Is automation good for a country like India ?
Recently Nitin Gadkari announced that the government will not give approvals for self driving car in India. The reason quoted by him was that it’ll lead to loss of jobs due to automation. Before we even dwell upon that view of the government, the question that comes to me is whether can we even implement the self driving tech in the current road infrastructure. “The driverless car is ready for the road. But is the road ready for the car?” said the strategy head of Tata Elxsi group. The government needs to understand that we need drastic improvement in our infrastructure to be able to support the automation in every sector be it roads for self driving cars or workforce in the service industry. Improving our infrastructure and skilling our workforce to be automation ready should be the priority of the government instead of not embracing automation.
Most of the government in the world is scared of loss of jobs due to automation. What they need to understand is that automation will not lead to loss of jobs, instead it’ll lead to transformation of jobs. If people from a call center is replaced by chat bot, then half of that workforce will also be employed for developing, maintaining and tweaking that chat bot. Rest half of the call center will be retained and a premium will be charged from a customer which will eventually lead to improvement of the quality of life for the people employed at the call center. Not in distant future, all the basic and free services offered by a company will be handled by machines and bots whereas the premium service will only be passed to human employee where machines will supplement us to service better.
This change is scary but history has taught us that only change is constant.
The technology takes a quantum leap every 5 years with which we have to cope up. The competition is so stiff that lackadaisical attitude will drive the clients to companies that have come up in smaller countries which embrace the latest tech and pioneer in it. Automation or bots or efficient process will be the ask of the clients for the next decade instead of cheap resource. We have one of the youngest population in the world which gives us an advantage of easily skilling our workforce. Skilling the workforce for the right job is only possible if government accepts the fact that India needs to embrace the automation and drive the transformation of the industry by making automation our strength.