The changing face of human resources skills in the logistics and transport industry which is gradually adapting to IoT & Analytics
IoT and analytics including tools like Machine Learning (ML) and its subset Artificial Intelligence ( AI) are making their way to headlines.
Companies, new and old, are taking serious note of the transformational power of these cutting-edge technologies and devising plans to implement the technologies in one way or the other.
The advent of new technologies will leave lasting imprint not only in the industries but also on the employment market.
The effect is likely to be more pronounced in transport and logistics industry. The primary reason for the same may be attributed to the nature of the industry, the transport and logistic industry has historically been dependent on human resources at the lower end of qualification spectrum. This was due to low adoption of technology.
However, in last few years, new business models have made technology accessible and affordable and democratized the use of technology in unprecedented manner.
The impact of these trends is going to create huge demand of skilled human resources in almost every business function.
The suppliers of technology products are likely to face severe crunch of suitably skilled manpower. To elaborate, IoT products need human resources equivalent to what we have as full stack developers in web technologies. The development of IoT products require good knowledge of hardware and software coupled with domain knowledge. In the current scenario, it is difficult to find sufficient number of resources with adequate knowledge of both hardware and software. It is even rarer to find resources with the combination of technology related skills and domain knowledge of transport & logistics industry.
Even at an operational level, the current skillsets are likely to be proved inadequate. At present, the skills required are very basic in nature such as entry operators, billing executives and lowly qualified on the ground executives for managing drivers and vehicles. The operational skills of future will require people who can not only use technology but how to interpret the results and analytics which can be utilized in the businesses.
However, the current pipeline of human resources does not augur well for the industry.
It is well known that AI and Big Data Analytics manpower are expected to be in short supply not only India but also across the world. Nasscom predicts that by 2021 total demand for the skills in Data Analytics and AI is expected to outstrip the supply by almost two and half times.
In addition the transport and logistics industry is also expected to witness the substantial short supply of the resources who could use technology. The trend is exacerbated by the fact that the industry is the preferred destination of qualified human resource.
The issue of short supply can be tackled through multi-pronged approach. The first leg of the strategy will involve increased industry-academia partnerships. Additionally, the industry itself must improve its working conditions to become the employment of choice for qualified manpower.
Industry-academia cooperation can go a long way with the industry benefiting from developing a talent pool suitable for the requirements of the industry while creating job opportunities for a wide swathe of population. The industry should also be more involved in the decision making process of the government. This will help in identification of road map for skill gap assessment and provide appropriate inputs to the initiatives like Skill India.
The pace of change may take the industry by surprise. Industry, especially incumbents, must prepare itself for the technology wave and build a robust plan to defend itself or be perished by the startups.
Authored by Rohit Chaturvedi, CEO - Transport Hub