A lot of my print space of late has been emphasising on the need for developing and facilitating the generation of a skilled labour force to sustain the growth of our industry. Its importance is manifested at multiple levels.
Firstly, there is a linear relation between the fortunes of our industry and the manpower in the application sector in terms of sales. After all, with about 75% of our industry sales being from the architectural segment, and the architectural segment being driven by contractors and applicators, we need the sustained presence of qualitative and quantitative skilled manpower to help the business survive and thrive. In the absence of this, we might be faced with a queer situation where both the demand and the supply to propel our industry towards the envisaged short-term target of Rs. 100,000 crores exist, but the carriers and enablers for the same are not present.
Secondly, the inadequate skill levels in this application segment means that our paint industry has a much-maligned image. Any fault is invariably blamed on the paint as a material and as an industry. Furthermore, the whole customer experience in terms of home-painting has never been touted as a pleasant one, due to the lack of finesse on the part of the applicators. Improving this element could significantly uplift the home painting and repainting experience, which is an important component of our industry's fortunes.
Thirdly, at a macro level, as a country, unemployment and better wages are a huge social problem. The ironic truth is also that as we progress, the advent of automation and new-age technologies are actually diminishing the prospects of employment. There are only a few industries where there are good prospects of enhanced employment on a mass scale. Construction and Textiles are two such industries where the requirement of skilled and semi-skilled manpower is potentially on the upswing. It thus presents an opportunity for our industry to contribute to nation-building, not only in an industrial and economic context, but also on the social front.
As earlier mentioned, this is where the constitution of the Paint and Coatings Skill Council by our industry, under the aegis of the National Skill Development Council (NSDC) is such an admirable step. We are proud to be integrally associated with it. Beginning with this month's edition of the journal, we will be carrying content relevant to this aspect, and hope to further sensitise the industry to this crying need and opportunity for ourselves and the country.
It goes without saying that the skilling of our labour force is an imperative not only for the industry, but the entire country, and we must all play our role towards the same.
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