According to a World Bank research in 2016 “Automation threatens 69% of the jobs in India.” Today, we are living in a world where machines are also learning!
Mankind is determined to develop Intelligent Machines to eliminate human hardships and to elevate quality of life. We are already in the midst of 4th Industrial Revolution.
Today technologies like Automation, Internet of Thing, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Robots etc already impact our daily life, irrespective of our social class. For an example, right now we are in the midst of one of the biggest pandemic in last 100 years ‘Novel Corona virus’ and the ‘Originator’ of the virus i.e Mainland China is using technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Robots to identify and quarantine the infected individuals to curb the transmission of the virus. Now Just Imagine backwards, someone proposing this idea a few months back that Technologies like AI and Robots can be used to control spread of ‘Diseases’, we would have probably ignored this idea by terming it ‘over the top’.
But, this is happening for real, right In-front of us. This example signifies one of the major characteristics of the 4th Industrial revolution, the ‘rate of adoption of technologies’ today is extremely quick as compared to history.
Now let us look at a simpler trend example of our own country, Indian Industrial automation industry is about $2bn as of now; but it is projected to be about $7bn by 2030, which is more than 3 times the current industry size. Currently there are about 40,000 industrial robots operational in India and the Industrial Robots installation in India has grown at a rate of 39% in 2018.
On the other hand, most of us have come across reports about ‘employability’ of engineers in India. As per statistics data, due to the ongoing global slowdown, the current unemployment rate is hovering near all-time high. But at the same time when we ask employers in any industry, most of them have open vacancies which they find very difficult to fill. There is indeed a severe shortage of rightly skilled manpower in India.
This scenario, the lack of rightly skilled manpower makes it a ‘NEED’ for companies to go for even more automation on their shop floor. Most of the machine manufacturers as well as end users, OEM, Tier 1 suppliers in India are already implementing Industrial IoT.
Industry4.0 technologies e.g. IoT delivers unprecedented value in terms of improvement of OEE – Overall Equipment Effectiveness and OPE – Overall Production Effectiveness to businesses, and for the many benefits and problems that it solves, the rate of adoption of Industry4.0 technology along with Automation and Robotics is phenomenal.
Today the factories, even with their legacy equipment are getting upgraded to ‘Connected factories’. Some of the ‘Mega’ factories today are already capable of functioning autonomously for months, without any human!
We like it or not, Automation is taking it over. As per World Economic Forum projections:
“by 2022 more than 75 million jobs may be lost as companies shift to more automation.” but the projections have an upside too: “133 million new jobs will emerge during that period, as businesses develop a new division of labor between people and machines.”
Now the challenge for Industrial Automation companies is even higher. Increase in automation requirement in market but shortage of rightly skilled manpower for themselves. In case of Industrial Robots there are only a handful of skilled professionals in India.
Indian industries and Manpower both are not yet prepared to imbibe what exactly Industry3.0 technologies (Automation, Robots) had to offer already. But Industry4.0 is something like a ‘Genie’ which is out of the bottle and cannot be put back.
In this scenario, the only way forward for all of us is to Embrace Automation Wholeheartedly and reskill ourselves as per our respective domains.
In January 2020, India has joined WEF’s reskilling revolution as the founding member. Let us together take India to $5tn economy and, for that to happen, all of us have to rise up to the occasion and be our best-selves, and that is possible only if we can learn, reskill, upskill. So, find the right platform in whichever domain you are and start learning!