Not Business as Usual: How Social Media is
Changing the Way India does Business
The power of social media?
• Social media is a force to reckon with. It is no longer a place for
entertainment but for work and community engagement. Pandemic
was a good example of community coming together and connecting
to help one another.
• Social media is also a space for advocacy and building public opinion.
People talk and share good practices that they come across in the
course of work or travel and thereby build a conversation for similar
practices in their environment. This often helps inform and shape
corporate as well as government policies.
• Social media, used well, has the power to influence behaviour and also
gives people the power to imagine the future. It is an important tool
for people and communities to grow together and can add meaning
to the human life?
Social media can be a negative space. How can that be addressed?
• Culture of trust must be built by platforms by walking their talk.
Technology and human resources must be deployed by platforms
to keep the bad elements out.
• Trust is a factor of many things, one of which is the empowerment
of members. Members must have the means to raise flags, point
out discrepancies and have a robust grievance forum. The member
community must be a willing watchdog for what’s on the platform.
Are social media platforms such as LinkedIn serving to influence
• Presence on social media is now a business imperative. It is the first
point of business and brand.
• Initially a website was the first port of call for anyone who wanted to
find out about a company. Today a website is still important but the
social media pages of organizations have become equally critical for
a brand. Organizations can strengthen their brand by catalysing and
participating in various conversations.
• Existing in a public space makes organizations more responsive and
responsible. Many companies have made or ruined their reputations
through their social media communication. So, there is definitely
a pressure on the company to get its house in order and be up for
constant public scrutiny.
• Thanks to social media we are seeing organizations behaving more
responsibly towards their stakeholders – not just customers but also
their employees and vendors.
• In recent times there has been a chorus on social media about the
merits for working from home. Many people are now actively voicing
their preference to work from home. Many companies have taken
cognisance of this and have actually reworked their attendance policies to factor in popular opinion.
How will social media disrupt businesses further in the next five
years or so?
• Disruption will happen more in the space of hiring. Organizations
will focus on skill- based recruitment system. Selecting a person
on the strength of gender, academic institution or socio-economic
background is becoming a thing of the past. Some organizations ask
for these fields to be removed from the resumes so that candidates
can be assessed purely on the basis of their skills.
• Thanks to digital transformation, business today is a tech business.
Everyone has to exist and engage digitally. This means every organization, irrespective of its size and mandate will have to make important
changes to traditional processes to be able to migrate and flourish
in the digital world. More of the skills required will be those linked
to the digital space. This will be a disruptive change.
• Many stories of traditional businesses successfully transforming to
digital entities, are emerging.
What are the skills needed to build a nation and how can we generate those?
• The mantra will have to be not just do well but do good. I see a lot of
companies today operating out of a sense of purpose.
• Every day GenZ is joining the workforce. This population is young,
empathetic and keen to make the world a better place. They are
the ones that are asking thought-provoking questions and forcing
important conversations and conversions.
• They are also very conscious about their skills and how they use them.
They are more likely to pick up green jobs because of the lasting
impact these jobs have on the state of the world.
• Organizations like LinkedIn are working on sustaining this positive
trend by leveraging technology to empower this community with skills
that can make them agents of positive change. Employers are also
being empowered with tools that can help their employees develop
new skills and contribute to a better world.
• Organizations can play a very important role in generating skills in
the larger community. LinkedIn for example has a programme called
LinkedIn Coaches. This is a group of LinkedIn employees that mentors
LinkedIn members facing employment challenges.
• Power of network is very important and those who can should leverage
it to benefit those who are less privileged.
India of 2047 that you dream of
• A country that is big on economic development and creates economic
opportunities for everyone.
• A country that is both flexible and inclusive. Inclusivity is a sum of
many parts – financial, social and political. Everyone should have
equal access to opportunities.
• A country that is a skill-based economy with all the skills needed
for the future ranging from digital to soft skills. Everyone has the
individual and collective responsibility to create such a country. Businesses and the governments must especially work towards creating
an ecosystem that encourages skilling.
• In the new world skills will need to be updated frequently. So, it is
important that both the company and the corporates have the infrastructure and processes needed to keep India’s workforce at the
cutting edge of skilling.
What are the skills that the youth need to acquire to be future-relevant and ready?
• Primarily digital skills. This means the ability to exercise one’s core
expertise on digital platforms.
• Example accountancy – it is important not just to understand the
science of the subject but also be familiar and comfortable with
multiple digital software and interfaces used by organizations to
• Programming skills – especially Java programming will be a very
key skill in the near future.
• Data science – data mining, data management are all emerging skills.
• Cyber security skills are becoming very important as well.
New world challenges that people need to address
• The world is changing very fast along multiple parameters. It is easy
to get caught up in multiple priorities and lose focus of one’s goal.
The challenge is to keep one’s head down and be consistent in one’s
• Health and wellbeing are other important aspects that need focus.
The pandemic has thrown open the vulnerabilities in the healthcare
system and those need to be addressed at the earliest.
Immediate top priorities for India and possible impact evaluation
• Bring the best minds from across stakeholder groups to the table so
that we can get the priority list right. The intent should be to create
a level playing ground for everyone.
• Collaborations need to catalysed between these different stakeholder
groups so that there is strategic pursuit of common goals.