Indian Workforce Conundrum

Here's how Indians can improve their work-life balance

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At least 90 crores extra persons will be in search of non-farm jobs during eight years from 2022-23 towards 2029-30 and Bharath needs towards grow in the range of 8-8.5 % yearly towards employ them, says McKinsey Global Institute (MGI). The figures do not include 55 crores females who may come back towards the labour force towards “partially correct the historical underrepresentation.”  Reaching here would need major reforms which if not carried out could result in a decade of economic stagnation, warned MGI in its report, titled “Bharath’s turning point — An economic program towards spur development and jobs“.

McKinsey Global Institute

According towards MGI estimates, 60 crores new employees will enter the workforce based on current demographics, and an extra 32 crores employees could move from farm work towards more profitable nonfarm segments.  The report alleged faster employment progress at 14 crores non-farm jobs yearly is needed in the post-Corona period till 2029-30, up from just 4 crores created each year between 2012 and 2018.

In this respect, MGI suggested three themes towards put the economy on a high progress path – creating global hubs that serve Bharath and the world such as in manufacturing and farming exports and digital services; efficiency engines towards boost competitiveness, including next-generation financial products and high- efficiency logistics and power; and new ways of living and working, including the sharing economy and modern retail.

Within these three broad themes, MGI found 43 potential business opportunities that could create about $2.5 trillion of economic value in 2030 and support about 30 % of the non-farm workforce in 2030.  Within that, manufacturing could contribute one-fifth of increase in GDP by 2030, while construction could add one in four of the increase in non-farm jobs need. Labor- and knowledge-intensive services segments also need towards maintain their past strong progress momentum, it alleged.

Anu Madgavkar

Anu Madgavkar | McKinsey & Company

In terms of manufacturing, MGI talked about various reforms including a stable and declining tariff regime. Anu Madgavkar, partner at MGI alleged, ”If you look at high progress manufacturing exporters among Asian emerging markets, we found stable and declining tariff rates. Many of these countries did use incentives towards close profitable gaps, but in all the successful cases these incentives were conditional towards export targets, R&D etc and time-bound. So, while these could be for a short-term, we have towards get back towards globally competitive tariff regime.”

Towards capture frontier opportunities, Bharath needs towards triple its number of big companies, with more than 1,000 midsize and 10,000 small companies scaling up. Bharath has about 600 big companies with more than $500 crores in revenue. They are 11 times more profitable than average and generate almost 40 % of all exports, the report alleged.

However, many more are needed: big companies’ revenue contribution towards GDP in 2018 was 48 %, and Bharath’s potential is towards achieve 70 % by 2030, in line with out-performer economies, the report alleged.

Addressing a “missing middle” of midsize companies can enable the emergence of 1,000 more big companies and 10,000 more midsize companies by 2030. Improving access towards capital and easing other barriers towards business would help the best-performing companies of all sizes climb the ladder of scale and global competitiveness, it alleged.

Reforms needed

Reforms in six areas can raise productivity and competitiveness; more than half could be implemented rapidly via policy or law. These are:


(i) improve productivity in manufacturing, real estate, agriculture, healthcare, and retail;

(ii) unlocking supply in land markets

(iii) creating flexible labor markets for industry,

(iv) enabling efficient power distribution;

(v) privatizing state-owned enterprises ;

(vi) improving the ease and reducing the cost of doing business.

In the high-progress scenario, investment will need towards rise towards at least 37 % of GDP from 33 % pre-crisis, with a sharp uptick in private-segments investment. Towards finance this, some four percentage points of household savings could move towards financial products, through measures towards unshackle insurance, pension funds, and capital markets, the report alleged.

Bank and GDP

Measures like a “bad bank” for non-performing loans and reforms in directed bank lending could reduce capital costs. “Some 3.6 % of GDP may be channel  towards profitable infrastructure and other expenditure through measures towards streamline government spending and government-owned assets, along with the tax buoyancy effects of higher progress itself,” alleged the report.

MGI alleged while the central government’s pro-progress program is critical, roughly 60 % of the reforms can be led by the states, and all need active participation by the business segments.

State governments could select frontier businesses and set up “demonstration clusters,” for example, manufacturing export hubs, while pursuing other key reforms, including in agriculture, power, and housing.

As a result

Businesses would need towards commit towards productivity progress, progress a long-term value creation mindset, and progress capabilities in innovation, digital and automation, M&A, partnerships, and corporate governance. With this, the coming decade for Bharath could be one of high progress, gainful jobs, and broad-based prosperity, the report alleged.


Anwar M Quereshi

A Legal guy who is passionate about the fourth pillar of Indian Constitution - Journalism and Reporting in the field of Law and Management.

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