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Content by Accenture


Sooner or later, every ecosystem changes. In our modern times, it’s the nature of our work that’s rapidly evolving. Globalization, technological advancements, automation, faster lifestyles, demographic shifts, development of the knowledge industry and increasing demands for specialized skills are the precursors to our redefined workforce. Robin Chase, co-founder of vehicle-hire platform Zipcar, in her book Peers Inc says we are in the midst of a revolution. As she succinctly puts it: “My father had one job in his lifetime, I will have six jobs in my lifetime, and my children will have six jobs at the same time.”

In this changing landscape, the questions we need to ask are: How do we want to work? How do we get ahead of change? How do we make the transition smooth for workers and society? But, most importantly, what skills do young people need to improve their economic prospects and make society better?

Creative services: Cooking, fashion technology, floristry, hairdressing, jewellery designing. Skills required include communicating, budgeting, calculating profits, controlling and ordering stock, and understanding trends.

Complex problem-solving: Aircraft maintenance, freight forwarding, 3D digital game art, and electrical installations. Skills required include troubleshooting, repairing, and maintenance.

Craftsmanship: Carpentery, architectural stonemasonry, painting and decorating and cabinet making. Skills required include design aesthetics, and problem solving.

Technology: IT network systems administration, IT software solutions for business, web technologies, and mechatronics. Skills required include understanding factory assembly lines, problem solving, communication, troubleshooting, analysis, and maintenance.

Using tools: Bricklaying, car painting, plumbing and heating, electrical installations, and construction work in concrete and metal. Skills required include knowledge of safety standards, government regulations, manual dexterity.

Service-oriented: Health and social care, and beauty therapy. Skills required include emotional intelligence to handle challenging situations and therapeutic sensibility.

India is getting ready for this challenge. The government has set up over 70 schemes for skill development, including Digital India, Start-up India, Skill India, and many more. These schemes are aimed at removing uncertainity and empowering India's workforce with the skillsets needed to support economic growth. The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) was set up in 2008 to promote skilling/upskilling of 500 million people by 2022 by providing funding and fostering private sector initiatives in skill development programmes.

By 2030, India will have become the world’s third-largest economy. It’s also one of the youngest nations in the world, with over one-third of its total population being of working age (soon surpassing the country’s dependent population). This capable and ambitious young populace can effect a huge difference in Indian society – and the entire world – if empowered with the relevant skills.

Skills Change Lives

According to a Nasscom report, about 40 percent of India’s total workforce – around 200 million people – will need to be reskilled over the next five years to cope with emerging trends like Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, and blockchain. The Indian government, now in its second term, is focusing on reskilling to ensure its existing workforce stays relevant.

The government, under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana flagship skilling programme, is working towards helping a large number of Indian youth take up industry-relevant skills training that will help them secure better livelihoods. Since 2016, over 1.5 million youth trained under the programme have been certified under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), an assessment model that recognises learning and capabilities acquired outside of classroom training.

Customer Experience is Everything

The impact of the fast changing workforce ecosystem will be felt by everyone, and in almost all aspects of our lives. The effects of globalization in this age of experience will mean agile business processes are built with reduced complexity and focussed towards becoming highly customizable to tackle customer needs.

In future work, mundane and repetitive operational tasks will be automated, while opportunities around the human factor and soft skills will open up.

Intelligent Financial Services

India’s financial sector has been fast to embrace an AI future. Digitally native millennials and Gen Z-ers will soon form the majority of banking sector customers, and they will demand services that match the advanced technology they are familiar with.

AI will have a positive revenue and cost-side impact for banks, from developing smart digital assistants, providing seamless services, building data models, acting on lending decisions, and enhancing security with advanced recognition techniques. Additionally, AI will transform back-office operations and enhance the customer experience through better accuracy and swiftness.

More than 36 percent of large financial institutions are already investing in these technologies, and almost 70 percent are planning to in the near future.

Bombay Stock Exchange

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) introduced a data analytics solution it claims can track social media-shared news about companies listed on the exchange. It employs machine learning tech to detect and mitigate potential risks of market manipulation and rumours.

The software alerts human security officials at BSE so they can compare possible rumors appearing in print to those online, as per Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regulations. If human security officials spot a difference, companies are required to justify the reasons in front of a BSE review board.

Code for bank

One of India’s largest public sector banks, with 420 million customers, launched a national ‘Code for Bank’ hackathon to encourage developers, startups and students to come up with innovative ideas and solutions for the banking sector.

They focussed on technologies such as predictive analysis, fintech/blockchain, BOTS and robotic process automation. The bank now has an AI-powered chat assistant to instantly address customer enquiries on banking products and services.

Automation is changing the face of India’s manufacturing sector

Even the manufacturing sector in India is adopting automation; learning and understanding subjects such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and high order data analytics have now become a reality.


Data-driven agriculture in India focuses on technologies such as image recognition, drones, machine learning, sensors, 3D laser scanning, driverless tractors, and chatbots to monitor and detect abnormalities or defects, undertake tasks like spraying chemicals, and forecast growth and price.


AI is being leveraged in the automotive sector, both in the manufacturing of automobile parts, and in the end product. It’s enabling monitoring, efficiency, and precision in the manufacturing process, and is being integrated into autonomous cars and intelligent transport systems.

Besides AI, the solutions include driving pattern analyses, motion planning and control, vehicle safety, and the development of autonomous electric vehicles. A case in point is a leading car manufacturer that has one robot for almost every four workers in its facility in Manesar.

Textile/Apparel manufacturing

Adoption of AI applications in this industry is still in a nascent stage, but has tremendous potential. It can improve the speed and accuracy of inspection processes for defect identification and colour matching, while E-Commerce and M-commerce platforms can leverage this technology to create a personalised shopping experience to derive more out of retail.

Skill-up to scale up and thrive in disruption

According to a 2018 Accenture survey, 69 percent of Indian business leaders confirmed that adopting intelligent technologies will be critical to their organisation’s ability to differentiate in the market.

In another survey, 66 percent of workers considered it very important to develop skills to work with intelligent machines.

We are sailing through unchartered waters.
Generation Z excels in technological skills but lacks essential soft skills developed over years of face-to-face meetings and socialising in the real world, rather than through an app. Developing communication abilities, language skills, influencing skills and emotional empathy are the key parameters that will make the workforce see progress.

The skills this new ecosystem requires also include predictive systems, cognitive process automation, knowledge virtualization, digital virtual agents, visual computing applications and knowledge of robotics and drones.

When skilling for India’s future, an end-to-end, outcome-focused framework will create a transformation in the country’s employable workforce, equipping them with new-age know how, and relevant cognitive and intuitive skills.