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India doubles its AI workforce in 2019, but faces talent shortage: Great Learning

PUNE: India has doubled its artificial intelligence (AI) workforce to 72,000 in 2019 from 40,000 in 2018, but 2,500 positions are still vacant, according to a study by ed-tech company Great Learning. About 3,000 companies said that they were working on AI projects of some nature in 2019, a growth of 200% over 2018.

According to the study, Indian AI industry has also doubled in size with revenues of $415 million in 2019, compared to $230 million a year ago. Most of this growth has been powered by experienced professionals who have transitioned into a career in AI by upskilling themselves over the last few years, with 65% of AI professionals in India transitioning to their current role from other fields in the last 2 years.

The number of freshers joining the field has also grown to 6,000 in 2019 from 3,700 last year. Large scale adoption of business intelligence, rising AI-based optimization of enterprise processes, improved data management across Indian organizations, increasing use of chatbots and NLP voice assistants, and bigger AI budgetary allocations from the government are the major factors contributing to this growth.

Hari Krishnan Nair, Co-founder, Great Learning said, “It is great to see that in just 1 year, 3 times more organizations in India are working on AI related projects. We expect this momentum to continue. Also, the fact that the number of vacancies in AI has again trumped the number of available professionals despite the industry doubling its talent pool shows the immense employment potential that the sector holds for those willing to upskill and learn AI. We expect to see a large number of experienced professionals transitioning to careers in AI in 2020 as well.”

Bengaluru created over 23,000 jobs, followed by Delhi (17,000) and Mumbai (9,000). The median salary package for AI professionals is Rs 14.7 lakh across all experience level and skill sets. This year, almost 39% of AI professionals in India were employed with large-sized companies (more than 10,000 employees while female participation continues to remain low – only 26% of AI professionals in India are women).

IBM India, Accenture, 24/7 Customer, Nvidia Corporation, Hewlett-Packard, Ernst & Young, Genpact, Amazon, eClerx Services and Capgemini emerged as the top 10 organizations that have contributed to the demand for AI professionals this year.

Source: Economic Times