Why skill training is significant for BFSI sector?

sanjay bahl

India’s banking sector has the ability to employ more than 1.5 million people in the coming years. However, the problem that Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector faces is the lack of employable manpower with 58 per cent Indian financial organisations finding it difficult to recruit the right candidate with upgraded skills, says Sanjay Bahl, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director, Centum Learning, in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN). 

sanjay bahlPlease share a brief about Centum Learning and its focus areas?

Centum Learning is a leading global organisation in the training and skill development landscape offering technology enabled blended learning solutions. An ISO 9001:2015 certified company, its mission is to improve business productivity and enhance youth employability. With over 2000 learning and development specialists, Centum has skilled more than 1.5 million people across 15 countries. Centum caters to over 21 industry sectors like Telecom, FMCG, BFSI, Retail, Auto, Logistics, Infra and Pharma, IT/ ITeS, Hospitality, Travel & Tourism, BPO, Healthcare, and Construction.

Centum Learning with over a decade long experience in Corporate Training provides entry level to leadership training to more than 350 corporates globally. Centum’s smart learning solution ‘Centum LearnPro’ offers customised anytime anywhere engaging training with real time analytics leading to higher level of retention.

In the BFSI sector, Centum Learning has worked with many financial institutes of repute like Punjab National Bank, American Express, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Axis Bank, Bajaj Finance, UCO Bank, Allahabad Bank in India and National Bank of Kenya in Africa. In banks, Centum Learning offers soft skill training and customer service sensitisation programmes engaging both external and internal customer-facing employees at various levels, including branch managers as well.

Centum has been widely recognised in several forums – it has received ‘Excellence in Training’ award from World HRD Congress and has featured as the ‘Top 15 Emerging Leaders in Training Outsourcing’ worldwide. It has also been certified by leading global organisation GPTW as a Great Place to Work for the year 2017-18 amongst companies which feature in the gold standard lists and rankings that identify and classify the world’s best workplaces.

In India, Centum Learning has also set up Centum WorkSkills India, in partnership with NSDC to enhance skills of millions of youth across the country. Centum Learning is offering vocational skills in more than 1300 schools, impacting more than 1,50,000 students across 19 states and union territories in IndiaCentum Foundation, is the CSR implementing agency for large number of corporates and they empower the Deaf as well.

Can you give some insights on the current scenario of skill training and development in India in the BFSI sector?

India’s banking sector has the ability to employ more than 1.5 million people in the coming years. However, the problem that BFSI sector faces is the lack of employable manpower with 58% Indian financial organisations finding it difficult to recruit the right candidate with upgraded skills.

According to a recent survey, the BFSI sector has been shifting gears from a technology adoption standpoint and is witnessing an increasing advent of robotic process automation (RPA) /chatbots to increase efficiency and productivity in the day-to-day processes. These technologies are taking over not only role-based jobs but also jobs that require knowledge-based activities.

Technology in banking is drawing more and more customers for banking related products and services as they become more cost effective and customer friendly. Banks have been rendering various technology based services such as mobile banking, net banking, tele-banking, ATM/credit cards, etc. Therefore, the impact on jobs in terms of skill-sets is expected to be significantly growing and that too extremely speedily yet swiftly in this sector. That has already been happening for the past few years but it will have to grow by leaps and bounds given the current scenario in order to formulate a vision for Industry.

Centum Learning has been working closely with the industry to resolve these issues in-order to provide skilled and employable manpower for the BFSI sector.

What is the area of focus to scale up the engagement of youth in the BFSI sector?

All BFSI organisations look for employable manpower, who can deliver on both domain knowledge and soft skills that are essential for working effectively in a multifunctional set up. Centum Learning, with its strong industry connect, is building up to date, dynamic content for training programs and is ensuring deployment via advanced methodologies like blended training, simulations, story-based learning, gamification and formative evaluations through role plays, real-life scenarios and game challenges. Thesewould ensure that the students are fully trained to join the corporate world upon the completion of their training courses.

The emerging technologies have the potential to add value to any corporate training and provide a contextual and experiential learning for the individuals which add relevance and personalisation to their training needs. The call of the hour in the domain of corporate training is more oriented towards enabling the employees to handle the accelerated pace of the industry they are working than just enabling them to perform their task. The use of technology allows us to move beyond basic skill development to employee performance improvement. We foresee that the investment in emerging technologies and varied learning methodologies will increase exponentially in the corporate world over the next few years and add depth/value to employee performance and shape the future of corporate learning.

2018 is facing a massive real-time employment crunch; will skilling and reskilling help the youth to gauge the opportunities in the financial sector?

Automation is a key technology trend facilitating BFSI industry in business innovation and optimisation of the supply chain.

Skilling and reskilling are the keys to receive new and better opportunities in the BFSI sector. In the next 2 to 3 years, artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, and Big data Analytics, among others, will begin to disrupt the functioning of business and society in a major way- they have already started. The skill gaps would continue to increase with the advent of new technologies and unskilled manpower.

To address the massive real-time employment crunch, reskilling is the only way out for youth to gauge the opportunities in the financial sector. To achieve this outcome,trainers conduct in-depth ‘Need Diagnostic’ study to map the learners’ requirements before developing the content. Uninspiring content and methodology not only are barriers to the employee’s learning but also create mind blocks for learners who then stop considering trainings as a value enhancer to their work as well as career. It has also been noticed lately that a lot of mature and evolved organisations are doing away with nominating employees for any specific training. The employees are now empowered to volunteer themselves for the programs basis the training calendars which are published from time to time. This has shifted the focus of training responsibility from HR to employees, thereby increasing the onus, which subsequently leads to the growth of the employees post training. Team leaders and managers take special care not to assign work during the training time for the employees.

What kind of work skill development program do you plan if more of Indian workforce is deployed with new jobs at BFSI?

The Indian Banking sector today is characterised by robust asset growth, growing lending and deposit rates, higher ATM penetration and increasing rural penetration. Besides advancement in technology, improved risk management practices, financial inclusions, wide usability of RTGS,NEFT, BHIM UPI, etc. increasing adoption of online transactions are all geared to take Indian Banking industry to an unprecedented growth trajectory.

Centum Learning partners with leading financial institutes to co-create joint academies that impact key business outcomes. Centum Learning engages with banks and financial institutions to conduct need diagnosis study and provides consulting framework for the establishment of these joint academies. These joint academies are designed to ensure sustained standards of performance and enhance productivity.

Centum Learning engages deeply with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and integrates technical knowhow to establish Centres of Excellence (CoE) which becomes the hub for innovation and excellence. Over the years, Centum Learning has established multiple CoEs across sectors like Telecom, Retail, Aviation, Banking, etc. These CoEs have provided leadership, and sharing of best practices for focused learning and development initiatives.

It is crucial to understand that the one-size-fits-all approach does not work; a leadership training program for newly-promoted team leaders is different from a vision-setting workshop for senior leaders. The experience and competence of training personnel becomes critical in such scenarios. Besides this, the partnership will be different from a typical outsourcing arrangement as it requires a deeper level of engagement.

How can Centum Learning help the banking and finance industry to cope with the current technological trends?

About one fourth percent of existing jobs in BFSI sector will become extinct in the next five years with the adoption of new technologies. This will also lead to the creation of new jobs in which again a small percent of the workforce will be deployed. The job scenario in the BFSI sector is in for a complete overhaul by 2022.

Keeping in mind today’s tech savvy younger population, Centum has embraced the emerging technologies to impart training to today’s youth.

Technology Enabled Blended Learning (TeBL) is the need of the hour for positive and agile business outcomes.Centum, therefore, offers customised corporate training programsto resolve the client’s business needs. It has developed an approach like blended instructor led training programs with e-training solutions which produce remarkable results in terms of training retention and overall productivity enhancement and workforce efficiency. Centum, through its partnerships, is bringing the best in class instructors to deliver training on newer technologies like data science and digital transformation.

Training companies now work closely with the banking and finance industry even post the training interventions. Over the years, it has become obvious that LandD programs have positively influenced an employee’s decision to work within the company. A lot of companies are also realising that one-time induction training or annual process training programs are inadequate. The companies are working on a lifelong learning concept where technology is helping the HR professionals to ensure that the right training interventions are created for each individual making the trainings very personalised.

What is the response that skill development programs have seen in this sector? Have you been able to achieve the targeted numbers?

Banking and Financial system is playing a substantial role in promoting the long term growth of the economy. The major segments of the Industry are Banking, Insurance and Mutual Funds.The recent rollout of the GST was streamlined by BSFI sector’s Consultant Training program across at least 100 training centers. The training was provided under a PMKVY 100-hour module on various aspects of GST enabling the youth to cater to the urgent need of professionals who are well equipped with the basic concept GST such as Incidence of taxation, Registration under GST and Calculation of Tax liability. Market response of this intervention was very positive.

Centum Learning is playing a pivotal role in BSFI where it has partnered with many companies in the BFSI sector to design learning and development solutions aimed at sensitising their employees towards customer service and to help them deliver customer service of highest standards, consistently. Keeping the target audience in mind, the training programme would impact several key role holders from across hierarchies including bank officers, clerical staff and subordinate staff. Centum also partnered with Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) to rollout the flagship scheme – Atal Pension Yojana (APY). Centum has completed the mandate of covering more than 70,000 Bank Officials and Department of Postal Officials across 28 States including Union Territories.


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