Having already taken over The UK as the world’s 5th largest economy, India is making news across various centres globally. A report by Goldman Sachs says that India will overtake The US to become the 2nd largest economy, right behind our friendly neighbours on the North-Eastern side, by 2075 to become a $52.5 Trillion economy. While many factors contribute to the progress, such as economic reforms (GST, IBC, Atmanirbhar Bharat and others), three significant developments have made India a major global economy in the last two decades.
- Demographic Dividend: While India has always been a growing population (Congrats on becoming the most populated economy as well), we have realized the potential of this growing population only in the last few years and primarily driven by a growing young population, with an average age of 29 years, younger than any other major economy.
- Growing Middle Class: Growing constantly at a rate of 6.3% annually since 1951, the Middle Class now represent 31%, poised to grow to 60% of the total population by 2047. Driving both the demand & as well as supply side, the Middle Class has been churning out Entrepreneurs, skilled workers, and consumption with increased purchasing power & disposable income.
- Technology Innovation & Global Integration: positioning itself as a global hub for technology and innovation, India has been at the forefront of driving innovation, Digital Transformation. Although we have been followers in a few of these trends, such as GAI, AGI, and Smart Wearables, we have always made up for it by catching up faster.
All the above developments lead to one pattern, a growing employable, young, technically enabled population. India produces 200,000 engineers annually, with an ever-increasing focus on emerging technologies, AI & ML at the forefront. Earlier this year, we did a campus hiring round across Tamil Nadu for good, focusing on hiring young, self-driven engineers. I was pleasantly surprised to interact with these young minds, the type of work they’ve already done & the knowledge they’ve amassed as part of it.
Much of this is attributed to the universities & the infrastructure they’ve developed. Most of these campuses had AI, ML, Data & IoT specializations. They’ve come a long way from the traditional engineering field, where only a handful of generalist degrees were offered, eventually rendering engineers unemployable & the onus was on the companies to invest & train them. These young graduates have a much better scaffolding when it comes to technical awareness & employability.
Found it (Formerly Monster.com) reports that the demand for AI-based skills has increased by more than 11% in the last six months & The World Economic Forum reports that while AI will take away a lot of repetitive jobs, it will add approx. 97 million jobs by 2025. While these findings give much comfort to the incoming talent, it also raises concerns about the skills the current workforce must fill these jobs well & on time. There is continuous upskilling on the job and for the young 200,000 graduates who join the industry every year, which needs to be done on a massive scale. This era of technology hiring is not what we have seen since the last two bubbles, where the technology was adaptable over some time & people learnt at a manageable pace. With the likes of Generative AI & AGI on the cusp, we are staring at an era where if the pace of upskilling is slowed, the technology learnt might become obsolete.
India is aptly placed to be the right supplier of talent, which is both employable & scalable, to fill these ever-changing technical skills, not only because it now is the most populated economy & boasts of one of the highest English-speaking people but also because the right investments in the infrastructure are being made to make it the learning global capital, we are at the centre of global collaboration, not only on the private front but at the diplomatic front and Indians being praised globally for their multicultural values, being able to appreciate the collaboration with people from different backgrounds & work in ethnic communities.
Let’s assess each of these in depth.
- Skilled Professionals: India produces many engineering and data science graduates yearly, specializing in AI & ML. According to NASSCOM, the country produces over 200,000 engineers annually.
- Talent Provider across the Global Landscape: India has been recognized as a leading global provider of technology talent, being a harbinger of some of the best talent & resourcing solutions globally since the early 2000s. Home to renowned institutes like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), which consistently rank among the top institutions globally, India has not only revolutionized the way the IT industry did offshoring but has double-digit growth, with IT hubs moving their offshore centres from other Asian countries to India.
- Academic Research & Thought Leadership: Backed by a strong academic research community, with several institutions actively contributing to the field of Machine Learning, India has displayed continuous thought leadership in Strategic HR & Talent Management, Big Data etc. Indian researchers regularly contribute to global technology by publishing high-quality research papers.
- Cost-Efficient: With a lower cost of living than the other major economies and the inherent nature of Indians to spend less, the of hiring talent, especially in niche areas like ML & AI, is much less when compared to other developed nations, allowing businesses to access top-tier talent at a fraction of the cost.
- Majority English Speaking Professionals: English being the official language, is a mandate at most of the educational institutes in India, resulting in it being spoken proficiently by the majority of the professionals who join the tech industry, making communication seamless for global companies and eliminating language barriers.
- India is at the centre of Global Collaborations: Diplomatically, India has never been in a better position globally, creating newer tie-ups every other day. This has resulted in growing the already strong network of Indian professionals actively engaging on global forums, contributing to open-source projects and global communities, and getting 10X the visibility. They participate in international conferences, competitions, and research collaborations, enabling them to stay updated with the latest advancements in the field.
- Strong Problem-Solving Skills: Indian professionals are known for their inherently problem-solving solid abilities and analytical mindset, which, combined with their mathematical aptitude, allows them to tackle complex challenges effectively.
- Culturally Diverse: India has a diverse and multicultural society that embraces different perspectives and promotes collaboration. Indian professionals are accustomed to working in diverse teams and have the adaptability to integrate with global work environments seamlessly.
- Government Initiatives: The Indian government has recognized the potential of Machine Learning and AI, implementing initiatives to foster growth in these areas. Programs such as Digital India and Start-up India have provided support and incentives to nurture the ML ecosystem in the country.
India has never been better placed to be the torchbearer of the revolution that the Tech Industry is going through & the talented youth that’s joining the workforce every year will only make it better.
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