Soft skills are in high demand today


July 15 2022::Across the country, the technology sector has been growing at an unprecedented rate. With an influx of new-age technologies coming into the limelight and driving this growth, it has presented today’s workforce with a huge opportunity to grow in tandem. Upskilling has hence become an important part of the growth agenda for both employers and employees. On World Youth Skills Day, here’s what leaders from across the technology sector have to say:

Shantanu Sonaikar, Co-Founder & Director, Pi Green Innovations:

Encourage our youths to pursue fields that are more sustainable, traditional, and eco-friendly

Skill development for the next generation is a core requirement for every nation, and the right guidance and partnerships to nurture and motivate youth are crucial. Today, the employability of youth in this over-competitive world depends on their desire and enthusiasm to practically learn and polish their skill-sets by applying knowledge, consistently focusing on upgrading skills, utilising evolving technologies, and developing the ability to learn and relearn fresh aspects to deal and adapt with everyday economic situations.

We should also encourage our youths to pursue fields that are more sustainable, traditional, and eco-friendly. Today, on World Youth Skills Day, I urge every leader to inspire our youths to take paths that not only assure a new world for us but also a valuable and viable one for our environment.

Bishan Jain, Director at Goldmedal Electricals:

It is crucial to foster risk-taking skills in today's youngsters 

As we celebrate World Youth Skills Day, I would like to urge all to pledge toward nurturing tomorrow's thought leaders, change-makers and entrepreneurs through proper guidance and education that is curated to improve their skills. Being the leaders of today, we should fulfil our responsibility of offering practical, innovative, and technical-driven guidance to the young entrepreneurs of today. It is crucial to foster risk-taking skills in today's youngsters and ensure that their enthusiasm for learning and innovative thinking is never compromised. As the world transitions to a sustainable approach to development, it is crucial to emphasise the growing role of skills. The youth must also look forward to maintaining the right balance with nature by imbibing the right values for the well-being of our environment.

Rajesh Uttamchandani, Director at Syska:

Our future power must be provided with structured education, established skill sets

With the world's largest population base, our country has the potential to witness the highest increase in its workforce in the upcoming decade compared to any other nation. For our future power force to be effective, they must be provided with structured education, established skill sets, and a desire to generate new sources of economic advantage for the country. To make India one of the world's leading youth-skilled powered nations, we as Indian leaders must collaborate with the educational system, workforce community, and skill development institutes and organizations to accomplish a better future. We should actively start eliminating impediments in the employment system by curating and funding upskilling programs according to their interest and world trends to motivate them and prepare them for the ever-evolving world. Regular implementation of correct business values and morals should also be implemented during these training programs to make them better leaders of tomorrow. Additionally, it is essential to emphasise the expanding importance of skills as the world moves toward a sustainable approach to development. By instilling the essential ethics for the welfare of our environment, the youth must also look forward to keeping a healthy balance with nature. As we mark the occasion of World Youth Skills Day, as leaders of today, we should devote ourselves to supporting and encouraging the development of numerous specialized skills at individual, institutional and organizational levels.

Neetha Thomas, Vice President, Human Capital, LogiNext:

Soft skills are among the most crucial abilities that a person should possess

Hiring in the tech industry is a topic that is always in the news! After the first wave of IT services, the current boom in the tech industry involves new technologies and it requires a different mindset. The new skills in tech have to do with building world class products and not services. This is where the gap is coming in. Building global products, especially SaaS, requires a mindset which is new and will take some time to build. In India, initiatives like SaaSBoomi help bring SaaS to the mainstream and help in building more conversations which would result in people gearing up for the requirements of the current times. At LogiNext, the leadership actively participates in industry events and colleges across the country to bring about awareness and bridge the gap. 

The importance of soft skills and industry relevant skills cannot be stressed upon enough. Be it a developer or a designer or a sales person, soft skills is one of the most important skills that a person should develop because at the end of the day, work is about building value for the customer by working with your team. And all the communications are going to be with people. So, it is critical to build soft skills along with your core skills. 

Protima Achaya, India HR Head & APAC Talent Acquisition at NetApp:

There is a big need for firms that are heavily reliant on technology

When the pandemic struck, it just took few weeks to change the way businesses functioned and this laid the foundation for accelerated digital transformation. Since then, India has advanced significantly in its road towards building a digitally-driven nation. To further enhance India’s digital capabilities, it is important to focus on complementary skill development to drive growth across industry sectors.

Despite the fact that there is a high demand for digitally driven businesses, there is a shortage of qualified individuals that can meet these requirements. If we take cloud computing as an example, a study by NASSCOM shows that India is thought to have a requirement of about two million jobs by 2025, but there are only roughly six lakh competent workers in this field. Today, nearly all meaningful consumer applications and services are cloud-based, prompting the need to upskill the workforce in this area as well as allied fields such as devops, big data, cloud native apps, etc.

In a world where skills, particularly those related to technology are so dynamic, the youth need to possess an in-depth knowledge of their specialisation, as well as fundamentals of other disciplines to be competitive in the cut-throat job market. Skills such as artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, cloud fundamentals, real systems thinking, understanding of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) will continue to see a strong demand from employers, and will define the upskilling journey of our young workforce

Lakshmi Mittra, VP and Head, Clover Academy

One tactic for tackling the present skills shortage in the IT industry is to encourage employee upskilling 

With the pandemic introducing all of us to the new normal, digital became the way of life. New-age technologies such as Cloud, AI, RPA and Big data facilitated the creation of a seamless virtual work environment. However, if the talent is not skilled enough to function in such an environment, then it can derail organizations’ digital transformation plans. According to a new Gartner study, businesses consider talent shortage as the biggest barrier to adoption of new technologies.

One way to overcome the prevailing skills shortage in the IT industry is by promoting the upskilling and reskilling of employees. Employees need to be provided with avenues such as ‘short term skilling programs’ for them to enhance their skillsets along with their current job role. For instance, we at Clover Academy - our knowledge and training arm, had received a lot of requests from employees, during and post the pandemic, to offer them short training modules that they can easily access from anywhere and anytime to upskill and reskill themselves. Hence, we had designed brief certification programs in technologies such as cloud, RPA, and cybersecurity to name a few, and made them available for our employees on a central learning and management system. We saw phenomenal participation from our employees.

The technologies that are an integral part of the virtual and hybrid work environment have become the most sought-after in the IT industry. For instance, cloud plays a major role in ensuring seamlessness of the virtual workspaces. Hence, cloud skills have become one of the most lucrative skillsets. RPA and business process automation technologies that enable the creation of a smarter organization by automating the rule-based and redundant tasks are also in great demand.

Further, with the amount of research going on in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) space, its application in the real-world has become more widespread. A plethora of applications that we use on our smart devices are AI and ML powered. Lastly, the significance of ensuring robust security of the digital world cannot be undermined. If we are becoming advanced, then hackers and threat actors are becoming more sophisticated. Hence, cybersecurity has also made it to the most in-demand skillsets list.                   

Ratnadeep Ray, VP & Head of HR India, Druva:

 It is vital for organisations to train and upskill their talents 

Today, organisations are expecting their workforce to have a well-rounded portfolio that showcases innovative thinking, a challenger mindset, digital skills and an overall business logic. With the changing scenario, it becomes vital for organisations to train and upskill their talents to become an expert in their domain to reduce dependency on the market to fill these critical roles. On the occasion of World Youth Skills Day, it is important for organisations to take the first step in bridging the skill gap in India through focussed upskilling programs to meet the growing demand of skilled professionals in the country.