Innovation and entrepreneurship are the keys to boost manufacturing and job creation, contrary to fears that automation may stunt jobs, say IT industry experts.
E-commerce is a good example of how technology-driven innovation can give rise to both skilled as well as unskilled jobs over the past three to four years, Persistent Systems Chairman and Managing Director Anand Deshpande said.
“Both skilled and unskilled jobs have to be created in order to have a balanced society,” he added addressing a robotics symposium at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) here over the weekend.
Ashank Desai, the founder and ex-chairman of Mastek chipped in saying “entrepreneurship that leverages technology is the next phase of our growth story and is key to the success of the Make in India mission contrary to the fear that it may lead to job losses.”
Deshpande said his company is working on a plan to promote self-employment among 25,000 people in the next five years.
“Our youth can offer cheap and innovative solutions to solving problems. I am working on a plan to ensure over 25,000 people are self employed in the next five years which can lead to further job creation,” he said.
On the Smart India Hackathon organised jointly by Nasscom, his company and others last week across 26 cities to solve digital challenges faced by the country, Deshpande said youngsters were coding for 36 hours non-stop to solve problems put forth by government departments.
“They have put forward a total of 598 problem statements that were solved at the hackathon. As many as 1,268 teams having six to eight members each from almost all the states which participated in the hackathon,” Deshpande said.
“It is important to channelise young minds for fresh solutions. Such partnerships and initiatives are key to move forward. They are parallel processes along with regulatory push,” he stressed.
Desai pointed out that after their failed manufacturing push in the 1950s and 1960s, the ongoing push to increase manufacturing hold scope for a young population.
“We are a late entrant into manufacturing compared to China and other developing countries. But the present push to increase manufacturing has the advantage of young population and the digital push,” he said.
Citing example of the IT industry in the 1980s and 1990s, he said growth story was driven the intellectual prowess and several first generation entrepreneurs.
“Both these are present in the current startup wave,” Desai said.
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