India could face a shortfall of 20million jobs over the next decade, says an HSBC report. We all can imagine what that means for the youth of the country that so prides itself in having 50% of its population below the age of 25 years. According to Labour Bureau, unemployment rate in India has shot up to a five-year high of 5 per cent in 2015-16. On one side,number of engineering colleges and institutions of higher education continue to churn out thousands of qualified students while on the other, the lack of employment opportunities render them unemployed or underemployed. And thus the great divide widens.
Employment scenario in Eastern India
The situation is alarming in the eastern region of the country, resulting in brain drain towards the more opportunity-fertile lands. Industry as well as small and medium enterprises, which are generators of jobs in our country are very limited in this region. Hence, people, especially the youth, here have limited options as far as employment opportunities are concerned. Also, unemployment through the years has induced hopelessness among the youth, who prefer to study and work elsewhere. Various reports have confirmed this, which shows a spike in supply of talent from WestBengal to other regions. Other cities have created a niche for themselves in the job market in comparison to cities in eastern India. Also, other regions offer attractive remunerations with as much as 35% more salary than what is given for jobs around the eastern region.
e-commerce revolutionizing the employment scenario
With the government’s drive towards “Digital India”, a solution to this has been initiated by the e-commerce sector. e-commerce has a potential of creating 12million new jobs across the country according to the report by HSBC. Hence, thissector could fill half the unemployment gap with jobs across marketing, IT, logistics and procurement, among others.
‘Employability’ a rising concern of the e-commerce industry
The need of the hour is a workforce with competitive minds, skilled in technology, marketing and communication skills, with a focus on managing projects. Such is emphasized by Mr. Vinaya Varma – CEO of mjunction services limited, the largest B2B e-commerce company in the country. He raises the concern of “employability” saying, “We believe in building talent rather than buying talent. We hire fresh talents from reputed B-Schools and engineering institutes and train them to become better managers and good future leaders.”
The education system focuses on granting a degree and not education per se. The industry demands skill not theory, hence institutions should allot time and effort towards making the students market ready. The institutions need to create an environment where the students get a real world feel and value the importance of developing communication skills and well as skills in handling real-life projects better. With the world striding towards technology, institutes must also align specific subjects catering to the market needs and mentor students with increased interaction opportunities between industry and technology. Students must engage with real work related to study and turn experience into an opportunity. The lack of such practices maybe a major reason behind the students struggling to get placed in the challenging market. Premier institutes like IITs also mirror this scenario with 23% of the IIT Bombay students being jobless in the year 2013 according to a report. Similarly, 33% of the 1.5million engineers passing out every year run the risk not getting hired.
B2B e-commerce sector generating employment
The industry survey report has suggested that the e-commerce industry is expected to contribute around 4% to the GDP by 2020. In this sector the B2B industry comprises 90% of the global e-commerce transactions, leaving 10% as B2C e-commerce. In this regard, Mr. Varma says, “In India, most transactions are in the nature of B2B with the increase in MSMEs created under the Make in India banner”. Hence youngsters mustnot miss out on exploring a more fulfilling career opportunity in the B2B e-commerce sector. This sector is creating more job opportunities, as it is picking up stream with the rising venture capital investments which have grown 300% at $85million in 2016.
Land of opportunities
The scope of work in an e-commerce industry is huge. This industry has survived the dot-com bust and is clearly redefining the marketplace. While technology is the backbone of this industry, business along with various other support functions are equally essential in an e-commerce environment.
Fresh graduates, especially engineering and management, need to explore their potential in an e-commerce industry. Be it sales, technology, marketing, finance, human resources, communications, branding, what have you, the world is your oyster.
An IMT Ghaziabad recruit placed at mjunction, India’s largest B2B ecommerce player, Mr Deepak Pinnity shares his experience, says, “I am working for the Technology department at mjunction. Bringing a fresh perspective is valued in the organization. mjunction also provides employees with the freedom to explore and improvise existing processes and not necessarily stick to fixed protocols.” A technology-based business environment as this works with IT and business professionals, who can use their expertise to provide efficient solutions to customers.
Kolkata-headquartered mjunctionhas a work force, primarily youth, of over 800 employees.Management trainees are recruited from premier B-schools like IIM Shillong and Ranchi, IIT’s management departments, DSE, IIFT Delhi, IMT Ghaziabad. Executive trainees are hired from B-schools like Praxis, Army Business School, and IISWBM and Engineers are placed from NITs and IIESTS, among others
While students from both science and commerce streams can opt for a career in an e-commerce industry, mjunction also provides an opportunity for students in humanities or mass communications. mjunction publishes magazines on steel and coal which offers insights into the sectors.
The business potential of a B2B industry has no bounds, it is aggressively targeting territories that it has not chartered before.
Mr. KanavAyri a new recruit from IIM Ranchi who is responsible for executing the marketing strategy for mjunction’sanytimeMRO shares, “I have had the opportunity to work in a start-up environment as our business unit is new, allowing me to gain valuable hands-on experience of operating a business”.
Thus B2B e-commerce provides a land of opportunities for fresh graduates who are eager to make a difference and are ready to think out of the box.