Mercer India CEO Arvind Laddha on the firm's future workforce

28 February 2020 3 min. read
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Two new roles will be of key importance for Mercer India in the Industry 4.0 paradigm, according to Mercer India CEO Arvind Laddha. One of these will be an internal-focused role and the other will be client-facing, with both of these roles grounded in strong digital capabilities. 

The internal role will be that of chief digital officer, who will focus on Mercer’s digital investments to increase efficiency and deliver a better customer experience. Both efficiency and customer experience are increasingly crucial functions in the contemporary market, where customer demands are growing in intensity and complexity by the day.

The second role, according to Laddha, will be that of a digital transformation officer of sorts, who will facilitate the digitalisation of Mercer’s clients. This position entails knowledge of organisational structure and design, and familiarity with digital tools and strategy to enable effective changes.

“The person in this role will have to identify the right kind of talent and resources to lead business and technology transformations that our client is undertaking and help them build a roadmap for implementing changes to the organisation structure, role design, workforce planning, skill set, or rewards interventions,” explained Laddha in discussion with news outlet Quartz.

Arvind Laddha, CEO Mercer India

Laddha’s analysis of Mercer’s own needs in a new era come against the backdrop of industry-wide research from Quartz on the jobs that will be crucial over the next few years or decades, and how companies are preparing for this scenario. The research speaks to the concerns around the impact that the rapid permeation of tech will have on jobs.

On the one hand, technologies such as artificial intelligence and automation are expected to replace dozens of jobs in years to come. On the other hand, experts predict that a new breed of jobs is likely to emerge that will require working in collaboration with technology. Big Four firm EY predicted recently that one in ten jobs in India is expected to be entirely new over the next half a decade.

“The future of work is inextricably linked to extraordinary shifts in technology and human capital. Like all other organisations, we need to be able to embrace these changes to compete effectively. The future demands new skills and changed mindsets. Both of these roles are multidimensional and require a balance of technical expertise with the ability to lead change with empathy and maturity, which could make them difficult to staff,” said Laddha.

The roles delineated by Laddha align with the philosophy Mercer appears to be embodying across its global operations. Last year, Mercer global CEO Martine Ferland stressed the importance that the workforce has in reaching the economic potential that digitalisation has to offer.