Wednesday, January 18, 2017

WEF Report: Employers in India likely to trim head count by 25% on automation

Davos, January 16: More than a quarter of employers in India are expected to reduce their headcount on account of automation, which is expected to impact majority of companies worldwide, says a report. In a report released today, leading HR consultancy ManpowerGroup said new technologies would require increasingly specialist skills for people and organisations. “Over a quarter of employers in India expect to reduce headcount,” the report said, adding that Bulgaria, Slovakia and Slovenia are close behind.

The findings of the report titled ‘The Skills Revolution’ are based on a survey of 18,000 employers across all sectors in 43 countries, published today at the World Economic Forum (WEF). “More than 90 per cent of employers expect their organisation to be impacted by digitisation in the next two years,” it said. On the other hand, employers in Italy, Guatemala and Peru are the most optimistic about the impact of automation on jobs. “We cannot slow the rate of technological advance, but employers can invest in their employees’ skills so people and organisations can remain relevant,” the report added. It noted that technology would replace both cognitive and manual routine tasks so people can take on non-routine tasks and more fulfilling roles.

“Creativity, emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility are skills that will tap human potential and allow people to augment robots, rather than be replaced by them,” it said. For people, employability — the ability to gain and maintain a desired job — no longer depends on what you already know, but on what you are likely to learn. “In this Skills Revolution, learnability – the desire and ability to learn new skills to stay relevant and remain employable – will be the great equaliser,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup Chairman & CEO.

“It’s time to take immediate action to up skill and re skill employees to address the gaps between the Haves and the Have Nots – those that have the right skills and those that are at risk of being left behind,” Prising said further. Globally, the report said in the short term, the future of work is bright as most employers expect automation and the adjustment to digitisation will bring a net gain for employment. “Eighty-three per cent intend to maintain or increase their head count and up skill their people in the next two years. Only 12 per cent of employers plan to decrease head count as a result of automation,” the report said.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Shut down SBI branches till the supply of cash gets normalised: Union

Chennai, January 14 (IANS): State Bank of India (SBI) can shut down its branches till the supply of cash gets normalised and staff are not put to risk to face the ire of banking public, a top union leader said.

“We have suggested to the SBI management to down the branch shutters till the supply of cash gets normalised. It is better to close down the branches for some time than the staff face the ire of the public for no fault of theirs,” D. Thomas Franco Rajendra Dev, Senior Vice President of the All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC), told IANS.
Dev wondered how his comrades in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are saying that cash supplies there are better but such views are not heard from his comrades in other states.

“It is strange that Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is not divulging as to the amount of cash supplied state­wise and bank­wise. What is the big secrecy to be safeguarded after the cash has been distributed to states and banks?”

According to Dev, in many SBI branches cash is being rationed amongst the account holders. The RBI has been issuing empty statements about currency supplies being comfortable and currency being sent to rural areas whereas in reality it is not so, Dev charged.
He said people in Tamil Nadu will not be able to celebrate Pongal festival properly due to cash crunch.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Airtel Payments Bank goes live in 29 States

New Delhi, January 12: Promoters of Airtel Payments Bank, which has gone national today, have committed themselves to an initial investment of Rs. 3,000 crore in the venture, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, said on Thursday. While Bharti Airtel has 80 per cent stake, Kotak Mahindra Bank has 20 per cent stake in Airtel Payments Bank. "We as promoters are looking to invest Rs. 3,000 crore to fund costs associated with the Payments Bank. So far, we have invested Rs. 1,000 crore to fund people, IT, training costs", Mittal told a press conference at an event to announce the national rollout of Airtel Payments Bank, the country's first Payments Bank. The nationwide launch of Airtel Payments Bank was done at the hands of the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the capital on Thursday. On April 11 last year, Airtel Payments Bank had become the first entity in India to receive a payments bank licence from the Reserve Bank of India. It had started its pilot in Rajasthan across 10,000 retail outlets on November 23 last year and later rolled out pilot services in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Speaking at the launch event here on Thursday, Sunil Mittal said that the aim would be to convert at least 100 million of Airtel's 270 million customers into Airtel Payments Bank customers. Shahshi Arora, Managing Director & CEO, Airtel Payments Bank, said that the existing Airtel wallet has been integrated into the payments bank. With this national rollout, Airtel Payments Bank has a network of 2,50,000 banking points, (Airtel retail stores) across 29 Stat3es from day one. This is more than the total number of ATMs in the country. Arora also said that steps would be taken to develop a nation-wide digital payments ecosystem with over five million merchants. Already over one million merchants have been onboarded, he added.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Coming soon: Far more attractive compensation package for public sector bank employees

Attractive pay packages: PSU bank Employees to get
higher bonus, ESOPs, says Bank Board Bureau Chief

New Delhi, January 5 (IANS): Public sector banks (PSBs) will have far more attractive pay packages with increased bonus, Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOPs) and other performances-linked variables in 2017-18, Bank Board Bureau Chairman Vinod Rai said on Thursday.

"By next fiscal we are looking at a far more attractive package for public sector banks with bonus, ESOPs, performance linked variables -- monetary or non-monetary benefits to make it more attractive for professionals to enter PSBs," Rai said here at the 97th Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) Foundation Day. "We may not be able to change the fixed income but we are looking at making the variable part of the package more attractive," he added.

The compenation package of the PSBs needs to be improved in some way, he added. Rai said that the government is also looking at appointing full-time director or executive director in the PSBs, apart from the post of chairman and managing director (CMD). The executive director or director post is being thought of so that he can be held accountable for the decisions taken at the bank, he said. "Those people will be appointed who have at least six or more years of service remaining," Rai said.

The Bank Board Bureau is also working upon the proposal of formation of the government stake in the PSBs into a holding company, which will be run by professionals and will make selections of directors and CMDs for the bank. "Over a period of time, the PSBs may go into mergers," he added. In order to manage the non-performing assets (NPAs) of the banks, Rai said that he was looking at a scenario wherein the banks are run by boards, who take the risk of decision-making.

"We are trying to collate people who will be willing to join the boards of PSBs. Effort is to ensure that the banks are indeed run by boards comprising of professionals," he said. He also spoke of formation of an oversight committee for both private and public sector banks which will help the banks resolve their bad loan cases. "The attempt is to provide an oversight committee of two people to whom cases will be sent to resolve the processes. The case then has to come back to the board because ultimately the bank has to take the decision," he said.

"This is to provide comfort to the banks," he added. Calling for certain degree of transparency in decision making, he said that every organisation should be able to withstand the test of scrutiny. "We are going to be in an audit from all strata of society. All governments and corporates should be able to withstand that audit," he added.