Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

Logistics_Buisness Man

We catch up with CP Gurnani in this exclusive interview on the road ahead for industry

What, according to you, will the Workforce of the Future look Like?

COVID-19 has provided an opportunity for companies to explore uncharted territories with majority of workforce being pushed towards working from home amidst the ‘new normal’. We believe, technology will play the biggest enabler through this digital disruption and economic revival. Every upheaval is an opportunity to experiment and cross the chasm faster, towards solutions.

We also expect to see businesses moving to a hybrid model of working – a mix of ‘Physical’ and ‘Remote’ working. Further, with new-age technologies like 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, data analytics setting in, we will see traditional, labor-intensive jobs being automized; thus replacing non-value added or duplicate/layered jobs. The future workforce will be more agile, diverse, team-oriented, fluid, more human-centered, with increased emphasis on creating meaning and value.

When we look at the workplaces post-pandemic, what should be the new normal? What are top of the mind issues/priorities for key stakeholders – HR and employees? 

While maintaining our old ways of doing business, we need to rapidly adapt emerging technologies and move towards new operating models. This collaboration between the new and the old way of working will define the ‘new normal’. In order to be prepared better for the post-pandemic situation, both employees and employers need to focus on Upskilling and reskilling in the new-age technologies. This involves extensive training sessions on collaboration tools, managing remote working, stress, and crisis management. At Tech Mahindra, we believe that employees are our biggest asset and are key to making us future-ready and deliver-connected experiences. The ‘Learning and Development’ practices at Tech Mahindra equip our associates with the necessary skillsets in areas including leadership, technical, functional, domain, and role-based skilling programs.

During this current crisis, the top priority for business leaders across the world is to ensure employee safety and well-being. Besides that, the challenge in front of us is to continue to build hope amongst our employees and client ecosystem, motivate them, and assure them of positive times ahead. It is critical for leaders to lead with compassion, adopt an empathetic behavior and communicate to the employees about the organization’s purpose and the fact that people will always be a priority.

What has been your experience with digitisation, AI & Robotics in HR? Is India ready for such a huge transformation?

Be it Artificial Intelligence (AI) or automation, these tools are there to support and enhance existing human capabilities and allow them to take better analysed and informed decisions. The rapid adoption of AI and Robotics in HR will automate tedious, time-consuming tasks, augmenting human capabilities and amplifying human-centric functions. At Tech Mahindra, we continue to adapt and invest in the digitization of HR functions. We have implemented an Artificial Intelligence-based Facial Recognition System to register the attendance of employees that has drastically reduced the time spent by an associate in updating the timesheet. We have also introduced Talex – the world’s first AI-driven marketplace of talent that maps skills of the existing talent pool – including each employee’s profile, country, language skills, education, and gender.

Over the years, India has also been promoting and embracing the use of technology. The current crisis has also accelerated the adoption of technology in the country. Under its ‘Digital India’ campaign, the government is promoting the use of technology and aims to make India a digital leader in every aspect. These include connecting rural areas with high-speed internet networks, developing secure and stable digital infrastructure, delivering government services digitally, amongst others. Even state governments are beginning to test technology to modernize and digitally transform themselves. With the government’s right push and industry, academic collaboration we are poised to achieve the dream of becoming a global digital leader.

CP Gurnani is the MD and CEO of Tech Mahindra, and will be one of many stand-out speakers at The Economic Times Workforce of the Future virtual summit, where global leaders put their collective wisdom together and portend what the future holds in for industries across the spectrum.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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