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India’s AI Workforce Doubles in 2019

India Artificial Intelligence Workforce

According to a recent study, India’s artificial intelligence (AI) workforce doubled in 2019 after an increase in technology development and the adoption of business intelligence.

Although the number of artificial intelligence professionals grew from 40,000 last year to 72,000 this year, there are still significant vacancies across sectors due to a talent gap.

Close to 2,500 positions related to AI remain vacant this year, the study showed. This is because recruiters are not only looking for tech-based skillsets like as data analytics and machine learning, but also softer skillsets such as emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and leadership skills.

This is according to an industry expert, who added that the growing convergence between technology and business processes continue to redefine job roles.

The study carried out by the ed-tech company, Great Learning, said that the number of firms working on AI projects tripled to 3,000 in 2019 from 1,000 last year, a growth of 200% over 2018. This includes a few companies into products (chatbots, AI-powered visual search, and recommendation engine) and a larger number offering either offshore, recruitment or training services.

This development was a result of the large-scale adoption of business intelligence, rising AI-based optimisation of enterprise processes, improved data management across organisations, increasing use of chatbots and natural language processing (NLP), and bigger budgetary allocations from the government.

The study is based on a survey among Indian professionals in the AI and machine learning industry with varying years of experience.

The country’s AI industry’s revenue doubled to US$ 415 million in 2019 from US$ 230 million in 2018.

It also found that the average work experience of AI professionals in India is 7.2 years, while 29% of AI professionals have more than 10 years of work experience.

The number of freshers joining the field has also grown to 6,000 from 3,700 last year, an increase of over 60%.

The company’s co-founder expects 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 huge employment potential that the sector holds for those willing to upskill.

The study also predicts a large number of experienced professionals will transition to careers in AI in 2020.

Bengaluru emerged as the most popular destination for AI professionals, having created over 23,000 jobs as against 13,000 last year. Delhi followed with 17,000, then Mumbai with 9,000, Hyderabad with 8,000, Pune with 7,200, and Chennai with 5,800.

A city-wise remuneration comparison showed that Mumbai is the highest paymaster at almost IN ₹1,700,000 per annum (about US$ 23,825), followed by Delhi/NCR at IN ₹1,560,000 (about US$ 21,863). Chennai, on the other hand, is the lowest paymaster at IN ₹1,080,000 (about US$ 15,136).

As far as remuneration is concerned, the median salary package for AI professionals is IN ₹1,470,000 (about US$ 20,597) across all experience levels and skillsets, it said.

Almost 39% of AI professionals in India are employed with large-sized companies (more than 10,000 employee base), 29% with mid-sized organisations (employee base range of 200-10,000), and 32% with start-ups (less than 200 employees).

The study noted that women’s participation continues to remain low.

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