Article (August-2017)


Staying updated has never turned out to be insignificant

Sanjay Bahl

Designation : -   CEO and Managing Director

Organization : -  Centum Learning, New Delhi


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1. How do you see the scenario of mass layoffs in IT sector to change in future?
Ans. I think the advent of new opportunities await those who are willing to diversify their skill - sets by utilizing this short term uncertainty. Right skills are the key building blocks for the industry and companies too are intensifying investment in up-skilling or re-skilling workforces to strengthen their foundations on a continuous basis. 'Catch them young' is the mantra now being adopted by these companies.
2. What all sectors and functions will be highly impacted by job cuts?
Ans. More than job cuts, the uncertainties in global markets, is causing employers in India to adopt a wait-and-watch policy. This is probably the reason we are not seeing them commit to the same optimistic hiring plans. Today, while use of new technologies and digital transformation is a must for any business organization, areas where human assessment and involvement is required will not be affected as decisions, opinions and logic cannot be outdone or replaced. With PM's "Made in India" and "Skill India" campaign at full swing, we feel that India is completely in the right pace to bring the competitive advantage through right skilling and talent.
3. Is there a greater need than ever to stay updated, up-skill, re-skill and remain employable?
Ans. Technology is advancing at a superior pace and its adoption over the years has made it necessary to invest in up-skilling. This paradigm shift has compelled people to transform and up-skill themselves. According to a recent NASSCOM report, over 40 percent of the estimated 4 million workforce in India need re-skilling to keep pace with automation within the next five years. We can look at this as an opportunity, since there is now a growing demand amongst the IT giants for skilled professionals.
4. Has the current surge of job cuts made up-skilling more crucial?
Ans. A recent study reports that up to 40 percent of the estimated four million workforce in India need re-skilling over the next five years to keep pace with automation and changing skill needs across various industries. Growing job insecurity among professionals on account of layoffs and a shrinking job market has put the spotlight on skills up-gradation this year. The stress on automation and adoption of newer technologies over the past two years has made it necessary to invest in up-skilling. This shift is now compelling everyone to take measures to make use of this transformation and up-skill themselves.
5. Since, a greater need to stay employable has emerged from the way technology is taking over the businesses - AI, robotics, digital, is it right to say that technology is the curse that is pushing the workforce to stay updated? Or, is technology actually a boon, which is aiding up-skilling of employees?
Ans. Staying updated and skilled has never turned out to be insignificant. New skilling areas are leading to possibilities for more job creation. The challenge lies on the part of the companies who have to up-skill their employees.  A positive way of looking at these changes would be to see them as providing newer opportunities since there is now growing demand among the IT giants for professionals skilled in these newer technologies.
6. How can organisations help employees to remain employable?
Ans. There are many ways an organization can help its employees remain employable. One of them is to provide and diversify their training programs. Job swapping and cross training programs are one of the ways to help employees learn about other parts of the business and build relationships between teams, ultimately improving their soft skills. For organizations to win in the market, they must help their employees to stay relevant in their skills.
Various corporate training programs have been introduced in the industry while the organizations can also outsource their talent training or hire skill training institutes. Current trends of providing training courses include app based, mobile based and video based learning. Under our corporate training programmes, we do just that by re-skilling and up-skilling.
Companies also need to prepare the workforce to be agile and to adapt quickly to changes in the market. We have partnered with more than 350 corporates across 15 countries to help their employees remain fully productive and gain competitive advantage.
7. What are the 3 basic rules to follow to staying relevant, updated and employable?
Ans. The employee must learn to be more flexible. They should be open for transfers to alternate positions or levels within a structure. They should be ready to learn new skills even when it is not in the direct line of their job roles, as it can be a source of income if faced with an unfortunate situation.
One should be open to continuous learning and up-skilling themselves required in their field of operations. Many big companies also provide training sessions, which one must not hesitate to take up no matter on what level one is working. One must follow the technology, always keep pace with it; laggards are not appreciated in the industry.
And lastly, one should not be afraid to work harder. In this era of competition, a person has to prove his worth amongst millions through good performance.