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16.2 million workers need to be upskilled and reskilled in AI and automation to meet India’s skill deficit according to new ServiceNow research

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ServiceNow and Pearson today announced new research that AI and automation will require 16.2 million workers in India to reskill and upskill while also creating 4.7 million new tech jobs. The study conducted by Pearson and commissioned by ServiceNow, uses machine learning to predict how technology will
transform the tasks that make up each job* and presents an unprecedented chance for Indian workers to reshape and future-proof their careers.

Job postings in India that require ServiceNow platform technical skills grew 39% in the past year – the fastest growth seen anywhere in the world, according to labor market data from Lightcast – with Bangalore seeing the highest demand for talent of any city, globally. India’s digital skill ecosystem is also poised to grow in tandem, with ServiceNow’s research revealing that additional Application Developers (75,000), Data Analysts (70,000), Platform Owners (65,000), Product Owners (65,000), and Implementation Engineers (55,000) will be needed by 2027, to meet the tech deficit.

As India’s “techade” accelerates, businesses are working full steam ahead to capture the economic value and inclusive development that AI will bring. ServiceNow is connecting talent to technology through its global skilling initiative ‘RiseUp with ServiceNow’, enabling workers to gain the skills they need to move into a role using the ServiceNow platform. There are thousands of local and global roles on offer across ServiceNow’s growing ecosystem.

Kamolika Gupta Peres, Vice President and Managing Director, ServiceNow Indian Sub-continent, said, “India’s decision-makers and industry stalwarts understand the potential of AI. We’re working with every industry across the country to showcase best practice use of AI to drive meaningful business change and ensure these changes bring about meaningful, quality, and secure careers for people while also enhancing productivity.”

The research by ServiceNow analyses the current status quo of India’s workforce, the impact of AI and automation across industries, and the roadmap to how stakeholders can equip the workforce with the relevant digital skills to bridge the demand-supply gap. “The pace of progress has never been swifter, with businesses driving large-scale transformation across diverse industry sectors that will play a decisive role in India's rise towards a $1 trillion digital economy,” said Gupta Peres.

Liberating talent for in-demand roles
While AI and automation’s influence will reshape a substantial number of repetitive and technical jobs, many workers currently in non-technical roles possess abilities that can be applied to high-quality, more technical work profiles. For example, the research found that India’s deep sea fishery workers possess 64% of the
skills typically required of helpdesk support agents using the ServiceNow platform. Areas with high concentrations of fisheries, such as Kerala and West Bengal, can harness such opportunities and fulfill careers for their citizens.

ServiceNow’s study predicts that Manufacturing will witness the biggest disruption, with 23% of the workforce primed for automation and skill augmentation, followed by Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (22%), Wholesale and Retail Trade (11.6%), Transportation and Storage (8%), and Construction (7.8%).

AI’s multiplier effect
The impact of AI and automation is expected to necessitate 4.6 million workers to augment their capacity between now and 2027. Even traditional technology roles such as Computer Programmers—which ServiceNow research shows will be impacted by the rise of generative AI capabilities like text-to-code—can reskill and evolve to become Flow Automation Engineers, Product Owners, Implementation Engineers, Master Architects in the ServiceNow ecosystem. India’s tech hubs, which have the largest concentration of computer programmers, Karnataka (331,200), Tamil Nadu (323,700), and Telangana (171,300), can gain a
significant competitive advantage. The shifts illustrate the positive effects AI and automation can have on India’s growth, particularly in terms of multiplying productivity and creating high-value jobs.

The macro-environment dictates that businesses focus on delivering clear value in the digital economy – and this can be achieved at scale with the right technology to help you to grow fast while taking costs out. Building strong digital foundations will also help your people build skills today that will be needed in the future, said Gupta Peres.

The digital transformation of India hinges on a future-ready workforce community. As part of the & Skill India Digital campaign, the Government has announced its vision to create a better future for the youth. According to a recent Nasscom study, AI and automation have the potential to add up to $500 billion to India’s GDP by 2025.

Today there are more clear, direct paths for the workforce to build rewarding digital careers. ServiceNow offers more than 600 free training courses and 18-job related certification paths available to anyone in India who is interested in a digital career. There is national demand for ServiceNow platform skills and opportunities for individuals to gain on-the-job training with leading enterprises and partner organisations across the nation.

ServiceNow is investing in India’s skills growth with a series of State and National programs to deliver equitable paths to digital careers. The company has announced more than 13 academic partnerships with India-based organisations in the past year to help fill roles across ServiceNow’s growing India customer and partner ecosystem.

In August, ServiceNow also announced its partnership with FutureSkills Prime – a MeitY nasscom digital skilling initiative to build a future-ready workforce and address critical business needs.

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