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Business News/ Ai / Artificial Intelligence/  AI in India: Jobs evolved, not erased - opportunity and reskilling key, experts claim

AI in India: Jobs evolved, not erased - opportunity and reskilling key, experts claim

AI in India: India's job landscape is experiencing a seismic shift driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI). While routine tasks in sectors like data entry and call centres face automation, a surge of opportunities is blossoming in data science, engineering, and machine learning.

AI Wave Washes Over India: From Routine to Robotics, Transforming Jobs Across IndustriesPremium
AI Wave Washes Over India: From Routine to Robotics, Transforming Jobs Across Industries

India’s job market has undergone a dramatic transformation since the arrival of AI in 2019. OpenAI’s entrance marked a turning point, automating routine tasks and disrupting employment sectors like data entry and call centres. However, the AI wave also brought a surge of opportunities in data science, engineering, and machine learning, creating a new landscape of high-skilled jobs. Mint speaks with hiring experts to probe into AI’s impact on Indian jobs after its emergence.

Experts told Mint that AI has caused both disruption and adaptation, with challenges like the digital divide coupled with social unrest balanced by the potential of AI to revolutionize traditional sectors like agriculture, healthcare, and education.

World Economic Forum (WEF) anticipates that AI will generate 12 million more jobs than it displaces by 2025. India houses a talent base of 416K AI professionals as of August 2023 as opposed to the current demand of approximately 629K, a figure expected to surge to 1 million by 2026, according to a report by Wheebox National Employability Test (WNET).

Young employability surges to 51.25 per cent, with Haryana, Maharashtra, and UP leading in talent concentration, the report added.

Over 85 per cent of employers foresee AI generating new job opportunities within the next 1-5 years. This optimism is shared by around 63 per cent of job seekers, with 53 per cent believing that AI will create more jobs. Sectors like Education, Healthcare, Media, Finance, and Technology witness significant enthusiasm from 50-65 per cent of job seekers toward AI adoption. However, industries such as Construction, Logistics, Government, and Transportation display a more reserved response, an Indeed India survey revealed.

What is the overall impact of AI?

AI is already changing how we work, and its influence is only going to grow. Instead of replacing people, AI is designed to boost human abilities and help us, said Ruchee Anand, Senior Director of Talent and Learning Solutions at LinkedIn India.

AI is still in its nascent stages; there have been very minimal negative effects, said Sumit Sabharwal, Head of HRSS, Fujitsu International Regions.

AI has significantly impacted the employment sector in India by automating several tasks, leading to job displacement in some industries but also creating new opportunities in AI-related fields, according to Jaideep Kewalramani, COO & Head of Employability, TeamLease, Edtech.

However, Indian job seekers have concerns, including the necessity for reskilling or upskilling, fears of potential job displacement, and ethical considerations, Sashi Kumar, Head of Sales, Indeed India, observed.

AI also provided a promising solution to address recruitment bias by relying on objective criteria like qualifications and skills, minimizing the influence of unconscious biases in hiring decisions. “AI tools promise up to 40 per cent bias reduction, helping increase gender, race and background diversity within teams, Vikram Ahuja, Co-Founder of ANSR and CEO of Talent500, observed.

Which sectors have AI boosted employment?

Job roles such as data scientist, data analyst, machine learning, Cloud Engineer, and stack developers will be in high demand for both Tech and Non-Tech sectors that aim to employ 11.15 lac tech Talent by FY 2027 from the current 7.65 lac employed, Munira Loliwala, AVP- Strategy and Growth of TeamLease Digital opined.

“While some job categories shrink, new ones bloom. AI development, data science, cybersecurity, and robotics engineering are witnessing robust growth, creating exciting opportunities for tech-savvy individuals," said, Balasubramanian A Vice President & Business Head, TeamLease Services.

AI has opened gates for new industries, skills and opportunities, claimed Karthik Sridharan, Co-Founder & CEO of Flexiple. AI has unlocked opportunities in fields like consumer apps, CRM applications, learning products, and financial apps.


Dominance of AI in different sectors
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Dominance of AI in different sectors

LinkedIn data showed that AI-powered shifts will cause a 65 per cent change in skills that are in demand by 2030. Gen Z was seen as more eager to learn new skills. “We’ve seen a 1.1x increase in LinkedIn learners who are spending 1.8x more time learning since September 2021," Anand of LinkedIn India noted. Some of the top skills, according to LinkedIn findings, are investing in programming languages, data science, cloud computing, data analysis, and project management skills.

Speaking on AI’s impact on a number of opportunities, Felix Kim, co-founder and CEO of Redrob, said, “AI is a force multiplier. AI will increase the disparage between the skilled and unskilled workers."

Which sectors have witnessed decline in opportunities?

According to a Gartner survey, 69 per cent of managerial tasks are automatable, emphasizing the necessity for a strategic fusion of AI and human capabilities.

Automated systems and AI algorithms can handle data entry and processing tasks more efficiently than manual efforts, impacting jobs in this sector. Chatbots and virtual assistants powered by AI have streamlined customer service, revealed Devashish Sharma, founding member and CEO at Taggd.

Additionally, legal, accounting, and finance sectors have been negatively impacted by AI. Salaries, especially in developed countries like the U.S., have seen a 30 per cent decline over the past 10 years after you factor in inflation, Kim opined.

AI hasn’t necessarily resulted in a net negative impact on sectors; instead, it has transformed job landscapes, demanding new skill sets and creating opportunities in emerging fields, opined Sekhar Garisa, CEO of foundit.

Administrative roles, manual labour in manufacturing, some transportation jobs, telemarketers, basic accounting and bookkeeping are some of the mundane tasks that AI may have put at risk, noted Sarbojit Mallick, Co-founder of Instahyre.

Skill up to prepare for the AI age

Candidates need to update their skill sets to leverage AI tools to supercharge their work. Further, aligning their skills with what is in demand will also improve their opportunities to land roles and also the ability to gain better salaries, Sridharan opined. Additionally, they can prepare by acquiring skills for AI, like programming, machine learning, data analytics, data science and prompt engineering, as per Kewalramani.

Anand of LinkedIn highlighted that hard skills are not the only skills in focus. “Millennials and Gen X are spending time learning soft skills like Personal Effectiveness, Personal Development, Leadership and Management, etc."

As AI evolves it will not just result in eliminating jobs but also create new opportunities in AI development, maintenance, and oversight, as per Siva Prasad Nanduri, CEO, of Diensten Tech Ltd (DTL).

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Published: 23 Dec 2023, 04:24 PM IST
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