Rajesh Uppal on the jobs that will define India’s future

Rajesh Uppal on the jobs that will define India’s future
Image: Maruti Suzuki
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With half of its population under 25 and the unemployment rate at four-decade high, India faces an uncertain future. The question on young people’s minds: what kinds of jobs will we have? Quartz asked leaders across India’s biggest industries about that one job in their company or field that will be the most crucial in the coming decades.

Low consumer sentiment hit sales of Indian automobile makers last year, resulting in large-scale job losses. Market leader Maruti Suzuki laid off 6% of its temporary workforce in August. Car dealerships cut down around 200,000 jobs, or an estimated 8% of the workforce, between May and June 2019, according to the industry group Federation of Automotive Dealers Association. Auto component manufacturers, who employed 5 million people in January last year, are believed to have trimmed 10-15% of their workforce in 2019.

Rajesh Uppal, senior executive director at carmaker Maruti Suzuki, told Quartz:

The way disruption is happening across industries, I feel that organizations’ capacity for innovation is going to be what differentiates them in the near future.

Though digitalization allows organizations to come up with a lot of innovative solutions to customers’ problems as well as those within the company, many aren’t capable of implementing them. Sometimes even company culture impedes change. That’s where I believe one of the most crucial roles in the near future is going to be that of an innovation manager. The person in this role will facilitate the entire innovation process or lifecycle from idea generation to systematic development. They will implement those ideas to change management—a process that is sometimes slow and cumbersome.

This role would not just promote innovative thinking and action—it will also help build a corporate culture of risk-taking, experimentation, agility, and collaboration. It will also help reorient management style, structure, or resources to foster innovation.