“Financial institutions that have advanced with adopting Fintech services are looking to skill the existing workforce”

Robin Bhowmik - Chief Business Officer, Manipal Global

Financial institutions that have adopted fintech services to a significant level are aiming to upskill their current workforce and bring in new talent with strong digital skills. Traditional banking abilities are still required, but contemporary businesses are concentrating on technologies that will modernise operations, encouraging people to increase their technical proficiency. To better understand the scenario of a skill gap crisis in the banking industry lately; Nidhi Shail Kujur of Elets News Nation (ENN) had a conversation with Robin Bhowmik – Chief Business Officer, Manipal Global.

What is the skill gap crisis in the banking industry, and what accelerated this crisis?

The skills required by banking professionals have transformed. The pandemic propelled digital tools and technology adoption for services and communication, creating noticeable skills gaps. While soft skills and finance remain core to banking roles, the current requirement has evolved to include technology-skilling competencies in digital applications.

Financial institutions that have advanced with adopting Fintech services are looking to skill the existing workforce and hire fresh talent with digital proficiencies. While traditional banking skills remain important, contemporary businesses have shifted their attention to innovations to digitize processes. Giving impetus to upskill to be more technologically adept than technically savvy.

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What skills are rising in demand in today’s digitised banking industry?
Technological advancements have started an evolution in fundamental banking processes and roles. Most banking processes will be conducted digitally in the future. Skills in business analytics, enterprise data management, and AI/ML, among others, have the potential to revolutionize the financial sector. Giving importance to skills across AI and ML-related skills, programming skills in languages such as R, Java, SWIFT, Kotlin, Python and C++, and skills in CRM platforms like Salesforce, Cybersecurity, and Blockchain. Additionally, understanding these changing trends, adopting the mindset to develop skills, and nurturing the desire to evolve with the industry will be essential.

How is this crisis affecting the employability of displaced graduates who have studied curriculums not updated to current industry demands?
According to the ManGroup Skills Shortfall 2020 report, 63% of Indian businesses face skill shortages, most notably in IT, technical services, and marketing. According to additional data, only 2.5% of Indian engineers are skilled in artificial intelligence, and only 5.5% are skilled in fundamental programming. According to these figures, only 1.5% of Indian engineers are qualified for new-age jobs. This is the leading cause of the employability crisis of engineering graduates in India today.

With limited or no inclusions of new technology learnings in the existing curriculum, fresh graduates are found with a knowledge gap in Blockchain, AI/ML and advanced technology sciences. It is essential to address this skill gap with relevant and job-ready programs to supplement the existing curriculum. If skill development falls short of continuous technological developments, the G20 might lose up to $11.5 trillion in GDP growth over the next decade.

Also Read | Indian fintech to reach $200 Bn in revenue, to see 10x growth by 2030: Report

How can the banking industry help bridge this major disconnect in the industry to aid aspirants and employees affected by this crisis?

We are in a tight labour market, and the banking skills gap will only grow if industry personnel are not trained in time to adapt. The key to reaping the benefits of this skill transfer is to begin training as soon as possible. Those who begin now can prepare for the future while establishing a stronger foundation for managerial jobs in tomorrow’s unpredictable digital ecosystem. In addition to training employees at the staff level, we must also upskill the supervisory roles to make sure a successful transition and adoption.

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