Automation, minibots, machine learning and adaptive intelligence are becoming part of the finance team at lightning speed. As routine tasks become automated, finance professionals will be freed up to focus on more judgment-intensive activities. Some jobs will transform and newer roles will emerge.
Machines will continue to need humans. It is only when machines are complemented by human involvement that we fully realize the societal benefits of technology.
Even in the age of artificial intelligence, humans need to frame the problems that we want computers to solve. With robots doing many jobs better and faster, humans will be able to spend more time on higher-level or creative tasks. Computers might have abolished the need for every company to have a “typing pool” – but they’ve created a whole service industry of IT support staff and analysts that cannot be automated.
For every job lost through automation, claim the World Economic Forum, almost three new ones will be created. The very concept of work is being redefined as different generations enter and exit the workforce amidst a rapidly changing technological landscape. India needs a collaborative effort. It will have to create a long term ecosystem that trains and educates professionals.
Universities are now revising their educational blueprint to adapt to this technological disruption in the finance job market. Business schools are planning to offer so-called “fintech” in their MBA programmes, hoping to teach students how to become masters of financial technology. BSE has also taken leadership in this field by promoting BFSI sector skill council along with leading financial institutions in India. BFSI sector skill council is run out of this building and has been preparing the skill sets and curriculum requires for banking and financial services sectors requirement.
The training institute provides certifications to more than 40,000 finance professionals every year. BSE training Institute also runs an incubator with Ryerson University of Canada which has already funded more than 80 start ups and is considered to the most successful incubator in India today. We plan to train over next several years, more than 50 lakh people in acquiring skills so that they can work as employees or entrepreneurs in the fields of banking, stock market, insurance, micro finance, mutual funds etc.
While much has been said about the need for reform in basic education, it is simply not possible to endure the current technological revolution by waiting for the next generation’s workforce to become better prepared. Instead it is critical that businesses take an active role in supporting their current workforces through re-training, that individuals take a proactive approach to their own lifelong learning and that Governments create the enabling environment, rapidly and creatively, to assist these efforts.
Ashish Kumar Chauhan, MD & CEO, Bombay Stock Exchange, writes this piece for the latest edition of FICCI’s Financial Foresights.