How the Indian workforce can beat the robots taking their jobs

Photo: Shutterstock
Ned Ludd was a textile worker in 18th century England. He was a regular fellow, just like you and I, who happened to like his job; in fact, he loved it. So when the industrial revolution brought forth inventions like automated textile equipment, his job was threatened like never before. One day, in what was described as a “fit of passion,” Ludd smashed two mechanical knitting machines to the ground. 

Ned Ludd’s story encapsulates the idea that as long as machines have existed, economists and workers alike have feared that they are making humans obsolete. 

The future is now

As technologies like cloud, IoT, AI, and big data continue to grow, the role of machines as “tools” to increase productivity is fading. Instead, machines are becoming workers.

“The emerging threat is not the guy in Bengaluru but the robot next door who’s going to take your job.” – Raghuram Rajan

And if your job requires repetitive work, more bad news for you. A study found that India’s IT services industry will lose 640,000 “low-skilled” jobs to automation in the next five years. 

A faulty skill set

According to a report, only 17.91 percent of Indian engineers were employable for the software services sector, 3.67 percent for software products, and 40.57 percent for a non-functional role such as BPO.

Hope over the horizon

In fact, history shows us that advances in tech don’t decrease jobs over an extended period. As the workforce adjusts their skills and entrepreneurs explore alternatives based on the new technologies, the numbers of jobs rise again.

The magic you need

Speaking from a tech perspective, industries that will see high demand and lucrative salaries will be in big data, analytics, mobility, design, machine learning, IoT, and AI.


Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel