The golden age for India (2020 – 2050) started in 2020 with a billion-strong resident workforce by 2030. At the same time, Europe’s population will drop to 700M in 2050 with more than 40% of people super-aged (above 64). Statistically, a whopping 24% of the global workforce will come from India in the next decade 1. Until now, academics and economists have studied the cause and effects of this demographic shift extensively to aid public policies and more so to justify their own employment. More recently, I am beginning to notice it in dinner table conversations with my global counterparts and more importantly as part of business planning.
What does it have to do with us? With this demographic shift, apparently, India is sitting on the most sought-after resources for the next decade – people. The impediment to reaping this benefit is its own success as the ‘low cost’ outsourcing destination limited to IT and professional services. Incidentally, my Random Access Memory just pulled an article written in 2016 “Has the IT industry made an entire generation of Indians dumb?” in the same lines (Kudos to Dr. Pavan Soni for this foresight) that may provide more color to my point.
Our personal responsibility is to improve our own societies (within) and transcend beyond for humanity as a whole. Our personal challenge is to unlearn self-imposed mental constraints and cultivate associated actions to apply ourselves at a higher level (explained below). In my two decades in the workforce, I have witnessed the power of the mind to make giant leaps when it has the foresight to define the future and equally shrink with self-imposed constraints when faced with realities. We are at a such crossroads now. That is to shrink while continuing to follow the expectations (norms) or take that leap by simply grasping the power to change the norms. The power we are seeking is:
- The power of accountability – Lead and not just be led
- The power of knowledge – Solve real-world problems
- The power of collective action – Spread beyond boundaries (mental and physical)
- The power of presence – Punch above our weights
Make no mistake, a silent revolution taking shape in the professional services industry as a whole is within (y)our cocoon of a workplace. This opportunity is not a newfound epiphany or a secret known to a few. Every business jargon that is heard today is in some part to address this demographic reality (transformation, service delivery model, the war for talent, automation, etc). Especially ‘automation’. More recently, while in a conversation with a fellow supply chain practitioner in the UK, automation in the context of the unavailability of warehouse workers popped up. A dinner table chats with a colleague in Luxembourg talked of an aging population and its effects.
The race for societies on a whole and individual firms is the same – unlock the power of the people. For Indian peoples!