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With half of its population under 25 and the unemployment rate at a four-decade high, India faces an uncertain future. The question on young people’s minds: what kinds of jobs will we have? Quartz asked leaders across India’s biggest industries about that one job in their company or field that will be the most crucial in the coming decades.

  • Transportation & Energy

    • The data our company creates needs to be analyzed and be put to use in a way that’s simple and understandable. Undoubtedly, computers are going to help us, but people still need to analyze and interpret the data.

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      Rajiv Prasad

      President for India operations, JK Tyre & Industries
      Rajiv Prasad
    • The regional director role requires a high degree of technical competence and business acumen. With today’s rapidly evolving logistics landscape, this role will be central to our organization-wide digitization program.

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      Vikash Mohan

      Chief executive officer, DHL SmarTrucking
      Vikash Mohan
    • Network planning is as important as revenue management and helps determine how we use our aircraft.

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      Raj Raghavan

      Senior vice president and head of human resources, IndiGo
      Raj Raghavan
    • The way disruption is happening across industries, I feel that organizations’ capacity for innovation is going to be what differentiates them in the near future.

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      Rajesh Uppal

      Senior executive director, Maruti Suzuki
      Rajesh Uppal
    • Making sure that we have the right people to gather the data, analyze it, and make meaningful conclusions based on it is very important.

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      Sumant Sinha

      Chief executive officer, ReNew Power
      Sumant Sinha
    • The biggest job is going to be one that combines the jobs of a chief governance officer and a chief people officer.

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      Anand Mahindra

      Chairman, Mahindra Group
      Anand Mahindra
  • Retail & Hospitality

    • The hospitality industry is expected to add 10 million jobs by 2028, and data science roles will be at the forefront of that hiring.

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      Rohit Kapoor

      Chief executive officer, OYO
      Rohit Kapoor
    • The chief sustainability officer… will continue our economic and social sustainability initiatives for our karigars [artisans], and tighten our focus on environmental sustainability.

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      Sabyasachi Mukherjee

      Founder, Sabyasachi
      Sabyasachi Mukherjee
    • I believe that leaders of tomorrow have to be empathetic and should have the ability to inspire others. They also need to have a good understanding of technology to identify and leverage new-age digital-led business opportunities.

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      Suresh Narayanan

      Chairman and managing director, Nestle India
      Suresh Narayanan
    • The number of data scientist positions has doubled in the past decade and will be even more critical in the future, along with software engineers and product managers.

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      Phanimohan Kalagara

      Senior vice president of product and engineering, Flipkart Online
      Phanimohan Kalagara
    • Today, the true essence of luxury is what a customer feels, not just what they see. We see the spotlight gradually shifting towards an experiential curator or innovator who designs “white-glove” experiences that are more exclusive for consumers than the standard trend-based options.

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      Dinaz Madhukar

      Executive vice president, DLF Luxury Retail & Hospitality
      Dinaz Madhukar
    • Marketing liquor in India has always been challenging because of strict advertising regulations. Therefore, the role of the marketing department continues to be of the utmost importance in the industry.

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      Amar Sinha

      Chief operating officer, Radico Khaitan
      Amar Sinha
  • Finance & Consulting

    • Aptitude, learnability, as well as the ability to innovate for end users are critical skills that distinguish high performers from the rest.

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      Nitin Chandel

      Managing director and head of technology, BNY Mellon India
      Nitin Chandel
    • As more ‘predictable’ and ‘pattern-able’ tasks become automated, the most valuable roles will increasingly be ones that involve dealing with and helping human intelligence grow, at Blume or elsewhere.

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      Karthik Reddy

      Co-founder and managing partner, Blume Ventures
      Karthik Reddy
    • As trust is at the core of everything we do, one of the most critical roles will be that of customer experience strategist. This job would be to ensure that our company empowers our customers to make secure and frictionless transactions through cutting-edge technology.

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      Anupam Pahuja

      Managing director, PayPal India
      Anupam Pahuja
    • Chief risk officer will be the most important role, mainly because the regulatory framework, along with the risk and governance landscape of the country, is changing rapidly.

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      Rajeev Ahuja

      Executive director, RBL Bank
      Rajeev Ahuja
    • The people who can make an outsized difference bring a combination of what is conventionally known as left-brained and right-brained thinking.

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      Kunal Shah

      Founder and chief executive officer, CRED
      Kunal Shah
    • The future of work is inextricably linked to extraordinary shifts in technology and human capital. Like all other organizations, we need to be able to embrace these changes to compete effectively.

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      Arvind Laddha

      India chief executive officer, Mercer
      Arvind Laddha
    • Venture capital is a business of relationships. Relationships are built on trust, and trust is essential to navigate the often difficult journey of redefining industries.

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      Sandeep Murthy

      Partner, Lightbox
      Sandeep Murthy
  • Technology

    • Today, it’s not just about skill sets because if you want to become a data analyst, you shouldn’t only be familiar with data sciences or AI—you also need to learn a bit of communication, project management, and design thinking.

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      Debjani Ghosh

      President, Nasscom
      Debjani Ghosh
    • Data scientists… improve product experience and business performance by applying statistical methods and AI models to every facet of the business.

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      Vivek Sunder

      Chief operating officer, Swiggy
      Vivek Sunder
    • Data scientists and data engineers are the two jobs that come to mind. A company like ours is sitting on tons of data—and it is growing by the day.

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      Hitesh Oberoi

      Managing director and chief executive officer, Info Edge
      Hitesh Oberoi
    • We want people who can focus on security because data and privacy are becoming extremely important as the digital world expands.

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      Richard Lobo

      Executive vice president and head of HR, Infosys
      Richard Lobo
    • We’re always looking for high-empathy product managers, preferably women, who can relate to the problems we’re attempting to solve.

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      Sairee Chahal

      Founder and chief executive officer, SHEROES
      Sairee Chahal
    • People who have the ability to imagine will be very important. That will be the sustaining trait for professionals in our industry.

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      Sanjeev Sharma

      Managing director, ABB India
      Sanjeev Sharma
    • The major challenge for hiring is that there is a greater demand for data scientists than people who can fill those roles.

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      Naveen Tewari

      Founder, InMobi
      Naveen Tewari
    • We are seeing a robust uptick in demand in areas such as AI, machine learning, data sciences, and strategic design, but these skills do not exist at scale today.

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      Rishad Premji

      Chairman, Wipro
      Rishad Premji
  • healthcare

    • Given the way Indian healthcare is structured, doctors will continue to be the most crucial  people in a hospital. On the other hand… technology will disrupt the healthcare industry.

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      Devi Shetty

      Founder, Narayana Health
      Devi Shetty
    • I believe the Chief Digital Transformation Officer will have a crucial role to play in the future… the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business would fundamentally change how we operate while creating value for our shareholders.

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      Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

      Chairman and managing director, Biocon
      Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
  • education

    • If you are studying engineering, I’d tell you that the most important thing to learn is the power of being interdisciplinary. Because anything that you can do will require interdisciplinary knowledge.

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      Ashok Jhunjhunwala

      Professor, IIT Madras
      Ashok Jhunjhunwala
    • I think bioscience is going to take a much more central stage for us as technology advances.

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      Rajesh Garodia

      Pro vice chancellor, Ashoka University
      Rajesh Garodia
  • Media & Entertainment

    • The best hires are those who have the hunger to learn and want to contribute to a culture that celebrates the success of the team and the brand.

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      Ali Hussein

      Chief executive officer, Eros Now
      Ali Hussein
    • I believe that going forward, the custodians of customer satisfaction will continue to be one of the most important roles in a business.

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      Sunil Kumar

      Chief human resources officer, PVR
      Sunil Kumar
    • The world is changing, and the publishing industry needs people to be able to shift with it. I’ll bet you readers are more likely to do so than anyone else.

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      Chiki Sarkar

      Co-founder and publisher, Juggernaut Books
      Chiki Sarkar
    • While the media and entertainment industries appear to be content-driven, data analysis is increasingly figuring out the why, how, and where of creating, disseminating, and reviewing that content.

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      Sudhanshu Vats

      Group chief executive officer and managing director, Viacom18
      Sudhanshu Vats
    • I work at the grassroots levels in rural India, and that’s why I believe that it is very important for women from rural areas to become journalists.

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      Kavita Devi

      Co-founder and editor, Khabar Lahariya
      Kavita Devi