I interviewed Nick Vyas who discussed Disruptive Technology and its Impact on Human Capital.







Today we're speaking with Nick Vyas who is the executive director of the Center for Global Supply Chain management as well as an academic director for the Masters of Science in Global Supply Chain Management at USC Marshall School of Business. So, Nick, thanks for speaking with us today. Is there anything else you wanted to provide as an introduction to yourself?


I think that's a good start, Dustin. I look forward to speaking with you.


Great. My first question is can you talk about some of the disruptive technology trends that are taking place?


I think what we're seeing... And before I even actually jump into the disruptive technology trend, I think there is a parallel that I want to draw. And the parallel of that is how the globalization is going to continue to be shaped and how that's going to impact the supply chain. And I want to kind of then talk about the disruptive technology and how those two things are really emerging in front of us.


So let me actually go over the globalization quickly. As you know, election in the US, the Brexit, and many of the Western European countries, we're seeing that there has been a question asked about is globalization good or not in the long run. And I think what we're seeing is that there is some conversation about challenging what has happened over the last 30, 35 years.


So what we see from the supply chain standpoint, from the global supply chain standpoint, the rising, consuming class that we see in Asia, the middle class and their spending power between the countries, and when you look at China and India and many other Asian countries, that is also true on the Latin American side, we see that market playing a tremendous role in the space of global supply chain management.


We believe this emerging market growth will help shape the future trends of how the global supply chain will be shaped in the next 30, 40, 50 years.


Along with that, another trend that we see is a rise of mega cities. In just 40 years, we've gone from 25 to 60 mega cities, and we think that the trend will continue. We expecting from 60 to 72 by 2025. What that means basically, that a quarter-plus wealth is concentrated in the mega cities. And how that's going to shape the global supply chain management.


So between those two, globalization trend that I just talked about, the middle class, and the mega cities, we really think the future of global supply chain will be pivoted from that trend into what the technology is going to be shaped up.


So now, actually going into the disruptive of technology, because of this globalization trend that we talked about, the rising middle class, they want the things that was only open to the advanced economy. They want to consume. They want to procure things that were once only opened to certain country and certain class of citizens. Now they want this. And this is hundreds of millions of people. How does that demand get fulfilled in a future economy?


I think this is the antecedent to how the disruptive technology is getting shaped. So what we look at as disruptive technology, I think what we're seeing, the major technology trend, is truly, in terms of five different categories... Some might talk about the drone, autonomous [inaudible 0:04:30], 3D printing, and machine learning, and last but not least, the augmented AI.


Can you talk about the impact on human capital?


Certainly. As we looked at some of these key disruptive technologies, I think one of the phenomenal things we look at is evolution and acceleration in growth of this technology. This is almost an exponential curve that has kicked in. So if you go back and actually measure the rate of change of a technology from 1400 all the way to now, and if you can forecast this to 2050, what we see is a steep curve going up at a very fast rate. And that's why we actually label this as a disruptive technology. We can start from drone-based delivery to AGBs to 3D printing, machine learning, AI. All these things are so disruptive, in a way, for hundreds of years that we have managed supply chain, the way we manage the trade.


So what we see that the human capital that is used to doing things one way, more or less —30, 40, 50, or even hundreds of years — is being challenged the way the technology is being shaped.


So point in case. You look at the reflection of that, what happened in the election in the United States, the jobs for decades in mining and traditional manufacturing has been replaced by automated robotic applications. So just imagine that there is a class of citizens in a country that, when this disruptive force came in and disrupted the industry, it actually created a major impact. So I no longer need a person who does spot welding. Rather I can now have a robotic application of a welding that actually does the welding consistently at [inaudible 0:07:15] rate and eliminated the jobs that were once guaranteed to middle-income families. So that's just an example that we see that there is a tremendous disruption in terms of how the future jobs will be impacted and how that impacts on human capital.


So this is not to say that this will completely wipe out the future jobs. The question is the human capital needs to be managed very differently than how we have managed human capital in the past.


Thanks, Nick, for sharing today on disruptive technology and its impact on human capital.


You're very welcome. Just to summarize, I feel that there are plenty of future jobs in this new space and a lot of opportunities. In fact, the Wall Street article just last week points out that there are millions of jobs but they'll be created in these disruptive forces. And how do we really build the human capital? How does private and public entities work together in shaping the new curriculum in universities and really help promote the future skills? And one of the things, Dustin, as you know, running a center and Masters of Science of Global Supply Chain Management, we try to dynamically integrate this in the curriculum to talk about these things and bring shape the future leadership and our students to really participate and partake in this journey.


Thanks, Nick. I hope we can stay in touch and have further interviews in the future.


Look forward to it, as always. Always nice to connect with you.





About Nick Vyas





Nick Vyas


Executive Director - Center for Global Supply Chain Management (CGSCM) & Academic Director - MS in GSCM at USC Marshall


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