote learning methods and adopting robust online learning platforms that promote more efficient learning. Through such endeavors, professionals will be able to access significantly better job opportunities and no job or sector will experience a lack of skilled talent in India,” added Master. 

Other experts believe that while e-commerce will continue to create more jobs, sectors like small banks, fintech and retail will create maximum jobs. “With technology like AI, ML and IoT disrupting employment, the earlier high consuming sectors like manufacturing have been replaced. The ideology behind this being all these sectors will create more local jobs in tier II and III cities essentially. Other sectors like banking and financial services, IT-software and BPO/KPO shall continue to hold top positions in hiring. Widespread technological uptake in the BPO/KPO sector has made for increased job creation and this trend is bound to continue in 2019 as well. Growing industries that shall display an increase in hiring in 2019 also include education and healthcare. The career growth in these sectors shall be immense and diverse hence, makes it important to have continuous up skill as a must have,” Ajay Shah, Head Recruitment, Teamlease Services told THE WEEK.

Shah also believes that India’s IT sector alone will have more than 2.5 lakh jobs and essentially will be a combination of freshers' hiring and upskilling of the existing talent pool. Some of the prominent skills that will be in demand across sectors are: AI/ML, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), Robotics, blockchain architecture, ethical hiring, predictive modelling and digital marketing. Also jobs in analytics and design shall be the most sought for. Skills in cyber-security and progressive apps will also be in high demand.

However, getting trained professionals especially in blockchain technology is a major challenge for corporates. “Currently, in India it is very difficult to get trained and skilled professionals in blockchain technology. Within blockchain technology, in India, we expect three major job roles are going to be on demand—developer, architect and a business analyst. Blockchain technology is a revolutionary technology and in the IT services side the technology will help the companies to provide more precise services and this will help high sensitive sectors like banking, logistics and trading. This will provide the comfort to the clients to see end to end visibility and change the landscape of tracking and validating,” E. Venkatesan, the CEO of Emurgo Academy told THE WEEK. The academy trains developers and creates blockchain experts to expand the usage of blockchain technology in India with the help of local support from government officials and enterprises.

Experts such as Yajulu Medury, Director, Mahindra Ecole Centrale, a Hyderabad-based engineering college are optimistic about future job creation in the country. This expert is of the opinion that infrastructure (including construction and transport and logistics), healthcare, education, food processing industry, services are the key sectors which will have many job opportunities, especially because there is a paucity of skilled workforce here. He also feels that the telecom industry is set to grow faster than many other sectors as the usage of mobiles are becoming all pervasive and hand held devices will replace anything else as the primary means of communication and even computing. This will open up a plethora of opportunities, right from manufacturing, to design, to app developers, to creative designers, to sales and service staff.

“Government policies will play a key role in providing boost to these sectors and creating job opportunities for the skilled youth. Right skilling would be the key to achieve any success. In addition, the sectors which are witnessing a huge boost today include retail, tourism and hospitality, handlooms and handicrafts, textiles and apparels and automotive and have the potential to create large scale employability, subject again to skilling the job-force right. The traditional jobs in these segments will be replaced. AI and automation will be all pervasive and it is important that these be a part of any skilling process. All domains will require up-skilling or re-skilling to be relevant in the current scenario, with the right amount of technology skills thrown in. Again, the focus on digital has opened a whole new world and this is likely to continue for the foreseeable future,” said Dr Medury.

This expert further feels that huge scale disruption is on the cards and use of new technologies like AI, machine learning, data sciences, automation, robotics, block chain, IoT, etc. will cause problems for those with traditional or legacy systems and the workforce will have to quickly upgrade their skills or face obsolescence. Those will the necessary skill sets in these categories will do well. “We are witnessing unprecedented growth and I believe that jobs will also increase. So there will be jobs and there will be job seekers, but will the work force have employability? That is the big question and one that the government is trying to address for some time now with great initiatives like the Skill India Mission. New jobs will come up, while legacy jobs will continue to decrease and finally vanish. Skilling and upskilling will be one of the biggest issues facing the industry but domain specific industry bodies are already taking cognizance of the fact and focusing on creating employable workforce,” added Medury.

Even there are hopes that the aviation industry will create many more jobs. "According to IATA, the aviation industry in India is poised to grow at a rate of 6 per cent y-o-y (baseline growth), the need for growing manpower is being fueled by the amplification of tourism industries, lower airfares and the need for superior connectivity in an accelerated globalised economy. In order to fulfill the demands to cater to the requirements of both passengers and cargo; airlines are investing in human resources, route expansion and fleet capacity. The demand for trained pilots is also set to grow proportionally as the aviation industry in India is anticipated to hire upto 10,000 new pilots by 2030 to meet the burgeoning demands,” explained Capt. Manish Uppal, Head of Operations, AirAsia India.

Air Asia is on a hiring mode and in order to fulfill the rising demands in the aviation sector the company has hired aviation professionals. “We are already on an intensive hiring spree and have recruited over 450 well-trained professionals in the recent quarter to meet our requirements of cabin crew, pilots, ground operations, engineering and security. With our endeavor to align our hiring process to our organisation's steady growth trajectory, we are looking at adding a lot many skilled professionals in the times to come,” added Uppal.