According to a recent study, the total number of jobs related to developing and deploying modern technologies, like automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics-related applications, may grow to 20 to 50 million globally by 2030 and more than 375 million workers globally
Two years since the pandemic hit humanity, life as we knew it has changed. While there has been a semblance of its earlier avatar coming back, the definition of ‘normal’ has undergone a revamp and everything now needs to be defined differently. Life has been hard, and uncertainty rules the roost. Cautious Optimism seems to be the novel word going forward. Every sector has been hit and impacted differently. If I were to look at the bright side of things, then digital transformation and digitisation have seen the biggest growth in the past two years. While we are still far from calling ourselves ‘Digital India’, the effort and effect both have been laudable.
With the worst behind us (hopefully!), we are looking towards a financial budget that needs to be more hopeful, pragmatic, and assertive, helping affected industries to move ahead with no dread or ambiguity whatsoever. Here is what we are expecting from the Union Budget of 2022:
- Digital India or not, we are deep into the processes. Every sector today is running on digital infrastructure. It will be great if the government continued its focus on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, augmented/virtual reality, intelligent automation etc. Strengthening these verticals with newer incentives will give this sector the much-needed boost.
According to a recent study, the total number of jobs related to developing and deploying modern technologies, like automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics-related applications, may grow to 20 to 50 million globally by 2030 and more than 375 million workers globally. With that in mind, I think one of the key steps that the government can take is to reduce customs duty/IGST and provide tax breaks or incentives to this vertical.
- Research grants and the continuation of tax deductions will keep the enthusiasm going for this sector as funding is a crucial factor for any sector to develop and grow. And when the entire country is driving towards a unified goal of going digital, then this is a crucial step.
- To have skilled workers foray into this space, we need education to be revised to suit the requirements of a digital tomorrow. With digital requirements comes the need for upskilling, reskilling and innovation. Academia needs to work alongside industry leaders for incentivising the educational sector to introduce the latest in digital education so that they can be absorbed into the industry and adopt 4.0 technologies.
- For an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Digital India,’ it will be good to see policy interventions related to warehousing and robotics adoption in manufacturing. We have seen an increase in customer demands in that area and any incentivisation to it would only help boost the government’s vision for a progressive goal.
- The automation sector has been one of the strongest pillars helping India’s digital ambitions. Focussing on high-end technology and automation for the manufacturing sector will be the big thrust that the sector needs. The statistics for robotics and automation in our day to day lives in India is far from desirable. Relaxation in taxes will encourage the adoption of the technology in various sectors, thereby enticing more FDIs and trades into the country.
- With AI for All as an initiative driven by the Government of India, we are sure that the focus of the government lies in the strengthening of technology and its deployment across all sectors. In a country with a start-up fervour and everything starting to rely heavily on technology, data security and privacy become crucial focal points for the government to investigate. Benefits and incentives need to be in place for start-ups, corporate firms, and government bodies too, all who comply with data security.
The landscape is changing and with an atmosphere of tech over us, what is required is seamless experiences in day-to-day transactions. We are all headed towards a highly automated, robotised world where technology is given parlance, the basis on which every other sectoral success will be measured. The dialogues today in the world are all mammoth and all-consuming. Be it environment or climate change, urbanisation or robots taking over the world, more bots at work or cloud-based banking and financial transactions, the megatrends of the world are here to stay, and we must buckle up. And none of this is going to be possible without the guiding hand and able strategies implemented by the ruling governments of any country.
The writer Milind Padole is the MD of Affordable Robotic & Automation Ltd. (ARAPL), a BSE SME listed company. Views expressed are personal.