‘India Requires New Growth Models’
Indian companies should look at non-American markets and have a flexible strategy as they gear up to fight protectionist moves in the US, says Alain Dehaze, CEO of global HR solutions & staffing major Adecco Group. In an interview to ET’s Chiranjoy Sen, Dehaze says 69% of the jobs in India are at risk because of automation and explains why it ranks so low in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2017, which is co-authored by Adecco and INSEAD. Edited excerpts:
How do Indian companies facing a protectionist US tweak strategies? At the moment, there is little visibility on how effective such protectionist measures may be. In the meantime, other economies are growing and can become interesting markets in their own right, as potentially as the internal Indian market. They should also invest in technology and talent development for constant change. Technology, through automation and artificial intelligence, is definitely one of the most disruptive sources. But it is all about transformation and not elimination. Advanced technology changes the way we work and the skills we need, but it also boosts productivity and creates new jobs. A recent World Bank report shows the risk for jobs to be replaced by automa- tion varies by country and depends on local governments’ policies and investments. In low-wage countries, increased automation might negatively impact cost advantage. This is the case of India where 69% jobs are at risk, the report says. India and other developing countries require new growth models and need to upskill their workforce. Talent mismatch is a crucial paradox of our age. While over 200 million people are unemployed globally, 40% of employers say they cannot find the right skills for their businesses. And they refer to both hard, technical skills and soft or people skills.
Education reforms must be the priority for governments. The traditional top-down educational approach was fit for the 20th century manufacturing world. Today, routine tasks are much better executed by machines.
In a world where change is the norm, it is fundamental to teach young people to ‘learn how to learn’, collaborate, communicate and be flexible: all traits that are ‘human’, and can be developed through innovative, project-based educational approaches.
How realistic is the fear of automation replacing jobs? Adecco CEO- global HR solutions Group Alain Dehaze
How do you upskill and how do you tackle the concern of unemployability?