The Year That Was-Career trends seen in 2017

So, it’s that time of the year again… The time to wrap up professional commitments, the time to make new resolutions, the time to party hard and the time to bring in the new year with the loved ones. While most of us get busy with all this, let us take some time to also sit back and look at the year gone by.  After all, the happenings of 2017 will set the stage for 2018, isn’t it?

In this post, we will talk about the career and employment landscape in India. Let’s take a quick look at all the activities that marked 2017; the developments, the events, what worked and what didn’t.

Here we go…

(1) Automation

The biggest buzzword in the Indian job scene was automation. Time is money and every business wants a quick turnaround in their operations, As a result, close to 60% of the repetitive tasks in IT, telecom and manufacturing sector have been delegated to systems with Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation by 2017. This requires very limited human intervention. As most the operations are outsourced to India, the partners in developed countries are insisting on getting run-off-the mill tasks to be automated. The aim is to reduce costs, enhance productivity, focus on more important tasks, be more competitive and expand the operations.

(2) Layoffs in telecom, IT and manufacturing

Major IT players in India were in news as they laid off almost 50% of their workforce. Many of the highly paid professionals were rendered jobless overnight. . The layoffs were seen as a knee-jerk reaction to a sudden preference of automation in the IT sector. Not only the IT sector, but the slowdown in economy due to domestic and global factors also led many telecom and manufacturing companies to downsize their workforce. This led to a period of tension and pressure in the job market. Some laid-off employees chose to launch their entrepreneurial venture while others decided to utilize the time to get re-skilled for better prospects.

(3) Preference towards blended team

The gig economy in India is slowly gaining momentum. This did not happen overnight but by the end of 2017, freelancing and contract-based services have become prominent features. A report suggests that India is estimated to have around 1.5 crore freelancers and it currently contributes to 40% of the global freelancing business. Most companies today prefer a blended team consisting of full-time employees as well as freelancers, service vendors or specialized professionals. Work-life-balance, flexibility and entrepreneurial streaks have prompted many individuals to be freelancers. On the other hand, companies find it economical to pay per task or outsource the mechanical ones to freshers, and assign the tasks demanding expertise to skilled professionals on contract. The full time employees are on-board for more consistent tasks and co-ordination.

(4) More employment in Fin Techs start-ups (mobile wallet and payment apps)

Demonetization in India happened towards the end of 2016 and this gave a new impetus to cashless economy. As a result, 2017 saw the rise of Fin tech and mobile payment apps and a lot of job creation was seen in that area.  Paytm, Citrus Pay, Jio Money etc are some of the prominent employers. A leading recruitment agency stated that since this is a newly evolved industry, it is expected see at least a 20% increase in hiring due to new e-wallets and payments banks. This is attributed to the large scale of e-commerce business and financials going online. What is more interesting to note is that most of these recruits are fresh graduates. A study by job portal Indeed, revealed that about 57% of job postings from these Fintech companies are fresh graduates.

(5) Businesses going in for increased tie-ups with educational institutes

2017 saw many corporates associating themselves with educational institutes to train and hire skilled workforce. Konkan railways signed an agreement with IIT Bombay to develop George Fernandes Institute of Tunnel Technology to help under-graduates gain practical experience, while the NCDEX Institute of Commodity Markets and Research (NICR) tied-up with Kredent Academy to launch an online training portal for commodity futures trading. Hyundai has tied-up with SGM Government Polytechnic College, Hyderabad as a part of skill development program.  Due to lack of skilled workforce, corporates are directly associating themselves with educational institutes and training candidates from the initial stages itself. This trend is likely to gain momentum in times to come.

(6) GST leads to increased demand for IT, accounting and tax professionals

The rollout of the much-awaited Goods and Service tax in July, 2017 has infused new optimism in the job market. Before the effective date and even after that companies were busy recruiting professionals to set up their GST teams. Many Fintech companies and GST software providers hired IT professionals and Chartered Accountants. Staffing company Teamlease stated that it expects one lakh immediate new employment opportunities in the field of taxation, law, data analysis and accounting, post the GST rollout.

Wrapping Up

2017 has paved way for many positive developments in times to come. Let us sign off with the anticipation that the economic measures taken in India will lead to an expansion of skilled workforce and bring in improvements on the employment front in 2018.


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