EXCLUSIVE: Top Kashmir born HR expert on jobs, career post COVID19

May 1, 2020
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Srinagar: A top Kashmir-born human resource expert and management guru has proposed young graduates to go back to college and acquire skill-based education as the job market has shrunk due to the lockdown.

“It is not a good time to get out of college. We have seen this happening in the past also. I remember in 2008 and 2009, people who graduated struggled to find good jobs because the hiring had come down. The same thing is going to happen now because only critical roles will get filled,” Suresh Raina, partner at Hunt Partners, one of India’s top executive hiring firms, told The Kashmir Monitor.

After graduating from Regional Engineering College, Srinagar, Raina moved to the US for advanced studies. After his return to India, he joined Hunt Partners in Mumbai. Hunt Partners provides search and customized Human Capital solutions for a select group of global and regional clients who require a discreet search for top management and board positions. Founded in 2003-04, Hunt Partners has grown to become a leading executive search firm in Asia.

Raina said going back to college for honing skills has always worked for young graduates struggling to find jobs. “I have seen many people doing it in 2008 and 2009. They went to college for a masters programme for the skill-based programme and spending six months to one or two years in college. That would be one option,” he said.

Raina has asked the students to foray into artificial intelligence, machine learning, machine automation, and robotics to raise the game in the shrinking job market.  

“Technology is getting into every aspect of business nowadays. Be it manufacturing, customer service, sales, marketing, or others. How are you going to be ready for a world which is going to use a lot of technology? I recently came across Cobot. It is a robot that can work with humans.  Usually, robot work where humans can’t venture. Cobots can work alongside a human. We have to get into this world of coexistence,” he said.

Raina said there is going to be a very strong contraction in the economy due to the COVID lockdown. “I was listening to a video chat of Arvind Subramanian, former chief economic advisor of the country. He said GDP growth rate is possibly close to zero. It may even tread in the negative zone. If that be the case and supplemented by what I am hearing, every business is going to shrink significantly. The first tool of the organization is reducing costs.  It means all the planned expenditures will be reviewed. Headcount and manpower costs will take a hit. It means you are going to see a fair bit of attrition,” he said.

Raina also has a piece of advice for the Kashmiri students to stay in the competition. “We do not have industry. We don’t manufacture cars or motorcycles. We have tourism, handicrafts, and food processing. Either we have to move out and find regular jobs in different sectors, be it pharmaceuticals, banks insurance, FMCG, or others.   We can also go for entrepreneurship. For that we need to see how we can develop what we have in Kashmir,” he said. 

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