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Shiv Vikram Khemka

 Vice-Chairman, SUN Group Global, Executive Chairman, The Global Education & Leadership Foundation | India

Shiv Vikram Khemka is Vice-Chairman of SUN Group, with both operating and investment companies active in areas including Private Equity, Renewable Energy, Oil & Gas, High Technology, Gold Mining and Real Estate. Khemka has served on the Board of Overseers of The Wharton School for over a decade, and currently on the board of the Lauder Institute and the Centre for Advanced Studies of India at the University of Pennsylvania. Khemka also serves on the Yale University’s President’s Council on International Activities, the Asia Society Policy Institute’s Global Council. He has also been a member of the President’s Leadership Council at Brown University, the Advisory Board of the School of Oriental and African Studies, and the board of the Judge Institute at Cambridge University. Mr. Khemka was elected a “Global Leader for Tomorrow” (GLT) at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 1997. He was awarded the “Wharton India Alumni Award”, the “Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award” by Tufts University, and the “Outstanding Contribution to Education Prize” by Wharton. Shiv Vikram Khemka talked about the impact of COVID-19 on the global workforce. He underlined that changing norms of the future job market by stressing that there is an urgent need for the young population to think in an entrepreneurship mindset, encourage cooperation and work together not to waste resources globally. Khemka also draw attention to the fact that sports have an important role in the democratization of entrepreneurship for everyone to meaningfully participate in the social life, economy, and the job market.

The workforce, who has been working physically, is deeply affected by the new era of online engagement. On one hand, jobs have been lost and on the other hand, online engagement has created work opportunities for many people. It is estimated that most people, who are working remotely, make over 50 percent of the working population. Recent surveys showed that 70 percent of online workers are actually not complaining and believe their efficiency may be going up. There is 30 percent who are unhappy in terms of the working methodology. On the other side of the situation, many jobs have been lost and many more jobs could be lost depending on the duration of this recession. The toll on mental health on interpersonal relationships is increasing. There is an excessive burden on women in terms of dealing with the work from home. In terms of education, which our foundation is very focused on, more than 1.2 billion young people are out of school. That is a huge number considering that people are now accessing e-learning. Education is booming. However, the reality is that only 59 percent of the world’s population has access to the internet. 41 percent still do not have access to the Internet.23 It shows a huge division, a digital separation that again could have significant repercussions over the next few years. We should all be working on how to create enough jobs to deal with the trifecta of effects that are all coming together.

The coded impact on the economy is that people are losing jobs and going into the model of a gig economy with very little job stability and that loss of entry of jobs is also being exacerbated by technology. Technology is also coming in at the same time in which digitalization and artificial intelligence will creating and destroying many jobs at the same time.

It is going to be a challenge for the people, who lose their jobs, to learn and adapt new skill for the new economy that is being developed. Professionals will find it hard to retool and restructure their knowledge appropriately and fast enough as the world population is growing. When we focus on the next generation, we need to create a billion more jobs. Governments are pumping significant capital into the economy to keep growth increasing and protect their economies in order to fund public construction projects and other projects.

The main question is whether these actions will have enough of an effect to counter the significant loss of jobs that we foresee on the planet. The estimate is a loss of about half a billion jobs worldwide. When the need for another billion jobs is added to the already lost jobs, the challenge is overwhelming. The only way to deal with that gap created by the job losses is to encourage entrepreneurship globally to create new mindset amongst young people and elderly. We should be moving to an age of an entrepreneurial mindset, where everyone starts to think like an entrepreneur and encourage collaboration, cooperation and to work together not to waste resources globally. We should team up and think about how to implement the best practices in different parts of the world.

Rather than trying to create something on the basis of very little knowledge, we should share our existing experiences to create three million jobs a month for the next 30 years. That is a huge challenge. Borders being closed in many parts of the world stopping international trade. Although governments are valiantly trying to create economic growth through infusions of monetary support into the economy, we believe that the key is going to be entrepreneurial energy being unleashed entrepreneurs working together.

We are working with many other foundations to create the entrepreneurship sports generation. It is about bringing entrepreneurs together around the world and making entrepreneurship something that is not seen as an elitist province, but something that everyone can participate in the democratization of entrepreneurship. Sports is a very democratic architecture around the world that everyone feels they can watch, play, and be involved around the world whether it is football FIFA or the Olympics. We think entrepreneurship should be seen in the same light where everyone can play, be involved with that collaborative competitive spirit.

Everyone can actually try, restart and give some kind of a fillip to the economy globally to create more jobs, which I believe will be the major crisis for the next 5 to 10 years. We need to do our best to find a way out, not only to encourage global entrepreneurship and get government support behind, but also educate our young people to think with a new mindset for entrepreneurship in whatever they do. The age of stable jobs may be redefining itself.