Future-Ready India: PwC Foresees Leadership in AI Integration

Can India become a pioneer in incorporating AI into businesses? What does the PwC report unveil about the productivity boost of AI? What shifts in workforce demands and the urgency for upskilling signal the path to success? Dive into the revelations.

Swati Dayal
New Update
PwC Report

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India has the potential to emerge as a trailblazer in incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) into business operations, provided the industry adopts a strategic upskilling approach. The findings by PwC in its report titled 'India Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2023', focuses on the workforce's readiness for the evolving demands of the digital age.

Optimism Amidst Uncertainty

The survey indicates a considerable level of optimism among Indian respondents regarding AI adoption in the workplace. A striking 51% believe that AI will enhance productivity, a figure significantly higher than the global average of 31%. However, this optimism comes with a crucial condition – the provision of upskilling opportunities by their respective organizations.

The PwC Report sheds light on the perspectives of 2,502 participants in India.

Workforce Demands Evolve

Anumeha Singh, Partner at PwC India, emphasized the evolving expectations of the workforce. "Amidst the rising uncertainty and seismic impact of AI, the workforce is demanding more from their employers on all counts," said Singh. 

While competitive compensation remains essential, employees seek deeper job satisfaction and faster growth opportunities to fulfil their aspirations.

Awareness and Urgency for Upskilling

The report reveals that 62% of Indian employees anticipate a significant change in the skills required for their jobs over the next five years, with an impressive 69% already aware of these anticipated changes. Furthermore, Indian respondents are 15% more confident than their global counterparts in their belief that employers will provide the necessary tools and opportunities for skill development.

Restless Workforce and Changing Job Landscape

The survey highlights the restlessness within the Indian workforce, with 42% expressing the likelihood of changing jobs in the next year. This inclination is driven by expectations of better pay packages and promotions, surpassing the global average of 26%. Moreover, a significant 70% of Indian participants, compared to 35% globally, express a willingness to ask for a promotion.

Leadership Focus Needed Across All Levels

While efforts are often concentrated on the younger generation, the report emphasizes the need for attention to be extended to managers and senior executives.

Kartik Rishi, Partner at PwC India, underlines the importance of a forward-looking, skills-first approach integrated into business processes for sustaining businesses over the next decade.

"Most Indian leaders are aware of the criticality to transform their workforce for the future success of their businesses. Similarly, as their work and workplace are undergoing significant changes, employees in India are highly aware of the urgency to upskill, it increasingly becoming an important factor in their career decisions," says Kartik.

Rishi, however, adds that organisations continue to adopt a much lesser focus on skills, especially those for the future, in their talent strategies and programmes.

"Adopting a forward-looking, skills-first approach, which is integrated in their business processes will be a key factor for leaders in sustaining businesses over the next decade," he says.

Upskilling Urgency and Job Shifts

The urgency to upskill is further reflected in the fact that 53% of Indian employees cite new skill development as a reason for taking up a secondary job, compared to 36% of their global counterparts. This aligns with the belief that India can seize the AI opportunity by fostering a workforce ready to adapt to the changing landscape.

Cautionary Notes on AI Impact

Despite the optimism, the report notes that 24% of Indian respondents believe AI would negatively impact the nature of their work, which is 10% higher than the global average. Additionally, 21% express concerns about AI taking over their jobs, compared to 13% globally.

The PwC report underscores the critical role of upskilling in India's journey towards becoming a leader in AI integration. The onus lies on organizations to adopt a holistic and forward-looking approach to skills development, ensuring a workforce that not only embraces change but also propels the nation into the forefront of the global AI landscape.

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