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Companies Will Need To Be Agile To Adapt, Reinvent

Education, healthcare, financial services will grow along with 12 iconic sites identified in tourism to make India a world class tourist spot

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Currently at $2.3 trillion, India is expected to become a $5-trillion economy by 2025, according to Morgan Stanley. Disruption is happening in every sphere and has become a way of life. Companies, established or startup, need to be agile enough to adapt, reinvent or perish.

Young startups take just a few years or even less to get a billion-dollar valuation — Slack (1.25 years), Twitter (2.46 years), Airbnb (3 years), etc. India’s Ola took three years to become a Unicorn while Flipkart took five. At the same time, average lifespan of S&P 500 companies is coming down from 67 years in the 1920s to 15 years, according to a Yale study.

A company cannot sustain without constantly re-inventing itself, and we are seeing a lot of positive interest among large investors, foreign and domestic, who want to invest in startups within their sectors. Sixty-eight percent of the top S&P 500 companies are now engaging with startups.

India, for instance, with over 22,000 startups has overtaken the US and UK to hold the distinction of being the country with the second largest number of startups in the world. Startups have received around $17.8 bn in funding since January 2016.

Since April 2016, our startup team within Invest India has answered over 85,000 queries, 63 perent of which have come from tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Women entrepreneurship is also rising with 13 percent of all startups being founded by women. States are coming out with startup specific policies; 18 states in India now have startup policies.

The goal to develop India’s digital sector into a $1-trillion economy means investing in new and emerging technologies like AI, IoT, analytics and Blockchain and developing favourable policies to promote the adoption of these technologies. This, in turn, will have a significant role in the way we live, work and play. While there is concern that digital transformation will take away jobs, it also creates jobs that require newer and perhaps more high-level skill sets.

A recent study by McKinsey Global Institute found that about one-fifth of the global workforce will be impacted by automation. The study said that in India, automation will only impact about 9 percent of the jobs. However, automation and new technologies will create newer opportunities, and the workforce will need to be retrained in new skillsets. A Gartner study says that while AI will lead to a loss of 1.8 million jobs globally by 2020, it will create 2.3 million new jobs.

Public sector jobs, which have a higher level of daily interaction, will continue to shy away from remote working. However, this sector has also started embracing technology, moving to digital/electronic files, for instance, from paper files, using videoconferencing facilities where required and thereby reducing travel, etc. However, as real estate becomes costly and harder to find, private sector companies, which are generally more agile, look to different options including remote, flexi or work space sharing arrangements.

Growth in infrastructure spending will continue. India needs $5 trillion to build its roads, highways, industrial corridors, smart cities, railways, airports and ports and sustain the economic growth. The renewable energy sector will be another growth area as India increasingly embraces clean energy to power the nation. The automotive sector will thrive to hire people with different skill sets. Education, healthcare, financial services will grow along with 12 iconic sites identified in tourism to make India a world class tourist spot.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Magazine 28 April 2018 entrepreneurship workforce

Suja Chandy

The author is Vice President, Invest India

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