Career Progression Amidst Disruption

Author: Rakesh Setia


Over the last three decades, many events have been marked as disruptive, such as

  1. Globalization, Computers and automation, Consumer Finance, Opening up of economy in 90’s
  2. Mobile penetration, growth in internet coverage, banking, services in the first decade of 21st century
  3. Shared services, Digital Payment system, E-commerce, Co-ownership, Cloud, SaaS, Digital disruption, focus on environment and the latest COVID 19 in the decade 2010-20

Events marking Disruption

If 80’s was the period when youth aspired to settle in government jobs, 90’s and the first decade proved to be boon for the youth to go for high paying Corporate Sector especially with MNC’s in manufacturing and service sectors and this continued in the first half of the decade 2010-20.

In the second half of the decade 2010-20, the world has seen quantum jump in digital technology, cloud, digital payment systems, E-commerce and businesses being built to help customers rent rather than own. Such disruption has led to emergence of new business models and new market leaders.  This has often proved to be nemesis of existing market leaders and has also forced professionals to quickly acquire new skills and become relevant with the changing work place.

Last few years have seen massive disruption in many industries, especially in service sector, resulting in muted economic and employment growth. In addition, the experience relevant till now has been rendered irrelevant and professionals have been forced to look for new ways to re-equip themselves with new skill sets and continue to re-energize and re-discover. The words like unlearning, re-learning, re-skilling and up-skilling are being used more and more.  The need for start ups and the ability to build new businesses have been higher than ever before.  The government has also launched various programs, such as Startup India, Skill India, Digital India to support the youth to look beyond the security of full time jobs, but also become an entrepreneur and an employer rather than employee.

Managing careers during disruption

While this disruption is bound to give rise to new behavior, consumption patterns, innovations and a growth in new business models in the medium to long term, it may cause discomfort in the short term, where there may be gap in terms of skills required and available and therefore, many people may be rendered unemployable.  This may well become a cause of national concern and needs to be addressed.

The growth in Mobile Internet, VoLTE and unlimited plans have supported the consumers to reduce their monthly expenses, however, it has impacted the telecom industry with steep decline in revenue and profitability.  This has resulted in job losses and also the loss of business to channel partners associated with the telecom industry.

Efforts – LATExTelecom (Life After Telecom for Ex Telecom Employees)

To address the issues arising of this case study, a team of professionals associated with the telecom industry in the past, believes that there’s an opportunity to

  1. Re-skill and up-skill the professionals and help them gain employment
  2. Helping the industries in selecting the best candidates by matching skills and coach the employee during the initial stages to become successful in the new organization
  3. Providing flexible manpower solution to the organizations
  4. Supporting individuals to become entrepreneur by providing opportunities, seed capital and easy finance
  5. Helping businesses build exponential reach through pool of experienced resources all over the country

This team of professionals has started meeting online and has developed a plan of actions to get extended support base and to reach out to Corporates and Businesses to garner support for these individuals stranded in a difficult situation

Stepping into a totally different industry

Hi , want to share my experience of getting into real estate industry after working in telecom for nearly 17 years.

The products are as dissimilar as it can be – one is mobile and the other is highly immobile, one is low cost and can be bought just loose change and the other is worth a few crores, one is for masses and the other is for select few especially in Mumbai. With no past experience in the related industry, I was also baffled when I was called for the interview.

During the interview, I was asked about how can I contribute to #Rustomjee, I asked back by saying I am not sure and rather they should tell me how can I contribute and how come they called me for such an important role in totally different industry.

To this, my boss #percyschowdhry smiled and shared the nuances of the role. He explained that the role is highly demanding and they need someone who can manage different channels, bring processes and implement, drive passionately, should have customer focus, ability to work extremely hard and high perseverance.

He also shared that they already have three more senior professionals who worked with telecom in the past and are working as project CEOs and CHRO. They are Mr. Anupam Verma and Mr. Harsh Chandra, Mr. Mahesh Gera, telecom veterans.

These three senior professionals from Telecom had already established acceptance of telecom professionals and my job of job hunting became easy. 

When I joined, I found that the company had most of the people from real estate background, however, the second highest background is professionals from TELECOM

Also, when I now explain about how we get business, it’s simple and what I had done before – Retail, Contact Center, Channel Partners and Referrals, which are so similar to what I was doing in the past.

After 15 months in the Industry and surviving many challenges, I am settled and looking forward to enhancing my contribution.

Managing careers while working in different industries is about an ability to understand product management, having customer focus, ability to work with diverse team, value creation for organization and customers and with a fair amount of perseverance, it should be fine for the professionals to shift career across industries.

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