15 Dec 2017
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M&E jobs are automation proof: Sudhanshu Vats

MUMBAI: Media and entertainment (M&E) jobs are automation proof as the skills required for such jobs like creativity, story-telling, emotional intelligence and cognitive ability cannot be easily automated, Viacom18 Group CEO and CII National Committee on Media & Entertainment chairman Sudhanshu Vats shared this sentiment while speaking at the CII’s ‘The Big Picture Summit’.

“The skills required to thrive in our sector are the bedrock of most ‘non-routine’ jobs. Creativity, story-telling, emotional intelligence and cognitive ability – all skills that M&E professionals can be proud of are the ones that are automation proof,” Vats said during his address the summit.

While the core of the M&E sector will remain automation proof, Vats admitted that the M&E sector will see its fair share of job automation.

“These are also the skills that can be transferred to other sectors – making us a part of the solution. Of course, we too will face our share of the burden. Some roles will be automated – and the media organisations might look very different in 2027 – but our core will still be automation-proof,” he added.

He also noted that the M&E sector directly employs 1.1-1.2 million people. In the next 5 years, the sector will add 1 million jobs. However, that number can easily be breached if the sector grows at a higher rate. “If we achieve breakout growth, that number can also touch 5 million,” stated Vats.

However, all constituents of the society need to come together to make M&E sector a leading creator of jobs.

“The government needs to continue its support to our sector so we can grow at double-digit speed and add more, future-proof jobs. A lot has been done and a lot more can be done. The policy framework for the new labour economy – which is a gig-based, independent artist economy – needs to be laid,” Vats said.

On the private sector’s role in spurring job growth in the M&E sector, Vats stated, “The private sector needs to be more ‘creator-friendly’ or ‘freelancer-friendly’. This means having the right kind of tools and technology to spot and empower talented individuals and then compensate them in a transparent manner.”

He also said that the non-profit organisations and educational institutions need to ensure that the right kind of training programmes are provided that are scalable, low-cost and wide in reach with a quick turnaround time.

“Arts education, including liberal arts programmes, need to be dialled up wherein students can look at studying music and computer science or film-making and finance,” Vats averred.