What 2017 tells about 2021 Job market in India!

By 2021, roughly one in every 4 jobs in India will go to a machine. A detailed observation based analytical piece about 2021 Job market in India!

Nearly a decade ago, some young college goers, were discussing the impact of computerization on jobs market. While everyone was eager to paint an India shining sort of picture, one was trying to reason as to why ‘computerization’ will result in a decline in jobs.

His reasoning was simple: If computers can multi-task without making a mistake, and work faster than humans; then a single computer will takeover the jobs of a couple of human workers. His pet example: A Bank teller using a computer.

He told the group: The bank teller may not be efficient today, but he will gain accuracy and speed in no time.

One among the group was I.

Today, we’re in 2017. We, as a country are still debating about the impact of Computerization on job market. Actually we’re not directly talking about the impact computers on our livelihoods anymore; we’re talking about trends brought about by computerization, such as automation. In other words, although we’re still talking about the impact of computerization, we’ve chosen more fancy words to win the argument.

What is automation? … Automation is the use or introduction of automatic equipment in a manufacturing or other process or facility.

Computers are key to automation. That’s why we usually hear, “unemployment due to the spread of automation”.

You may have a brighter view regarding the jobs market today and in future (next five years). But I have no qualms in saying that the job market is not that bright in both long and short terms. One of the key reasons is automation, which will replace working people out of their positions with a Robot or a machine. Here a robot mean an Android (a robot which looks, walks and behave like humans) Here a robots means any automated machine which when employed is more economical than a human being.

According to reports, the increase in Automation will result in 40 percent loss of jobs by 2021, globally. This means 40 out of 100 human being becoming jobless.

The sectors such as Manufacturing, IT and ITeS, security services and agriculture are already seeing the impact of automation. With nano manufacturing and precision manufacturing taking place in many industries, assembly line machines are replacing real human beings. The manufacturing where humans can still be employed is either low precision manufacturing. But even there, due to profit considerations, they will employ human workforce at very low salaries.

In other sectors such as IT and ITeS, the automation impact is very visible. The automation there is more sort of some gradual evolution and the big impact of automation was somehow being managed by good employment and export policies at Government levels. Today, Startup trend is being marketed as the replacement for India’s IT and ITeS sector, but that’s not going to be simple. There are two primary reasons for that: One, Success Ratio of Startups is too low, and ; two, for people to create World class startups, the country must be a knowledge economy. India unfortunately is not a knowledge economy. For some reason, the present Government’s pet project is Start-up India, but the plan doesn’t answer the declining employment situation. To understand it better, have a look at this piece of information: The countries known for their curve breaking startups, such US etc. create less than 10 crore jobs globally. Hence, it will be no surprise if the negative impact on jobs in the above sectors including agriculture becomes very visible in the next 3-4 years.

In a Job market, Real Employment generation and Optimism in hiring are two different things


There’re two things : One is Real Employment generation and the other is Optimism in hiring.

The optimism in hiring doesn’t paint the picture of real employment. May be the optimism is for the next quarter or year. But it’s just optimism (Hope).

According to latest news, the biggest bank of India, State Bank of India (SBI) will see a reduction of 10 percent of its workforce over the next two years, after the merger with six entities. This the country’s biggest lender attributes to attrition, reduced hiring and digitization.

To conclude, leaving you with this piece of information : India produces 5.5 million or 55 Lakh jobs (across levels) every year. This means that the unemployment numbers are fast piling up.

Automation can have two effects: It can either result in job loss or; jobs at very low subsistence level salaries. Jobs with low salaries are low skill and high transaction jobs. That’s where most of the jobs are. And these jobs will be hit most.

The high skilled, high paying jobs are few.

The new job trends such as hiring for short term projects, temporary hiring and flexible hiring (which includes Apprentice System as well) are being marketed as the way forward for the non-automated jobs market. But that will require us to see employment in a different light —  In the light of lower job satisfaction and lower salary. That too if jobs are created.

Finally, we’re relying too much on the digital dream. We’re hoping too much from automation. For a country like India, the jobs will not be created by following this dream. For us, the solution lies somewhere we’re reluctant to look at.

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  • ashok Apr 6, 2017, 4:53 pm

    India is largest populated country but employment are few that is why there is huge manpower in india. Fo this reason here employer gives employee lowest of the salaries and keeps him on contract. Even Indian government keeps employees on contract basis.