Davos: With a new WEF study warning about a net loss of over five million jobs in next five years due to the fourth industrial revolution, IT giant Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka said there are huge employment opportunities in India but there is a need to impart right skills and training.
Speaking at a session on 'The Promise of Progress' on the job market impact of the fourth industrial revolution, Sikka said there would certainly be disruptions but the new technology would not necessarily create imbalances if right kind of education, connectivity and training is provided to the people.
"There was a big startup event this weekend and it showed there are huge opportunities available in India.
"Do we prepare people for where the world is going to be? We need to impart skills. There has to be disruptions. It should be about what the world is going to be and not what the world used to be," he said.
Sikka dismissed suggestions that the new technology and connectivity would create imbalances.
"If we take a longer and deeper view, the more people have access to jobs, there is more likelihood that the imbalances will go away," he said.
Noting that connectivity has to be viewed as a human right, he said, "if we equip people in the right way, there is no need to worry".
"I am convinced the longer term solution in education, connectivity and creating right skills. What we need to do is promote entrepreneurship and put in place right kind of policies," the Infosys chief added.
According to a recent study, over 5 million jobs may be lost over the next five years globally due to the fourth industrial revolution and other socio-economic and demographic changes, but India remains one of the few countries with positive employment outlook.
"Hundreds of years ago, writing and reading must have been skills that needed to be given. Similarly, we need to create a world where we have a right solution to provide right talent to everyone including for creating entrepreneurs," Sikka said.
The 'Future of Jobs' study by the World Economic Forum, which covered 15 leading developed and emerging economies including India, said the employment outlook is net positive in only five of these countries.
The countries with positive employment outlook included India, Mexico and Turkey, as also the Gulf Cooperation Council region.
The study said a clear majority of businesses believe that investing in skills, rather than hiring more short-term or virtual workers, is the key to successfully managing disruptions to the labour market for the long term.
The fourth industrial revolution encompasses developments in previously disjointed fields such as artificial intelligence and machine-learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, and genetics and biotechnology.