‘In­dia Re­quires New Growth Mod­els’

The Economic Times - - Careers: The Fast Track -

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?

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