Top 6 sectors that will CREATE JOBS for young graduates in 2012
Prof Dr Pradeep Pendse, Dean IT/E-Business/Business Design, Welingkar Institute of Management Development And Research explores the leading sectors that will create jobs for young graduates in the country and tells us why they are here to stay. Read on.
May you live in interesting times' is a quote which is apt for Indians at this point of time.
Widespread opportunities witnessed during the past 2 decades as a result of the tremendous strides which India has made during this period.
However to understand the impact of the India's economic story on career opportunities it is important to go a little deeper and unravel the various dimensions of this growth story.
The Growth story
The growth of industries such as Banking and Finance, Telecom, Television/Media, Automobiles, FMCG industries, Retail and in particular the export oriented IT/ITES sector have given a tremendous boost to the Indian economy.
The growth of service industries has also been significant and the growth continues, with the number of people employed in agriculture gradually showing a decrease.
A sustained growth rate in the range of 7-9 percent has given a fillip to both investment and consumption creating opportunities for a now burgeoning middle class.
The world is looking at India both as a hub for outsourcing as well as a potential market for their goods and services. An increasing number of Foreign MNCs have been setting foot on Indian shores to explore and exploit this large consumer base, which seems to be waiting to be tapped.
Image: Used for representation purpose only
Indians at the forefront of the world economy
The growing importance of Indian Executives such as Indira Nooyi (PepsiCo), Anshu Jain (Deutche Bank), Harish Manwani (Unilever Board) and several others indicates the desire of these companies to assign leadership to such executives who understand Indian/Asian markets and consumers.
Ever since the noted Management Guru Late Dr.C.K. Prahlad used the term 'Bottom of the Pyramid', a whole new world seems to have opened up.
Rural and urban poor and even those in these areas who have been underserved suddenly seem to have a huge untapped opportunity both for balanced development as well as for driving consumption. The exposure to Television and other media, transport and high penetration of mobile communications have created awareness and aspiration for products and services hitherto found only in cities.
Several organisations have tried to understand this market and create services and products suitable for this population.
Notable among them have been banking and financial services, FMCG and pharma industries. With RBI's model of correspondent banking and intermediaries companies such as FINO and other micro credit and micro banking companies have evolved in recent times.
While the focus on rural is growing, urbanisation has become equally important. Apart from the 6 metro cities, several next level cities and towns have seen tremendous movement of people largely driven by job opportunities as well as development and lifestyle expectations.
Nasscom over the past few years has identified several next level towns such as Nagpur, Nasik, Trivandrum and the like and has been strongly advocating to government and entrepreneurs to setup ventures in these places considering the availability of low cost talent.
This would lead to job creation in IT/ITES and the multiplier effect in other industries such as travel, hospitality and other services such as car rentals, housing etc.
1. IT and ITES
While IT continues to be a career hotspot for engineers and MBAs in the areas of development, business analysis, Project Management, testing and transition management, many large IT companies are now trying to transform themselves into prime contractors for the western customers.
The long relationship and credibility may lead to some part of the industry to transcend itself to the level of consulting. Another direction which some of these companies are taking is to build frameworks, products or platforms -- this could completely change the business models of these companies.
The software as a service model can provide an opportunity for such companies to extend their offerings globally through what is commonly known as a Cloud based model. Product and platform development requires product management experience which can at times be borrowed from other industries known for such expertise.
Any process in any industry which can be done by someone outside the organisation can become a potential target for outsourcing to the cheapest and best destination.
The recent growth in the Clinical Research organisations or CROs, legal process outsourcing, tax BPOs, tech support for Information Technology products and even patent tracking services indicates the potential for this sector. What is equally important to note is that the growth of the domestic market is bound to fuel growth in ITES for servicing the domestic customers.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh
2. Automobile and Telecom
The spurt in use of automobiles, two wheelers and commercial vehicles is leading to a growth in the automotive sector including car manufacturers and their ancillary units in off-metro locations thereby creating new opportunities in these areas.
Telecom and mobile phones have high penetration levels in large cities as well as smaller towns and feeder villages. The use of mobile phone for payments and for other applications has the potential to dramatically change the situation.
While at the moment it may seem to be limited to the high end smart phone users, the cheap smart phones supported by Indian language applications could be the game changers.
The ability to conduct business (with capital and communication being more accessible) even from remote villages could make migration less attractive. Telecom still has its growth potential with opportunities to offer new services thanks to cheaper handset costs and greater access to new technologies such as 3G etc.
Careers in telecom largely revolve around marketing, commercial, service and managing technology. Mobile applications would be the next growth area.
Applications could range from video on mobile to gaming and even educational services of various kinds each bringing in opportunities for technology and management professionals.
Telecom related value added Service companies would be the other growth areas. With shrinking Average Revenue per User (ARPU) telecom companies are moving vigorously to offer a variety of services developed by their affiliates VAS companies.
3. Health Care
Health care is yet other area of both opportunity as well as concern in India.
While the metros have seen a boom in health care facilities, the sheer cost of land in such places makes quality health care out of bounds for the common person.
The same is true for both for rural poor where even basic medical facilities required for child birth are lacking not to mention critical illness. While health care has its own set of specialisations, the effective management of healthcare has become vital given the size and sophistication of the industry.
Innovative models such as those demonstrated by Arvind Netralaya etc can be seen as an inspiration towards new business models for providing affordable and quality health care. This can be a boon for Pharma-MBA graduates. Several related fields have opened up -- the Pharma industry itself is transforming into a form akin to organised retail or FMCG. Biotechnology, CROs and health record BPOs are emerging the way IT companies did in the past.
While India is seen as a largely young population, the number of aged in India and across the world is very sizeable. It would be necessary to develop products and services catering to the aging populations world wide. This provides and opportunities for practically every industry from healthcare to transport to telecom to entertainment
4. International business/Entrepreneurship
While rural and domestic markets have provided opportunities for industry growth -- every industry has eyed markets abroad.
The exposure to international markets due to the opening up of the economy, the entry of MNCs in India, extensive movement of Indians in the form of NRIs now residing in western countries has given a new found confidence among Indians in general and entrepreneurs in particular.
Many leading Indian companies have taken over companies abroad. The iconic Land Rover and Corus taken over by the Tatas, Arcelor taken over by Mittals and several IT /ITES, pharma and other companies investing abroad to gain a local presence on foreign shores has created new opportunities for Indian executives on foreign shores.
Population which was once considered a bane of the Indian society has suddenly emerged as a huge asset for the country.
Hidden under all these trends are certain specific career hotspots. Sales, service and operations in rural Banking, Insurance, Microcredit and other financial services is one such opportunity.
While Banking services have grown, nearly 75 percent of Indian is still unbanked. This is only speaking of banking -- the penetration of insurance both life and non-life also offers tremendous growth opportunity.
In recent years e-commerce has seen nearly a fivefold increase. While consumer transactions are still of low value, the total e-commerce revenues has grown to about Rs 2000 crores while the digital media spends have shown a healthy trend as well.
The new age companies include those such as MakeMyTrip.com, SnapDeals.com, Flipcart.com, not to mention big MNC brands such as Google, e-Bay etc which have established their presence in India.
E-commerce opens opportunities for technology and business professionals.
Equally, e-commerce involves logistics, warehousing and supply chain providing opportunity for ground level and management professionals in these areas.
6. FMCG, Retail and Agri-business
A similar trend can be seen in the manufacture, sales, distribution and service in the durables, FMCG, Pharma and Agri industry related products and services.
Opportunity in Retail for second and third level cities is bound to grow. It is known that 85 percent of the retail industry is still unorganised indicating a growth potential for this sector. FDI in retail will further fuel this growth.
Likewise, if the urban Indian customer loves the experience of organised retail, the rural and town customer is not far behind. Organised retail can therefore offer careers across metro and non metros alike.
Contract farming, retail supply chains managed by large retail companies and intermediaries will lead to higher levels of aggregation and sophistication of farming. Thus the field of Agri-business will call for more effective management and new business models.
One area which needs to be addressed is the demand for various kinds of services to support both for rural as well as urban settings. The government has moved in this direction with the formulation of a policy on vocational skills to empower the rural and urban lower middle class and poor to tap into this opportunity.
The global picture
While all this sounds very encouraging the fierce competition, the need to adapt foreign products to the Indian context, the access to information would tend to commoditise products and services faster than ever before.
It is therefore imperative that businesses learn to innovate constantly and differentiate themselves from their competitors just to stay ahead in the race.
The success of Apple, Samsung and several others have shown the importance of design-led innovation as means of creating value for themselves and the customers.
The additional focus on the environment brings in new opportunities for redesigning even existing products to meet the new expectations of customers and governments. Globally responsible and innovative business leaders are therefore required in every area of business and industry.
Hence opportunities abound, innovation is the key it is time to forget the past and identify what one enjoys doing and is best at and prepare for the future.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh