Indian workplaces are expecting to double automation by 2021: report

Indian workplaces are expecting to double automation by 2021: report
Workers during the manufacturing of a rail coach at Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai on Wednesday.Photo

  • Automation percentage to increase from 14% to 27% in 3 years.
  • Survey says only a few companies and HR functions ready to accept the change.
  • Maximum changes expected to occur in the service sector.
Automation and machines have been helping humans accomplish tedious and difficult tasks for a while now. Speaking of the current industrial scenario in India, robots on automated assembly and manufacturing lines are being used extensively to save on time and labour costs.

Currently, India uses 14% automation in its workplaces. This number is expected to double by the year 2021, primarily because of the extensive research in the field of robotics and AI-supported manufacturing processes. According to a survey by Willis Towers Watson on companies in India, the prediction is that workplace automation, including Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, is expected to double in the next three years.

If the trend is to be believed, India will be using more automation than the global average by 2021.

Traditional beliefs dictate that automation will replace humans in order to minimise cost, however, the study noted that most companies believe that the increase in automation percentage in workplaces will not reduce human engagement, rather it will increase human performance and involvement of skilled personnel.

But only a few companies and HR functions are fully prepared to welcome this change and grab the opportunities that will be offered by this massive change in the talent pool that will be offered by upcoming technologies.


As robotics and automation become the standard for industries the maximum change is expected to occur in the service industry. Job outsourcing is expected to increase and companies will be more inclined towards hiring people with specific talents for specific jobs, over full-time employees.

According to the survey, more than half of the companies in the service industry expect to have less than half of the full-time employees they currently have once automation accounts for a large part of the industry.

The percentage of how many companies are ready to accept these changes are shocking. According to the same survey, only one-third of the manufacturing industries and 24% of the service industry is prepared to accept the change.

So, the crux of the survey is that automation will not cost anyone their job but instead increase the amount of skilled labour in the industry that will in turn result in higher salaries and overall growth of the industrial and service sector.