Mumbai: Contrary to the fear that automation is likely to take away jobs, many professionals in India are positive that it would rather create better job opportunities.
In a survey conducted by executive search firm Michael Page among 1,037 people, mostly in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru, 83% of the respondents did not feel that automation is a threat to their current jobs.
They do not expect that their jobs could be replaced by a robot, said the report.
In addition, 78% of the respondents said they are more confident about their job prospects as a result of automation, robotics and artificial intelligence.
“As the phase of technological change quickens, we can expect a positive impact for many Indian professionals, particularly those in technology," said Nicolas Dumoulin, managing director, Michael Page India.
However, he warned that robotics would have an impact on some of the sectors, particularly manufacturing. “What we as a nation have to consider carefully is the impact on the lower skilled end of the market—and ask what actions we can take to help people re-skill and retrain," Dumoulin said.
The survey also found that most employees in India are realistic about the demands of automation with 85% of them saying they plan to acquire additional skills. 38% of the total who planned to re-skill themselves said they would consider learning data security as it might be the “greatest job creator in the next three years", particularly in e-commerce, financial technology and mobile communications.
Vikram Bector, group chief human resources officer (CHRO), Piramal Group, a diversified conglomerate, also agreed that while automation would impact jobs in a few sectors, newer jobs would also get created leveraging technologies.
“Individuals and organisations have to reinvent themselves. I find that millennials are very proactive in investing in higher education or taking online courses to remain up to date. Organisations are also realising that they have to invest in talent as ready-made talent is hard to find," Bector said.
According to him, the trend of internships has caught on in a big way as smart millennials are keen to gain a first-hand experience of work before deciding if they are going to be able to learn and grow fast in an organisation.
All these forces are leading to a lot of focus on formal and informal learning for survival, he added.