According to a report by Nasscom, India is currently leading in terms of AI skill penetration and concentration of AI talent, while ranking fifth in AI scientific publications. The report states that India’s ‘AI Skills Penetration Factor’ stands at 3.09, which is the highest among all G20 and OECD nations.

The report, which was conducted by Nasscom in collaboration with Salesforce and Draup, indicates that India’s tech talent is three times more likely to possess or report having AI skills than talent in other nations.

It is predicted that India will experience significant growth in the need for professionals skilled in data science and AI, with a projection of over 1 million such professionals by 2024.

Debjani Ghosh, the President of Nasscom, stated that the disruption caused by AI in India’s primary sectors has the potential to contribute $500 billion to the country’s economy in gross value added (GVA) terms by 2026. However, this cannot be accomplished single-handedly and would require a focused effort from the government, industry, and academia to enhance AI skills and implement initiatives on a large scale.

The government’s recent decision to establish three Centres of Excellence aimed at developing AI for India and using it for the benefit of the country is a positive move towards building the essential skills in AI and design thinking necessary for achieving practical outcomes. This step is highly appreciated by experts in the field.

Over 1,900 startups with a focus on AI are currently offering innovative solutions, with a particular emphasis on conversational AI, natural language processing (NLP), video analytics, disease detection, fraud prevention, and deep fake detection.

According to Deepak Pargaonkar, who is the VP of Solution Engineering at Salesforce, individuals possessing the necessary domain expertise and business context can develop predictive models, plan simulations and scenarios, and cluster data. These skills are in great demand and have enormous potential to enhance business efficiency. Additionally, they can also help build trust among customers and employees.

As of August 2022, the total requirement for data science and AI talent in India was 629,000, while the existing talent base was 416,000. This implies a demand-supply gap of 51%, which is considerably lower than that of major economies like the United States.

At present, the five most prominent job positions in the field of AI, which include ML engineer, data engineer, data scientist, data architect, and DevOps engineer, account for 73 percent of all AI job openings in India. This suggests that there is a high demand for professionals who possess expertise in these areas. These job roles are critical for ensuring the development, implementation, and maintenance of various AI systems and technologies in organizations. Therefore, possessing skills and experience in any of these positions is likely to provide a significant advantage for individuals seeking employment in the AI industry in India.

Furthermore, out of all the installed talent in the AI industry in India, the two most in-demand roles are ML engineer and data engineer, which make up 46 percent of the total talent pool. This indicates that there is a significant emphasis on these job roles and an increasing need for professionals with expertise in these areas. According to the report, India has emerged as the primary global destination for digital talent, with a digital talent pool of over 1.6 million as of FY2022E. This demonstrates the vast potential for growth and opportunities in the AI industry in India, with an increasing demand for skilled professionals in various job roles.