There are over 4000 positions related to Artificial Intelligence (AI) in India that remain vacant due to a shortage of qualified talent at the mid and senior levels, according to a study by Great Learning. This is despite the industry growing by close to 30% in the last one year to $230 million in size. These opportunities do not include the slew of new jobs that are advertised every month but refers to opportunities that have been vacant for a period of 12 months.
The key reason behind this is the massive shortage of AI talent at the middle and top level. Out of current working professionals in India, almost 55% have less than 5 years of total work experience. Only 23% of this workforce has over 10 years of total work experience. Contrary to this, as per the report, around 57% of organizations that are hiring for AI in India are looking for candidates with more than 5 years of experience. This supply-demand gap indicates a huge opportunity for mid and senior-level professionals across industries like IT, finance, healthcare, and e-commerce, who are looking to transition into AI, over the next few years.
Another big challenge being faced by companies when recruiting in India is the lack of talent that is experienced in the AI domain. As per the report, the average AI experience of Indian professionals stands at a mere 3 years, with almost 67% AI professionals in India having joined/transitioned to their current role, only in the last 2 years.
When it comes to remuneration, the median salary of AI professionals in India is INR 14.3 Lakhs across all experience level and skill sets. 40% of AI professionals have an entry-level salary of Rs. 6 Lakh onwards. Around 4% of AI professionals in India command a salary higher than Rs. 50 Lakhs, reflecting the massive demand for mid and senior level AI talent in the country. The study also points out that the salary trends across various industries like finance, e-commerce, and healthcare are also improving steadily.
A city-wise remuneration comparison reveals that Mumbai is the highest paymaster in AI at almost Rs. 15.6 Lakhs per annum, followed by Bengaluru at Rs. 14.5 Lakhs. Chennai on the other hand is the lowest paymaster at Rs. 10.4 Lakhs.
Hari Krishnan Nair, Co-Founder, Great Learning said, “AI being a nascent sector in India, the industry is facing a huge skill gap when it comes to filling senior and mid-level positions. The field offers great potential for working professionals who are looking to transition into newer technologies.
Demand side view
On the demand side, the 10 leading organizations with the most number of AI openings this year are – IBM, Accenture, Amazon, Fractal Analytics, Societe Generale, SAP Labs, 24/ 7 Customer, Atos, Nvidia, and Tech Mahindra. The top skill sets that AI employers are looking for are Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Neural Networks, Analytics, Cloud Computing & Pattern Recognition.
More than 1,000 companies in India claim to work on AI in some form. This includes a small number of companies into products (chatbots, AI-powered visual search, and recommendation engine) and a larger chunk offering either offshore, recruitment or training services. There is a 30% YOY increase in the number of companies setting up dedicated AI teams in India. That said, India still has a long way to go with us contributing only 10% to the global AI job openings.
A breakup of AI talent across companies reveals an even spread across enterprises, mid-sized companies, and start-ups. Almost 37% of AI professionals in India are employed with large-sized companies (with a total employee base of 10k+). Mid-size organizations (total employee base in the range of 200-10K) employ 29% of all AI professionals, while start-ups (with less than 200 employees) employ 34% of AI professionals in India.
Bengaluru is the front runner when it comes to AI action in India, housing almost 31% of AI firms. It is followed by NCR that houses around 25% of AI firms. Mumbai comes third housing 14% of AI players. In terms of workforce, 33% of AI professionals in India are working in Bengaluru, followed by 30% in Delhi/NCR.