In-demand business skills of the 21st century

– Dr. Asmita Chitnis, director, Symbiosis Institute of International Business 

Over the past few decades, the business world has witnessed rapid and dynamic changes resulting in newer ways of working due to advancements in technology and innovative collaboration platforms. With the constantly evolving global business landscape, reskilling and upgradation of knowledge has become imperative. As an aspiring MBA candidate, it becomes even more important to understand the nuances and nitty-gritties of doing business in the ever-changing business environment. It is thus extremely imperative to update oneself on the in-demand business skills of 21st century

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced businesses around the world to rethink and re-strategise their business decisions. Businesses have changed their policies and guidelines to be more accommodative and have revamped the work structure. Newer ways of doing business are being explored and implemented to tackle the challenges and uncertainty posed by the pandemic. Thus, businesses are now looking for professionals who are flexible and resilient enough and can drive these changes. They need employees who have sound knowledge in their own field and who can think on their own to tackle sudden challenges. 

The world has truly become a small place, as the ‘new normal’ has shifted to the digital medium. Location is no more a constraint and as a result, almost all businesses have now become international with people from different backgrounds, regions and cultures working together on a common platform. To prepare better for this, many working professionals are now looking to upgrade their skills and add more to their repertoire. Here are some must-have skills that are essential to thrive in the 21st century workplace.  

Critical thinking

Critical thinking has been termed as one of the most important soft skills by employers. Aspirants in today’s day and age need to think clearly and rationally to reach an objective solution. Informed decisions will highly benefit the company and boost the bottomline.  


The need to bridge the digital gap has been evident during the pandemic. For those looking to step into the current or future workplace, it has become a prerequisite to be comfortable with technology. It is necessary to be aligned with the vision of digitization and companies highly appreciate individuals with special digital skillsets. While it is not required to master every platform, a basic understanding of topics such as data literacy, cloud, AI and ML, and big data go a long way. 

Crisis management and problem-solving

The need for contingency planning has become of utmost priority for companies across the globe. In case of another pandemic like situation where the market is affected, companies are now working towards being prepared to tackle it. Problem-solving entails searching, finding and fixing issues in the structure or workflow. It is important to be proactive and to look for issues rather than waiting for them to popup. Organizations are inclined towards those who work towards bettering themselves and the company. 


Looking at companies who have boomed even during the pandemic, the leaders have been exceptional in tackling obstacles on a daily basis. As captain of the ship, it is their job to keep the ship afloat during all times. The constant motivation, ideation of new methods, helping in avoiding distractions and overcoming barriers are just some of the qualities found in a good leader. 


Recent times have forced businessmen to think outside the box for solutions irrespective of the industry. In this case, creativity works in tandem with innovation to constantly evolve and adapt based on the surroundings. Creativity has become an integral part of every sector to devise new ways of optimizing the workplace. Those who are creative in their approach will grow in the post-pandemic corporate landscape.

In-demand skills

In view of the changing business environment, one can definitely say that there is a growing need to upskill and reskill one-self on a continuous basis so as to remain relevant in the job market. Knowledge of international business practices will certainly help the future workforce to make a successful career. One of the ways to achieve this is to pursue an MBA in International Business which can open up multiple opportunities in this field for aspiring business professionals.

Also read: 5 critical skills needed for jobs within the modern Indian textile industry

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