When it comes to employment in India, English language has ruled this sphere long after the independence. We started adapting to English language when India was a British colony. In order to find jobs under the British government, Indians went through English language training. However, even after India’s independence, Indians have treated English not just as a language but as a determinant of class, culture and education. It was until the internet became easily accessible by majority of Indians, English was ruling the digital world in India. The scenario changed when affordable smartphones and data plans came into play. Indian languages started gaining popularity on the internet and according to KPMG Report 2017; the non-English internet user base in India has already surpassed English speakers base and will constitute over 70% of the total internet user base by 2021.
When it comes to employment in India, English language has ruled this sphere
India, being the largest democracy, has become an ideal place for businesses to thrive and capture the largest amount of audience. At the same time it is a place where 90% of internet users are non-English speakers who consume local language content. Hence, language localization for website contents and apps became a necessity.
Growth of Indian Language Internet User Base:
According to a report published by Economic Times, Indians in 2017 have downloaded 12.1 billion apps in their mobile phones which surpassed the number of app downloads in the US. With the increasing smartphone penetration and low cost data plans, internet became accessible to the majority of Indians. Since non-English speaking Indians love to consume digital content in their own regional language, the demand of local language content started increasing. The Google KPMG report published in 2017 showed how Indian language speaking user base is rapidly growing. It has stated that by 2021 Indian language speaking user base will touch 536 million.
It is not just the affordable high-speed internet and smartphones, but also the increasing digital literacy among Indians and available Indian language content which contributed to the growth of Indian language internet users. The KPMG report showed that the highest number of Indian internet users accessed mostly chat applications in 2016 and the lowest rate of adoption was in e-payments, government services, online classifieds and digital write-ups. Adoption levels will grow in these areas with more Indian language content in the coming years.
Employment Opportunities with Localization:
Earlier, when only English language content was available on the internet, employment opportunities were only for English speaking Indians. English was mandatory for everyone to learn and speak (and write too) in order to secure a job. However, with Indian language localization coming into play, local language speaking Indians are now finding jobs. With the increasing popularity of Indian languages on the internet, companies are hiring employees who know regional languages. According to a report published by Reverie, Indian language Internet can create 10 million jobs by the year 2021 and income growth for 400 million connected local language users will increase. So, let’s check out in which areas job opportunities will increase the most.
Demand for Regional Language Content:
With the rising demand of regional language content in India, requirement of local language content creators has also increased. Languages like Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam have made a prominent place in the digital space. Hence, content creators in those languages are finding jobs.
Demand for Indian Language experts:
The demand is not high only for the Indian language translators, but language experts too are highly required in order to successfully localize an app or a website. Localization agencies and language service providers are also recruiting language experts. Earlier, Indian language experts were only hired for teaching languages in schools and colleges and it was difficult for them to find a job due to the high level of competition. But language localization in India has opened doors for the Indian language experts who are now getting jobs in reputed private sectors.
Job Opportunities for non-English speaking Indians:
With the emergence of Indian language content on the digital platform, the requirement of non-English speaking Indians has increased. Gone are those days when non-English speaking Indian job seekers were rendered ineligible for recruitment. Localization has come as a blessing for the non-English speaking Indians by creating more job opportunities.
Not only that, if e-learning channels also get localized, non-English speaking Indians can easily upgrade their skills as per industry requirements and find their dream jobs without having to speak English. At the same time, knowledge sharing will be easier in local Indian languages. There are millions of non-English speaking teachers who could not go online for knowledge-sharing due to the lack of local language mediums. But with localized knowledge sharing platforms, it is now easier for non-English speaking teachers to earn money online through teaching
Marketing sectors are open for Non-English speaking Indians. Digital marketing agencies are using Indian language advertisements to capture the highest number of target audience for which local language speaking Indians are required. Since 68% of Indian internet users, as per Google KPMG report, do not trust English language, the importance of local language marketing is increasing.
Another noticeable example of increased employment is the localization of app-based cab services which has helped the non-English speaking urban drivers to find jobs.
Localization of Online Recruitment Portals for Better Job Search:
Job search is the first step to finding a job. When it comes to digital recruitment portals in India, most of them are available only in English. Hence, again those 90% of non-English speaking Indians are uncomfortable applying for jobs online. Although the majority of jobs are advertised through online recruitment portals, non-English speaking Indians are unable to make use of it. As a result, it becomes difficult for non-English speaking Indians to find a job in an English-speaking digital India. Localization of online recruitment portals will increase the number of non-English speaking applicants and thus finding a job will be easier for local language speaking Indian job seekers.
Increased Demand Of Localization Agencies:
Not only local-language speaking employees, but localization agencies in India are making a remarkable progress owing to the rising demand of language localization. Apart from localization of existing websites and apps; real-time translation, Indic voice assistants and chatbots as well as Indic keyboards are also being incorporated for which localization agencies are being called for.
In the last few years, we have also noticed a huge number of Indian language-based mobile applications which also created employment opportunities for multiple non-English speaking Indians.
Hiring is also going on in the localization agencies, whether it is for translators, content generators or techies who can create Indic NLP solutions for Indian language specific problems.