SV Nathan, partner and chief talent officer, Deloitte India spoke to Praggya Guptaa about the current job market situation and the upcoming opportunities in India.
How would you assess the job market situation in India?
If you look at the economy today, we are still growing at a very healthy rate. There are a lot of opportunities out there. It is about how you bring the buyer and the seller together. If you manage this, the job issue can be addressed in a big way. For example, Internet technologies are still creating a lot of opportunities. What we are experiencing right now is a small blip but it will continue to grow, and people are finding new ways of managing this change.
Sectors like BFSI, textile, retail are the sectors hold a lot of opportunities. We don’t think there is any significant change that is happening related to job cuts. The only change that is happening is the focus is shifting on new skill sets in the market and opportunities are dependent on how do you adjust to that.
As per a survey, 30% of the Indian youth is neither employed nor seeking specialised education. Also, a lot of engineering graduates has been exploited because of fewer job opportunities. How do you see it?
The situation is similar as in the year 2000. We had the Y2K, and everybody was preparing for the Y2K, and after Y2K there were a lot of people who didn’t have new skills. Those who had skills got great work opportunities. We need to look at the world and how it is moving.
The service sector has opened up, but we don’t have enough people serving them.
I think corporate sector jobs growth has slowed down to 2.5-3 percent because our job markets are currently experiencing structural change. We don’t have a reliable database of where we can go and say that these are the significant changes that have happened.
Job growth in SMEs has gone down? What are the policies and changes required to improve the situation?
The governance policy is already in place. There is enormous potential in the skilling market. We still need a lot of people for logistics, and that is the area, which will grow. Jobs can be automated, but skills cannot be replicated. The sector is undergoing a vast change. We should allow missions like Skill India some time to run its course. The gap is in the corporate sector.
Artificial Intelligence and automation techs are making people insecure about their jobs. Your thoughts?
We need to address this through action. There will be industries, which will get affected but many of the skills are still in demand. For example, you can automate the process, but skills like craftsmanship will always be in demand.
How do you rate the Skill India programme?
Skill India programme is a good initiative, and it is too early to judge. The whole idea is about inclusion and not just about skilling. It is about making sure that we don’t have an urban and rural divide. Overall it is a good thing for us and for the whole country.
How is Deloitte empowering the differently-abled?
We go to different types of places to bring talent on board and have them as our strength. We are also deeply committed to our CSR. We work in old age homes and serve the community on our Impact Day, which is on 24th November. It is Deloitte’s annual day of service to collectively making an impact that matters in our communities. It is also one of the top reasons cited for why Deloitte was ranked number 6 by Fortune and a great place to work on their 2017 list of the ‘50 Best Workplaces for Giving Back’.