Recently, i was discussing the current and future jobs scenario with one of my clients. It was a casual discussion over lunch. He is an angel investor. The discussion started when he asked me what all criterion he should consider investing in a startup or a company. In his case, out of 10 investments, only 6 are profitable. It reduces his overall profitability and he is not a happy soul. Therefore, he is more keen to improve his strike rate. As i shared in my previous posts that automation will kill most of the jobs in future. At the same time, it will be golden opportunity for investors to invest in startups/companies working towards Automation. If you are an entrepreneur, the best business to start is in an automation domain. The automation can be in any field. Because of this reason the discussion shifted to Jobs scenario :).
The big question is why the adoption rate for automation will be HIGH. Secondly, Why the companies will invest heavily in automation. The answer to both these queries is to reduce HIGH COST. To become profitable either a business should reduce cost or increase revenue. Trust me to reduce cost is easier compared to increasing revenue. Therefore, companies don’t shy away from investment in automation. Though the upfront cost is HIGH but in the long run, it will help to cut jobs and reduce overall operational cost.
The best part of staying in India is that you can gauge what is coming your way. It will help to prepare yourself for future. It is important to keep a close eye on what is happening in the western world and around you. All these happenings will have a direct impact on you in future. Have you ever wondered what happened to the jobs of announcers at railway stations, typists or telephone operators? No one imagined during those days that these jobs will be extinct one day and so soon :(. During those days, a lot of research was happening around IVR, text to speech, speech recognition, computers, next gen communication etc. Therefore, a technological evolution or revolution sweeps away jobs at large scale. In this post, i am listing down jobs that will be extinct in next 10 years. To stay employed will be next BIG CHALLENGE for large no of employees.
Jobs That Are in Danger and Will Go Extinct by 2025
1. Call Centre/BPO Jobs:
In my opinion, the biggest casualty will be BPO jobs. Of late, the companies have started interacting with customers or potential customers through social media channels. Recently, i registered a complaint with one of the banks through twitter. Trust me it was attended and resolved faster compared to a traditional channel. Growing popularity of Social Media Channel is the biggest threat to BPO or call center jobs. The other popular mediums are email or live chat. In a live chat, the executive can chat with 2-3 customers simultaneously thus reducing cost.
In another instance, i called the helpline no of a one of the sanitaryware company. The IVR guided me to enter my mobile no and area pin code. It then prompted me to record my complaint. Once i voice recorded my complaint, i immediately received the complaint ref number through IVR and also through SMS.
Lastly, the companies are encouraging the customers to access basic details/queries answered through a mobile app, USSD, SMS etc. The telecom companies charge the caller to speak to a customer care executive. It reduced no of calls to less than 1/3rd. In some of the cases, i struggled to find out on how to speak to customer care executive. Therefore, the company makes it difficult to access option of speaking to a customer care executive.
In a traditional setup, the call center executives listen to a customer complaint and register the complaint. For providing basic information, they are dependent on the details available their screen. There is NO VALUE addition. The registered complaints are routed to back end teams for resolution. The above-mentioned instances eliminate the need for BPO jobs. It will be huge savings for the company. Therefore, in my opinion, BPO jobs will go extinct by 2025.
2. IT Jobs:
Here i am using the word IT in a wide perspective. It includes both hardware and software. On the hardware front, the cloud storage will KILL the business of physical storage devices. On the other hand, automation will kill the software services jobs like that of testers, programmer etc. The automation of troubleshooting/client support will KILL the back end jobs. As an end user, i experienced the same recently. I am using DELL laptop and i was facing some hardware problem. On DELL website, the troubleshooting section prompted me to install two software i.e. dell system detect and dell system assist on my laptop. This software detected my system and after screening my laptop, the dell assist software suggested a possible solution/s. You know what my hardware problem got resolved without any human intervention.
On the daily basis, i go through news of layoffs in top IT companies. The software solutions available these days are highly customizable thus require the least manpower. If you would like to know the future of automation then you may study about IOT (Internet of Things). It does not require human intervention. It is the network of physical objects embedded with electronics, software, sensor, network etc that enables these objects to collect and exchange information. The IOT will transform next 5 years. It is estimated that 50 billion devices will be IOT connected by 2020. In future, the IT systems will be fully automated and will not require human intervention. The human intervention will be restricted to monitoring of the same. Thus, most of the jobs of IT will become redundant in future.
3. Marketing Jobs:
Once the marketing function was considered think tank for any organization. The digital marketing is the new buzzword. Every now and then we read that digital marketing will create maximum jobs in future. Today we are going through a phase wherein any one who knows D of Digital Marketing command a premium in jobs marketing. This scenario was last seen in early years of last decade. Anyone who knew J of Java had one of the best jobs.
For me, it is quite fun to listen to people who are so called “Digital Market” Experts. Their knowledge is limited to running campaigns on Facebook, Twitter etc. Digital Marketing is a vast subject and is a potential threat to traditional Marketing Jobs. There is a lot of undercurrent in the marketing domain. Some organizations believe that if the product is good then they don’t need marketing function. Another danger is mushrooming of 3rd party agencies or companies i.e. outsourcing of marketing (Read Digital Marketing) function. Recently Xiaomi as a brand used Digital Marketing effectively to create a lot of buzz around Xiaomi Redmi Note 3.
Another factor that works in favor of Digital marketing is that it results are measurable. On the other it is impossible to gauge the impact of Newspaper Ad. Moreover, Digital marketing does not require too many resources to handle the digital marketing functions. Analytics/Report is readily available and the only job of a digital marketing professional is decision making. The turnaround time is very fast. I can stop or run a campaign at the click of a mouse.
The offline marketing is too crowded. Moreover, as more and more people are spending more time on mobile/online, it makes sense to invest in digital marketing. The campaigns can be targeted i.e. TG is defined. Last but not least, Digital Marketing presence is much cheaper compared to traditional Marketing. Therefore, in my opinion, Marketing Jobs will go extinct by 2025 and it will be completely replaced by digital marketing. The work force requirement in digital marketing will be 1/20th of the current workforce.
4. Banking Jobs:
Recently one of the news that could not find much coverage in India is the launch of New App – Only Bank ATOM. 30,000 account holders have already signed up for the same. You can bank only through Mobile App and there is no physical bank exists. The banking jobs are under serious threat from the onslaught of Digital Wallets, future online or app only banks, UPI etc. To increase the usage of Digital Money, the Govt of India mooted a proposal to abolish the charges on Debit/Credit Card transactions. The digital money will also eliminate black money from the system.
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana was the right step in this direction. A RuPay debit card was issued to encourage the use of debit card. In one of my post, i shared my views on Social Media Banking. Therefore, a lot of action is happening on the digital money front. Recently, RBI also launched NPCI’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI). The objective is to make India a Cashless Economy. The experts are referring to UPI as one of the best innovation in the financial sector. I will cover UPI in a separate post. The point i am trying to make is that vision of India as a Cashless Economy will make physical banking redundant. Therefore, Banking Jobs are in danger and at high risk because of developments in digital money space. The biggest casualty will be operational jobs in the Banking Sector.
5. Publishing Business:
The readership of Newspaper, Magazines and Books is on a sharp decline. Recently, i stopped my Newspaper the reason i was going through all the relevant content online and could not find time to go through the newspaper. The newspapers are encouraging readers to subscribe to ePaper. Moreover, mobile is personalized device and i have subscribed to news articles based on my personal choice. of late i was wondering that reading a newspaper is actually a waste of time. The reason being you need to manually scan all the news to find out relevant ones.
In another instance, i gifted a Kindle to my kid. Quite amazingly my elder child is more comfortable reading books on kindle compared to physical books. One day i told to read physical books besides digital books on Kindle else physical book reading habit will die. The answer from 8-year-old kid quite surprised me. My elder child told me that if we order books on kindle then these books in digital format will be used for the sibling. The books in physical form are damaged. The new generation is quite smart. A book in digital form costs less than a physical book or can be provided for free also. Recently, NCERT decided to provide all it’s books in digital form/online for FREE on “e-paathshala”.
The biggest casualty will be jobs at a lower level like that of a newspaper delivery boy. There are lacs of them across India. All the jobs related to publishing business will be at risk in case the reach of the internet grows at expected rate. The content is a commodity now and only the differentiated content will survive in the value chain.
6. HR Jobs:
Already HR is a redundant function in many organizations. It is reduced to administrative profile like to book hotels/taxis for employees i.e. more of facility management. If there is large scale cut down in the jobs then side effect of same is cut down in HR jobs. Personally, i fail to understand the value addition of HR function in any organization. In most of the companies, HR is considered to be a SPY of BIG BOSS. Therefore, employees are careful of HR guys. The function of recruitment and salary processing is already outsourced by most of the companies. The biggest myth is that HR helps to retain employees and increase employee engagement. My client told me that HR helps to recruit good employees. I asked him then why your employees get a lower rating of 1, 2 or 3. if only best performing employees are hired then every employee should get a rating of 4 & 5. You may argue that performance is judged relatively. You go and ask any HR, s/he will tell you that there is 30%-40% dead wood in their organization.
Words of Wisdom: Due to fast changing world some of the jobs will be redundant in future. If you are salaried employee, it is better to judge and gauge the upcoming changes/jobs scenario so that you will be better prepared. At regular intervals, you should ask yourself can i rely on my job?. If the answer is NO then it is time to introspect. Sometimes external factors are responsible for the Job Loss. If the above-mentioned scenarios become reality then the jobs highlighted by me will become redundant. The organization will not have any other option but to layoff an employee.
Update July 06, 2016:
Today Business Standard reported that IT jobs are in danger because of automation. According to Nasscom, by 2025, approx 260 mn jobs will be replaced or augmented. New job additions are already on the decline. You can check the following link for a complete news report.
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