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No basis for the fear that technology is taking away jobs, says Tata Sons’ Chandrasekaran

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on November 18, 2019 Published on November 18, 2019

(L-R): Anil Dharker, Founder-Director of Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest; Uday Kotak, Founder & MD/CEO, Kotak Mahindra Bank; N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons, and Roopa Purushothaman, Chief Economist and Head of Policy Advocacy, Tata Sons, at the launch of the book, Bridgital Nation, at the 10th edition of the Mumbai LitFest on Sunday.

Tata Sons Chairman, N. Chandrasekaran, on Sunday said there was no basis to the fear that technology will take away jobs.

"There is a global fear that technology will take away jobs. There is absolutely no truth that technology will take away jobs. Every single big breakthrough has come because of technology. Several people are working on creating jobs, but not many are looking to find a breakthrough on how technology and job creation can go hand in hand," Chandra said while launching his book titled Bridgital Nation at the 10th edition of Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest.

"It is a fact that Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will touch every country, some faster and others a little slower, but it will play an integral part in society. And it can be very positive if we use AI to empower people. If we design our education system like that, our jobs will reflect it too," he added.

Chandra was speaking with Uday Kotak, Executive Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank, at the book launch. The book is co-authored by Roopa Purushothaman.

On using technology to bridge the challenges being faced by the economy, Chandra said the slowdown, along with technology were creating a little pressure on jobs. However, this was also a great opportunity for the government to make structural changes in the economy, with the help of technology.

Kotak added that there was a strong need for transformation and to re-imagine the finance sector, especially the SME sector.

When Kotak asked Chandrasekaran about what India needs to do in the next three months, the Tata Sons chief answered, things cannot be solved in three months, however, the government was taking enough measures to make sure that the system comes back on track because companies are bleeding.

Kotak added that the industries that needed focus were power, real estate and, now, finance. Chandrasekaran added that power and telecom industry needed a lot of focus.

"You take the power sector. My recommendation would be that how do we ensure that each of these power plants, no matter whose they are, get re-operationalised? How do you arrest the loss of discoms? We should privatise them," Chandra said.

Published on November 18, 2019
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