The origins of “Big Data” go back several decades, with most of its references being used by U.S. professors and data scientists. Thus, it’s no surprise that today the U.S. offers the most data analytic jobs of any country in the world.
However, making massive strides is India, now the second biggest provider of data analytic jobs in the world, according to a recent study. India’s analytic jobs increased at a 76 percent clip from the previous year, now holding one out of every 10 job openings in the world.
How did India get to this point? Let’s look at the key contributing factors below.
MultiNational Corporations (MNCs) Coming in Droves
India is second to only China in its number of global in-house centers (GICs), however unlike China, India is more internationally friendly. The U.S. alone makes up 63 percent of GCIs in India, which in total have risen from 1,165 centers to 1,208 from 2015 to 2016. This is employing a workforce of 8 million people across 1,150 multinational corporations (MNCs).
Bengaluru is the preferred destination for many MNCs, offering not only diverse talent but a thriving startup scene to boot. This gives companies an inside scoop to acquire exciting technologies in addition to further their own innovations. Bengaluru makes up 27 percent of India’s data science and analytic roles.
And it’s any ole MNCs setting up shop; just in the last two years, both Google and PayPal have announced innovation centers in India. GE opened its biggest hub in Bengaluru in 2016, comprising 2,500 workers. And Samsung recently announced earlier this year that they’ll hire 1,000 top Indian engineers to fuel developments like AI, ML, IoT, 5G signal processing, biometrics and more.
MNCs Coming More for the Talent Than the Traditional Savings Costs
Top companies have long sought out India as a place for cost-effective, language-barrier-free R&D, but these days the country offers much more. To start, India has a burgeoning youth of 600 million people. But they’re not just young; they’re tech-savvy and motivated. As the Guardian put it, India’s youth “combines the cultural values of the traditional Asian family with the life goals of the American teenager.”
Because of the increased demand for data roles, key partnerships are being formed around the country. For example, Robert Bosch Engineering signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras to set up a Center for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.
India’s Ramping Up Their Own Data Efforts
Historically India has under-invested in R&D compared to the rest of the world, only devoting 0.6 percent of its GDP and employing one active researcher per 1,000 workers in the country. By comparison, China spends 2.74 percent of it GDP on R&D while the U.S. spends 2.07 percent. Israel, the leader, allocates 4.27 percent of its GDP.
But India’s done sitting dormant. According to Brookings, India has doubled its investment Digital India to $477 million, aiming to fuel development in AI, machine learning and 3D printing. Additionally, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has deployed an AI Taskforce to encourage innovation and investments in AI research, school curriculum, and private sector activity.
India’s increased investments in itself, combined with AI disrupting everything from automobiles (self-driving cars) and financial services (fintech) to energy (smart grid) and even everyday shopping experiences (retail data analytics) will help build its analytics reputation in addition to continue attracting MNCs from around the world.
It remains to be seen how AI will impact India’s (and the world’s) workforce in the long-term with some cautioning a loss of overall jobs and others citing an increase of higher-skilled employment, but one thing’s for sure: India’s booming data analytic scene is ripe to keep growing for the foreseeable future.