Job opportunities in the near future will largely be impacted by globalisation, with technology as a driving force. This will require large-scale skilled manpower, as technology and automation are taking over a sizeable number of jobs. Many job opportunities are becoming redundant, and existing jobs are demanding for a change in the skill sets required to do them. Not to be left behind, many women in India, foreseeing these transformations, are working on acquiring new skills, and opting for careers in manufacturing, automation, blockchain, among others.
Develop new skillsets
In order to develop new skillsets, women can get enrolled at Government of India’s Skill India Mission Skill Centres, across the country. These centres impart skill-related training for various new-age technologies at ITIs, polytechnics institutes and other private-run registered institutes. Besides, there are many other short courses made available by the ITIs across the country which offers short-term skillset development certificate courses in automation, blockchain and other emerging technology.
A recent report by the World Bank noted that India can grow in double-digits if more women participate in the product line of the Indian economy. This, according to the report, could be achieved by imparting skilled training to women. The Industry 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution is evolving integration of artificial intelligence, internet of things (IOT), automation, genetics, robotics, 3D printing, biotechnology, nanotechnology, cloud computing, and more, that are driving newer prospects for job opportunities and growth. Not only does this help in creating a larger part of skilled people but also helps companies creating a conducive workplace, which is bringing in more discipline in the work culture. Another good part for women is that technology-led disruptions in India will widen the scope for remote and flexible work opportunities, creating new employment avenues for women, in the future.
According to a study commissioned by India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry in 2018, the number of highly skilled technical graduates in India is growing at a rate of seven % per year, while in startups, India is ranked third in the world, accounting for over 4,700 businesses. There are many other leading global tech giants that have a strong presence in India such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Cisco, IBM, Intel, SAP, HP, Tata Consultancy Services, Cognizant among others. Not only have these companies featured as Best Places to Work, they also offer equal opportunities for women and growth.
Many green field factories in India are adapting to new-age technoloy. Automotive industries that are heavily dependent on technology and among the first to go on automation and embrace new technology, will have women-friendly work culture. Today, blockchain technology is tipped to be a disruptor in the automotive industry. Two-wheelers manufacturers like Yamaha Motor India have a pink assembly line, managed entirely by women. They have also hired 200 women to undergo apprenticeship programme. Similarly, Hero MotoCorp’s ‘Project Tejaswani’ has brought in more women in its manufacturing operations, while Bajaj Auto has an assembly line which is run by women. Besides, women must explore harnessing big data in manufacturing that generates more data than any other sector of the economy and helps drive efficiency, improve processes, and carve a competitive advantage. Other areas where opportunities could emerge, in the near future, are across other major manufacturing entities, which could be textiles, design, chemicals, software, hardware among others that will require skillsets in new and emerging technology. The Government too is keen on promoting the manufacturing sector which is 16% of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It aims to increase it to 25% and create 100 million new jobs by 2022.
Companies are gradually involving automation at their production units across India. This is minimising human intervention in production, else conventional technologies generally require more manpower. Women are also likely to be impacted by automation in sectors like Information Technology (IT). Similarly, services such as retail and hospitality are also expected to undergo dramatic transformations as a result of digitalisation, automation and surge in use of data analytics. Women who are looking for advancements in career must look upgrade to upcoming technology in their relevant areas of work. This will help in widening their job opportunities.
Blockchain, today, is like what the “Cloud” was in the mid-2000s. Ranked among the fastest-growing skillsets globally, it offers excellent job opportunities. As of now, its demand is far outpacing the supply. In skillsets, blockchain technology today is in its infancy, but its demand from startups and many established companies have gone up. Companies are exploring crypto currencies powered by blockchain that underlines technology in blockchain, which can be transformative across industries. Blockchain is also a digitally linked chain, which strengthens procurement strategies and improves efficiencies and cost for manufacturing units. Such is the huge potential which women can explore. For the last few years, manufacturing units are moving towards aligning their procurement processes strategically and using digital tools of supply chain, integrated warehousing and freight handling.
The writer is Director, HR and operations, Moglix.