After the pandemic, digital disruption became a top priority for business leaders to grapple with the uncertainties of the changing business world. With digital technologies, banks and financial institutions are introducing radically new ways to deliver value to provide customers with differentiated experiences; embracing the power of digital data & cloud turned out to be a need of the hour.
Data analytics provides deep insights, promotes data-driven decision-making toward better financial delivery, and further strengthens personalized customer strategies. Also, data-backed technologies can enable banks and collaborators to share data. Precisely mapped data can deliver individual customer behavior and financial tendencies, which will further help in creating enhanced customer relationship management.
In the above context, The Economic Times organized a virtual roundtable discussion on “Upskilling to keep financial organizations ahead of the curve,” wherein leading industry veterans from the financial sector came together to discuss the striking strategies to leverage data analytics platforms to boost cloud and virtual computing for banks and the financial sector to manage humongous amounts of data seamlessly.
Roadmap to the flawless adoption of skilling programs
Shipra Malhotra, Executive Editor, Special Initiatives, ETCIO, moderated the session. She explained the future-ready upskilling and reskilling strategies not only around the hardcore advanced skills around cutting edge technologies, driving digital transformation but also around the foundation digital skills and data literacy among the business functions.
“In order to be future-ready amid the growing collaborations with fintech and digital disruptions, financial services organizations must be able to effectively keep pace with this accelerated pace of adoption of technology to stay ahead of the curve, especially in the light of the growing competition,” she added.
While sharing an insightful outlook on the need of upskilling and reskilling employees, Subhash Kelkar, CTO & CDO, ICICI Securities, said, “Technologies are changing at a much faster rate than it was earlier; new software, new concepts, new things are coming up in the market at much faster rates. Also, we are observing that not only do we have a skill gap, but we have a skill deficit among the people who are with us as employees.”
“The ability to learn, the ability of the employee to get re-skilled, and ability to identify the skills and keep on evolving them regularly; these are the three major approaches to reskill and upskill the employees to fill this skill gap and stay ahead of the curve for the future-ready innovation and technologies,” he added.
Adding to the point, Shama Asnani, Executive Vice President & Head HR, Edelweiss, said, “Apart from the technology, the understanding of the product is very important. You must understand the needs of the target audience, stakeholders to connect with them and educate them before coming up with fancy tech support. So, the idea is to really bridge the gap not just from a technology skill but also understanding of the whole customer-centric product approach.”
Skilling & preparing workforce for a digital-savvy future
While sharing insights on learning capabilities, Rajesh Rajah, Head L&D, South Indian Bank, said, “More than really the modes of learning delivery, it is the ability to forecast and act on the organization’s need and deliver untapped content at the point of sale even when he/she is really facing the customers question at the moment of truth is going to define whether your L&D is effective or not.”
Arushee Aggarwal, Head of Business India, Coursera, explains a study that shows that more than 76% of major CEOs feel that skill shortage is a threat to growth. In the near future, skilling is on the CEO’s agenda because there are so many variations in the skills that will be needed for the organization to be successful. And even the technology investments that are being made in financial services in order to be able to realize the potential of that, you will need your workforce to be skilled.
“Technology is becoming synonymous with financial services, which is nowadays essential for businesses to minimize the efforts, time, and costs. Moreover, it is a crucial element for operational efficiency, customer convenience, and relationship management. In the recent research study of data and analysis, we found that learning has made its way into the top ten skills for the financial service industry,” she added while sharing insightful analysis on top skills.
Building the internal skillset around technology and innovation
While explaining the emerging need for digital tools in the HR world, Mayukh Maiti, Executive Vice President (HR), Tata Capital, said, “In the initial stage of our digital journey, we found out that digital tools and innovations keep on happening but what’s most significant is to change the mindset of the people and build the digital mindset of the organization. While we started working with different partners, fintech, and service providers, we learned to build our in-house capability and core strength across different sectors.”
“Our entire HR digital journey from paper to paperless approach turned out to be successful because of the efforts of our digital HR team who understands both HR and technology. So it is extremely important how you imbibe and assimilate those technology skills within the organization and then how you challenge yourself to adopt the transformation faster and more effectively,” he added.
Adding to the point, Subhashish Banerji, Senior Vice President – Human Resources, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, said, “The challenges are less about creating digital solutions or digital processes which can improve productivity of sales workforce, but it is more about how do you get your workforce to adopt to digital processes to engage with customers and follow the process with first time right (FTR) quality. The good news is that the consumers are getting more & more comfortable with digital mode of financial transactions and therefore Organizations would need to upskill their workforce on digital sales without losing time.
Digital learning mindset for seamless adoption of evolving tech solutions
While distinguishing between digitalization and digitization, Atul Mathur, EVP & Head – L&D, Aditya Birla Capital, said, “Digitalization is when you are looking a business model and hence leveraging technology to achieve that, whereas, on the other hand, digitization is when you are just automating a process. So, at Aditya Birla Capital, our focus has been on digitalization, which means that the entire length and breadth of the organization, from the CEO to the last person in the value chain, looks at things from a business model perspective and thinks digitally about it. Therefore, the digital mindset is very critical for organizations to adopt evolving tech solutions.”
“While creating an internal talent pipeline, we have witnessed technology as an ever-evolving element that keeps on constantly changing over time. As a result, skilling came out to be very handy, wherein upskilling and reskilling would be critical to prepare the workforce for an innovative and complex future ahead,” he added.
Adding to the point, Sanjeev Vaid, Managing Director – HR, NatWest Group, said, “The need for employees to identify and evolve those new tech and digital skills is a challenge. We are currently focussing on two extremes that constitute; building in-house capabilities and investing in future aspects for a constantly evolving business world where upskilling and reskilling are cornerstones of success.”
Finally, all the panelists concluded that it is essential for any financial service organization to build digital literacy and critical data skills or digital skills for everyone within the organization while upskilling and reskilling people for in-demand roles. Apart from building a digital-first mindset, organizations should also focus on building a learning mindset for the long-term perspective while ensuring that employees personalization, employee skill set, and mapping are core parts of learning and skilling programs.