The 2021 BFSI workforce needs an upgrade of fintech
To cope up with the changing times many academic institutes are offering customised talent development programs for probationary officers, assistant managers, sales & customer relationship managers, and leadership development in the BFSI sector. These courses or programs are designed to equip the BFSI workforce with Fintech-driven competencies necessary for coping with reformed operational roles in the new-age banking system and financial institutions.
A new wave of tech-based job roles is sweeping the BFSI sector—Is the workforce geared up with relevant skills?
The fintech revolution is sweeping the BFSI sector, as revealed by ‘Research and Markets’ in a report that says as of March 2020, India, along with China, has accounted for the highest fintech adoption rate (87 percent). This rapid adoption of fintech in operational roles may lead to a skill gap if the BFSI workforce is not empowered with an equivalent and relevant skill upgrade. This risk of skill gap can be gauged by considering the estimates made by The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), which states that by 2022, the BFSI sector in India is likely to create 1.6 million jobs; 20% of these would be new opportunities, and around 50% would comprise existing job roles but will require upgraded skills for adapting to the tech-based practices in BFSI sector.
Agreeing that there is an upsurge in the new wave of tech-based job roles in the BFSI sector, E. A. Kshirsagar, a Fellow Member of the Institutes of Chartered Accountants (England, Wales and India) and Board Member of Manipal Global Education Services, said that the BFSI workforce needs an upgrade of Fintech by 2021.
Skill gap can limit the BFSI workforce’s capacity to handle tech-driven roles
To highlight the skill-related demand & supply challenges for BFSI companies, he referred to the Financial Services and IT Study done by Peak 10 (now Flexential) in 2016, which revealed that over 75% of financial institutions had created new IT-based roles. Still, around 50% of them faced difficulty in hiring the right candidates for those roles.
Drawing attention to the contemporary scenario in the BFSI sector, he spoke about how banking and financial companies are radically reforming their operations by incorporating fintech technologies like automation, digital marketing, cloud-based IT infrastructure, and Agile/DevOps; and how the BFSI sector is migrating towards a more tech-driven future that will incorporate advanced technologies like the internet of things, AI, blockchain cybersecurity, Big Data analytics, and machine learning.
“Certainly, fintech advances are influencing the career roadmap of the BFSI workforce, and now is the critical time when BFSI professionals and aspirants should upgrade their IT skills and knowledge through leadership development and functional training. Otherwise, it won’t be surprising if, in the coming years, the BFSI workforce experiences inefficiency in handling the tech-driven as well as the tech-reformed job roles,” said E. A. Kshirsagar.
The need for skill upgrades in the tech space gets intensified in light of the possibility that failing to bridge the skill gap can make BFSI companies suffer from a shortage of tech-efficient mid-career professionals who are competent to work alongside new-age Fintech digital transformation. The new-age banking system’s reformation of operational roles demands a new set of tech-driven competencies around digital banking, cashless payments, blockchain cybersecurity, API integrations, customer interaction, customer relationship management grievance redressal, etc.
Bridging the skills gap
However, for BFSI companies with a pan-India presence, standardising in-house reskilling training programs for employees distributed in different branches, cities, and states is a colossal task. Even when it comes to the skill sets of new graduates, it seems that in the conventional education system, there is a lack of an equally enthusiastic approach around skill-building as compared to the rapid pace at which the service industry is adopting fintech technologies. If fresh graduates remain unprepared for the new-age tech-based job roles in the BFSI sector, this can further contribute to the skills gap.