Employability Mantras For This Decade And Next : Setting The Right Foundation


Employability in next decade will undergo a significant change. With most of the jobs that can be automated finding their way to the machines, the availability of basic repetitive jobs will shrink. From farming to high technology work, machines will give tough fight to humans for right value. It does not mean that we will see the world being replaced by machines. The right balance between humans and machines will always be maintained forced by the rules of social economy.  The way we look at our jobs today will undergo change and will be governed by few facts that we tend to ignore today:

  1. A literate will be someone who is relevant to the needs of business for that time and rest everyone else will be termed as business illiterate. Such illiterate will have not only to keep learning to remain relevant but also keep competing with cheaper and younger workforce, not only in their own locality but globally.
  2. Learning and unlearning and then relearning back quickly to be relevant to the business would be the basic need for everyone in the industry.
  3. Anything that is repetitive in nature will be a potential for getting automated.
  4. Value and not cost will matter most as the employees globally will be measured on their value to the business. This will essentially mean that the potential to earn for any individual will change over the life cycle of their career, going up or down based on the value they generate.
  5. Geographical location of executing business processes will get further eased. While a century back, people moved to the work location, today it is work that can be moved to the location of people. This in future will be even more flexible where individual across geographies will work as virtual teams and offices unless governmental regulations come in the way in doing that.

The only thing that can never be copied by machines automated is the attitude of individuals. This is where the foundation of every successful person lies. The coming decade and beyond will hold riches and success for all those who have the right attitude of flexibility and understanding how to enhance the value would find far more opportunities than what available today. Such attitude building unfortunately is neither taught in our families nor school and colleges. Without the right attitude, the outcome of even best education gets impacted significantly.

The second foundation building block is the art of communication that would help individuals and companies across the world to communicate with each other and drive outcome faster and better. Poor communication and not the means of communication costs businesses billions in form of delayed projects, attrition, failed businesses and litigation.

All those who can succeed in building these two basic foundation building blocks, the next decade belongs to them.

Alok Kumar

Alok Kumar is Managing Partner of SRKay Consulting group, a private equity company, nurturing innovative ventures. Alok also serves on the board of ICCL (Indian Clearing Corporation Limited - A subsidiary of BSE- Bombay Stock Exchange) as an external advisor for technology and information security. Prior to this, Alok had been Managing Director of Sears IT & Management Services India Private Limited (SHI) since its inception in December 2009 and served in the same position till very recently. Having been in senior IT management positions in Fortune 500 companies, Alok has won several national and international awards. Alok is instrumental in planning and setting up SHI and thereafter growing it to a multi-locational thousand-plus people organization. Over the last five years, with his strategic vision, Alok helped SHI grow roots in India, develop and support technology applications and infrastructure across core mainframe, cutting edge e-Commerce and big data technologies. With his unique people-oriented transformational leadership style, Alok turned SHI into one of the most valued investments of Sears, garnering great ROIs, and creating value much beyond cost arbitrage. Under his tutelage, SHI has filed two patents and is recognized widely for its best practices in various areas, the latter, currently featured in Indian Institute of Management (IIM) case studies. SHI also became a CMMI Level 3, PCMM Level 3, and ISO 20000 certified organization. Alok is a widely acclaimed corporate leader in India today. He regularly participates and leads various forums as a keynote speaker and is an author of several books in different genres. Alok has several awards to his credit. He is particularly known in the industry for his people management skills and innovative ideas in improving the productivity of employees through unique people practices. He has been credited with the following industry awards: ¬ Emerging Leader of the Year award 2013 by IndiasGreatest.com ¬ Game Changer CEO of the Year 2013 (SHRM) ¬ CIO 100 - The Bold CIOs - 2008 (Reliance Infosolutions) ¬ CIO - Ones to Watch Award 2008 (Reliance Industries) ¬ Extended Manager Award - CIOL 2004 (Tata Teleservices) As an able leader of SHI, Alok got SHI recognized widely in the industry with the following several awards: ¬ CII Award for HR Best Practices in 2014 ¬ Global Excellence in Outsourcing Award - AIOP (Phoenix 2013) ¬ IT Innovation Award (Design & Engineering) - Computer Society of India 2012 ¬ Golden Company of the Year - Economic Times 2011-12 ¬ 7th Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Mumbai, India) 2013: • ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ Award • ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with business • HR Leadership Award • Talent Management Award by Bloomberg TV India ¬ Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Singapore, Asia) 2013: • 7th rank in ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ award • Award for ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with the business • HR Leadership Award Other recognitions: Alok had served on the distinguished panel of NASSCOM's GIC (Global In-house Centers) National Council members. The council members play a key role in major initiatives of the industry and include the torch bearers of IT industry as panel members. Books and Papers: Alok is an established author, with three books to his credit. Alok’s third and latest book, a novel, “The Spy from Unaula” is a 2015 publication. A handwriting analysis enthusiast, Alok collaborated with his wife Nandani on the book, “Handwriting Speaks” in 2006. “Value Sourcing – Future of IT Outsourcing” was co-authored with Keith Sherwell (currently CIO, Altice USA) and was released in 2013. Alok also researched and published two whitepapers: a. “Creating next generation captives” talks about the best practices that are helping generate higher value from the IT company captives.

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