Artificial Intelligence

Sukhdeep Aurora, Chief People Officer – ANAROCK Property Consultants

India is adopting new-age technology fairly rapidly – and is, in fact, a hotbed for the very creation of such technology. Corporate executives are increasingly using technology to make their day-to-day tasks more efficient and less strenuous.

This trend brings up a loaded and hotly-debated question for India Inc. and in fact corporates globally – will technology eliminate the need for humans when it comes to performing routine tasks?

There is obviously no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The answer is obviously ‘yes’ when it comes to a number of largely mechanical functions. Countries, where scarce manpower is expensive, will also see a greater thrust towards automation than others.

However, let’s examine the situation closer to home and take the job function of Executive Assistants or personal secretaries as a case in point. This is one role I am asked about fairly often in context with possible erosion by technology.

Will Technology Replace Secretaries?

Today, India is amongst the fastest-growing smartphone markets globally, with around 340 million users tracked by Statistica.com in 2017 alone.

Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants

Coworking spaces have redefined the work culture globally and India is one of the most fertile grounds for the growth of this new work environment option.

From simple workplace with ungainly desks and chairs to much better-utilized spaces, automation and even added recreational facilities, office space structures in India have indeed changed a lot.

One of the offshoots of this evolutionary process is the rise of workplaces that can be easily accessed anytime and from anywhere – a plug-and-play concept of office spaces.

In short, coworking or shared office spaces.

Buoyed by the Central Government’s efforts to create a viable eco-system for young entrepreneurs, India is witnessing the mushrooming of multiple start-ups and SMEs across the country. Such businesses are increasingly focusing on co-working spaces.

  • These shared spaces are often in prime locations and provide a perfect platform for growth-seeking start-ups.
  • Moreover, they come at significantly lower costs than traditional office formats
  • They offer more flexibility greater flexibility to both employees and employers, and
  • They do not require a massive fixed capital investment.

Sukhdeep Aurora, Chief People Officer – ANAROCK Property Consultants

Open offices are a new-age commercial spaces trend which is catching up across the globe, including in India. Improving wireless technology to suit changing business requirements is truly an enabler for this transformation.

Millennials and globe-trotters today account for a large and ever-increasing share of the Indian working population – they operate on a very collaborative wavelength and are, by and large, not at home in the traditional cubicles model that so far defined most Indian office spaces.

To cater to the evolving mindset of a Gen Next workforce – and to achieve better productivity and employee retention – an increasing number of progressive firms are now transforming their offices into trendy, happening, open spaces that promote innovation and collaboration.

Advantages of the Open Office Culture:

  • Employees can interact and collaborate easily, which not only improves productivity but also fosters a stronger sense of camaraderie
  • Colleagues can discuss and seek advice without scheduling formal meetings
  • Collaborative offices are vibrant spaces that emit positive energy and therefore uplift the innovation quotient
  • Making the spaces where employees spend a significant portion of their day more vibrant and energetic makes them look forward to hitting the office
  • Open offices reduce the cost of construction as walls,

Prashant Thakur, Head – Research, ANAROCK Property Consultants

Goregaon, located on the western lines of the Mumbai suburbs, is one of the oldest and most popular residential areas in MMR.

A vibrant residential hub, Goregaon lies between Bandra and Borivali and has earned its tag as a premium residential hotspot due to its proximity to the entertainment industry in Bandra and Juhu.

In a city where connectivity is everything, other market drivers that make it such an attractive residential hub for HNI buyers and investors are its proximity to:

  • The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
  • The commercial hubs of Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) and Andheri
  • The Western Express Highway
  • NESCO, Nirlon Knowledge Park and Mindspace
  • The proposed ODC (Oshiwara District Center)

Apart from its thriving commercial office real estate market, the fact that Goregaon is such a uniquely-positioned hub for working professionals also favours its residential property market. Moreover, Goregaon has emerged as one of the front-running property hotspots to advance the vital walk-to-work (w2w) concept in Mumbai.

With several office projects already in place and more constantly mushrooming in and around the locality,

Sukhdeep Aurora, Chief People Officer – ANAROCK Property Consultants

When it comes to the factors influencing recruitment trends in Indian real estate in 2018, a lot comes to mind.

However, there are three interesting developments which can be considered predominant among them:

  1. Technology adoption

Adeptness in digital technology and upskilling to Digitech skills are definitely prime watchwords for selecting the right candidates. To be sure, technology is the change driver around which more and more real estate recruitment decisions will be taken.

This is because, whether an industry which tends to hang stubbornly on to the traditional ways of doing its business likes it or not, technology will replace – and in fact is already replacing – at least 75% of the traditional methods of sourcing real estate opportunities at both the buyers’ and sellers’ end.

In this highly opportunistic market, operational speed is of the greater essence than ever before, and the use of technology to achieve this speed is indispensable.

Nor is this increasing focus on technological skills limited to just consultancies –

Sukhdeep Aurora, Chief People Officer – ANAROCK Property Consultants

The importance of gender diversity in the workplace is a pretty well-accepted fact now.

While more and more companies are addressing the need to bridge the gender gap in their respective businesses, there are many instances where gender diversity has remained a ‘buzzword’ with only nominal lip-service paid to the urgent and current need for a diversified workforce.

India Inc, at certain functions and levels, still remains less than accepting of women at the workplace.

Successful women are still an exception rather than the norm as they continue to struggle with the chauvinist thinking that has moved out of Indian homes and society and into our workplaces.

To say this may be politically incorrect but if the ugly truth is not bared, there cannot be progress. That is not to say that some positively seminal progress has not been made.

Many India-based MNCs adopting their global entity’s gender diversity norms, as well as quite a few leading consultancies and technology firms, are actually the flagbearers of gender diversity in Indian workplaces.

Sukhdeep Aurora, Chief People Officer – ANAROCK Property Consultants

With the work environment changing at the speed of a social media update, it is relevant to look at how firms are now moving from conventional modes of recruitment.

In fact, many firms now integrate social media platforms into their hiring strategies. This is inevitable and essential in the Digital Age where candidates are also actively leveraging social media platforms to seek newer and better work opportunities.

Linked Into The New Recruitment Wave

With the advent of LinkedIn and especially the very nifty LinkedIn Jobs interface, it is now just a matter of few search strings for an organization’s HR team to be able to compile a list of potential candidates for open positions.

Many firms are now choosing to advertise their openings through this platform and actively encourage applicants to apply through this platform. Candidates and potential job seekers/hoppers who are wired into the social media circuit are very active on LinkedIn.

The mantra is simple – the platform provides a ready list of appropriate job seekers and job providers and creates a considerable saturation of synergies.

Sukhdeep Aurora, Chief People Officer – ANAROCK Property Consultants

As the oft-repeated saying goes – change is the only constant. The business environment is a constantly-evolving organism which, in the wake of its rapid progress, has started making new demands on its stakeholders.

Technology has emerged as the biggest change architect driving not only the way working styles have evolved, but also how the workforce needs to innovate.

In such a dynamic culture, it is imperative for any contemporary company to be able to attract the kind of talent that is extremely comfortable with technology. In fact, this comfort must go beyond just being able to use existing tech. The executive of today must have a driving curiosity for gaining new insights and adopting the latest technologies.

The ideal kind of questing mindset is not limited to using technology provided by the company he or she works for – it spills into all areas of life. Meanwhile, management teams must spearhead the adoption of new and innovative technologies to enhance workplace productivity.

What is needed is a symbiotic relationship between tech-enabled and tech-curious employees and management that actively encourages,