Internet users in India are quite discerning and don’t always choose online services purely on the basis of freebies offered, according to the report, “Cost-strained optimisation: User perspectives on internet use in India.” The report has been backed by Mozilla and carried out by LIRNEasia. The findings suggest when users don’t know the data allowance required to download free apps, they hypothesise as to whether the potential reward would exceed the cost. In addition, technology savvy users are downloading the promoted apps and referring friends to earn monetary rewards, which they convert to talk time or data or e-commerce transactions. But, limitations may arise as users have to refer friends to earn rewards and most “pyramid-like” reference systems have a limited shelf-life. Respondents not using the Internet cited unaffordability and lack of digital skills among the reasons for not being online. Reliance Jio, which offered free 4G data during the period of field work, served as a counterpoint to zero-rated offers which subsidised specific content.
Firms prefer skill acquisition for future-ready digital biz
Over 60 per cent organisations prefer to train and redeploy existing talent to acquire skills instead of hiring skilled talent, says a survey report by Simplilearn (digital economy training company) and HR media platform People Matters. The report, “Skill acquisition for the digital age”, provides insights into strategies that L&D (learning and development) teams are adopting for building competencies and skills to stay relevant in the digital age. Their top priorities regarding L&D are: Instilling a “digital mindset at the leadership level” (75 per cent); building collaboration as a competency (70 per cent); and benchmarking the skills level in the organisations which will help in streamlining future job roles (68 per cent). The most difficult task L&D teams face is to establish a clear link between their initiatives and improved business outcomes. This will continue to be a priority while investing in upskilling employees. Interestingly, business teams are emerging as key stakeholders in deciding on domain and technology specific courses to be imparted to employees.
Optimism in job market despite recent lay-offs
A majority of the Indian professionals surveyed rated their overall workplace conditions as “good to excellent”, according to the Michael Page Job Applicant Confidence Index Q2 2017. This included their present job conditions (63 per cent), future job scenario (76 per cent) as well as current job opportunities within their area of expertise (51 per cent). Interestingly, despite an increase in automation and the recent lay-offs in Indian markets, 73 per cent respondents were confident of securing a job within three months. Additionally, when asked about their outlook for their professional situation in the next 12 months, those surveyed were positive of acquiring opportunities, in their current roles, for better skill development (82 per cent), scope of functions (78 per cent), career promotion (70 per cent), compensation levels (75 per cent) and work-life balance (57 per cent).
Skills enhancement (51 per cent), salary (40 per cent) and better work-life balance (34 per cent) continue to be the top three reasons why employees are likely to switch from their current job.