Entrepreneurs of small and medium enterprises should build skilled manpower and increase the use of information and communication technology to overcome challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, said Chairperson of SME Foundation Dr Md Masudur Rahman.
At a webinar on Thursday, speakers said that since the Fourth Industrial Revolution would be intellectual, the business opportunities would not be limited to any particular geographical location. Rather, they would spread across the world.
Many avenues of business will open up, in which optimum use of raw materials, manpower and time will boost production and expand services while ensuring environmental protection and quality life for all, speakers said.
They also said marginalized and disabled population and women would have higher scope of employment if trained in using Internet and different technologies.
Evolution of technologies will bring down the cost of production and distribution remarkably because machines will take over a lot many jobs.
While giving the keynote presentation, the SME Foundation said that as many as 55 lakh jobs would become redundant due to automation by 2040 – 60% jobs in RMG & Textiles, 60% in the furniture industry, 40% in the agro-food industry and 35% in leather factories and 20% in tourism & hospitality.
So, to grab the opportunities that will come in the way, Bangladesh will have to improve skills of its population, so they can adapt to the changing working environment.
Dr Shamim Ahmed Deowan, chairman of the robotics and mechatronics department, Dhaka University, said the government should make a master plan to prepare for the Industrial Revolution, including development of a nationwide awareness campaign of technology modernization, national resource pool, development of database and incorporation of related topics in vocational curriculum.
The concept of Fourth Industrial Revolution evolved in 2011 from a high-tech project of the German government. It was first widely introduced by the World Economic Forum's Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab. His book titled "The Fourth Industrial Revolution" became popular after it was published in 2016.