Electronics Sector Skills Council of India (ESSCI) has conducted a skill gap study on Hearables & Wearables. The study examines the current state and future potential of the rapidly growing industry. The current market size for this segment is on the lower side, and is just around US$ 1 billion, with as much as 90% of this market being comprised of the hearables sub-segment. The study estimates a conservative manpower requirement of around 50,000 for this sector by 2025-26, which is 5 times the current manpower employed in this sector.
Hearables refer to any audio device that is worn on the person of the user, typically in the ear, while wearables include wrist watches, fitness bands, and other such devices. According to study, manufacturing in India has seen a robust growth, specifically in the smart watch category, as India’s share in global shipments has risen sharply in 2021 from 2020. The Government of India Vision document aims to manufacture US$8 billion worth of wearables & hearables in India by 2025-26. Out of this, around US$ 2.5 billion would be slated for exports while the rest would cater to the Indian market. Therefore, there is a huge potential for accelerated growth in this sector.
The key drivers for this growth include the increase in usage of hearing devices due to the work-from-home culture driven by Covid-19, as well as the increase in utilization of over-the-top (OTT) platforms. The current manpower employed in this sector is quite low, with less than 10,000 personnel employed in various roles, both on permanent and contract basis. Sales and marketing are the major function. However, as the sector grows rapidly and the production expands, this manpower requirement can be expected to increase multi-fold, with a greater proportion than the current staff in production roles.
Amrit Manwani, Chairman of ESSCI, said, “The Hearables and Wearables industry in India is at an inflection point, with tremendous potential for growth. We believe that this sector has the potential to be a major driver of economic growth in India, and we are committed to supporting the development of the industry through the provision of high-quality training and skill development programs. We also see tremendous opportunities for Indian professionals to develop their careers in this sector, both in India and globally.”
Dr Abhilasha Gaur, COO of ESSCI, highlighted the importance of the skill gap study and the futuristic job roles in the coming year. “Our skill gap study highlights the significant skill gap in the Hearables and Wearables industry, which needs to be addressed in order to support the growth of the industry. We believe that there are significant opportunities for professionals with the right skills and knowledge to develop their careers in this sector, and we are committed to supporting them through the provision of high-quality training and skill development programs.”
The top technical skills required for personnel in this industry include quality control/assurance, basic knowledge of computer hardware/software, technical knowledge (electronics/ electrical) and data analytics, while soft skills include communication skills, project or production management, leadership/team management and problem identification & solving skills.