The Future of Jobs in Public Procurement

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The Purchaser drafts the bid document in all fairness to the best of their ability but the vendors have suspicions that the bid document has been drafted keeping some supplier in mind.

What does the future of Jobs in the field of Public Procurement in India look like? To answer this question let us look at the current profile of candidates presently working in the field of Public Procurement. Presently there is no graduate degree in Public Procurement in India and therefore people getting into this field are either graduates or postgraduates in any discipline. The major determining factor deciding their career growth in Public Procurement is then the number of years of experience they have in the Industry. For Govt. Employees the mediums of learning are Institutes such as National Institute of Financial management and ASCII whereas Consultants and other professionals working in this field learn to upgrade their skill sets through online and offline courses offered from Institutes such as Procurement Learning, AIMA etc. With the advent of disruptive technologies such as Block-chain, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence the Future of jobs in Public Procurement is bound for a bumpy ride. Although these technologies are extensively being used in Corporate Procurement, however, their use is currently limited in the Public Procurement Space. Out of these Technologies, Block-chain holds an immediate and promising prospect. The blockchain is a functionality which is used to build trust on the internet. Trust is the biggest factor affecting Public Procurement.

Consider the following trust issue:

The Purchaser drafts the bid document in all fairness to the best of their ability but the vendors have suspicions that the bid document has been drafted keeping some supplier in mind. A Block-chain technology can be used to vet a bid document. Similarly, Purchasers have trust issues that suppliers are colliding with each other to create cartels. Blockchain technology can be used here also to maintain a vendor database.

In this scenario what additional skills would be required for Public Procurement Professional to acquire to survive in the future. This trend of learning on the job would continue until a regular professional graduate degree in Public Procurement is launched in India. In the future Procurement and IT Professionals specializing in the above-mentioned technologies would team together more and more. This means that Procurement Professionals would need to acquire a basic sensitization of these technologies in order to effectively talk to their counterparts. This Trend may continue till 2030 so based on one’s Procurement Knowledge a Professional can survive in the Market. However, post 2030 the chances of a combination of Artificial Intelligence and enhance know-how of IT Experts flooding the market are very high. This can create huge job losses and most jobs of repetitive nature are bound to suffer. Standardized procurement or excessive use of templates are bound to fade whereas complex procurement requiring highly technical skills are here to stay. The bottom-line message, therefore, is constant upgradation of skills to stay competitive in the Job market.

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