Expansion plans push BFSI to reskill staff

As banks and insurance companies promote machine learning- (ML-) and artificial intelligence- (AI-) driven products and services, one cannot overlook the growing demand for sales and marketing as financial institutions plan aggressive expansion in...

CHENNAI: As banks and insurers increase touchpoints, coupled with roles in BFSI sector shifting from operations to sales and relationship, a push for reskilling employees has become imperative.

“In our academy, course subscription for reskilling of employees from the BFSI sector has grown from 10% of overall in 2018 to 25% now. Earlier, banks were driven by compliance and followed a conventional training module with fixed skillsets that matched their requirements. However, with heightened competition, banks are keen to adopt a holistic approach with new age digital skills,” said Hari Krishnan Nair, co-founder of Great Learning, an online and hybrid-learning company.

As banks and insurance companies promote machine learning- (ML-) and artificial intelligence- (AI-) driven products and services, one cannot overlook the growing demand for sales and marketing as financial institutions plan aggressive expansion in the tier-3 and -4 market, said Robin Bhowmik, chief business officer, Manipal Global Academy of BFSI.


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With the government proposing bank mergers, there is a significant shift in the skill requirements of customers (financial institutions), Bhowmik said, “Most of the volume of requirement is for sales personnel, which has changed the way we design our training module. Earlier, about 5% of training curriculum was relating to sales and soft skills, now about 30-40% of my training curriculum pertains sales. Our customers want their employees to be customer friendly, with more soft skills and more problem-solving skills, more collaboration and communication skills.”

Industry officials observe this shift in demand from operations to sales, due to a parallel shift of companies’ potential customer target group moving from urban and semi-urban markets to deep village pockets. Insurance companies see huge demand for product designing and redesigning based on digital platforms and customer experience. Sanjay Datta, chief (underwriting, claims, actuary and reinsurance), ICICI Lombard General Insurance, said, “We have recorded an increase in the strength of employees being reskilled from 5-10% last year to 10-20% currently.” “Last year — a public sector bank — was going through a merger with two other PSU banks. After the merger, their workforce doubled to 87,000 employees. However, recently, they announced that they will shut down some branches and have excess staff of 16,000 employees, who have to be re-deployed but not sacked. So, we have received a proposal to reskill the excess staff for the sales team,” said Bhowmik. On the digital front, Manipal trains and reskills about 2,500 employees every year for a private bank.

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With decoding consumer behavior turned into a new craze, the BFSI sector is seeing a huge demand for data scientists, data analysts, data engineers, data architects. “In the last 18 months, we have seen a 2x rise in demand on enrolment for data science and data analysis courses,” said Nair.
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