Due to the scarcity of talent in this field, salaries for AI roles can start at Rs 50-60 lakh for mid-level positions and go up to Rs 1.2-1.5 crore for senior profiles, excluding restricted stock units for more senior profiles.
According to an ET report, the increasing recognition of AI’s potential to transform businesses and provide a competitive edge has led to a surge in demand for AI professionals. Job search platforms and headhunters, including foundit, ABC Consultants, and Michael Page, have reported a significant rise in mandates for AI talent. This trend is being driven by both small and mid-sized boutique firms as well as multinationals’ global capability centers.Companies such as Amazon, EY GDS Consulting, HP, Ola, and Intel are actively searching for AI talent, according to recruiters and job sites. In India, there are approximately 416,000 people working in the field of AI and data science, with a demand for an additional 213,000 professionals, as estimated by IT industry body Nasscom.
Ratna Gupta, senior partner at ABC Consultants, emphasized the need for strategic guidance and leadership to ensure ethical use of AI and drive impactful initiatives aligned with business goals. She stated that mandates for senior AI talent have increased by 22-25% in India.
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Pranshu Upadhyay, regional director at Michael Page India, outlined the responsibilities of AI professionals, including innovation using AI and large language models, driving AI strategy, identifying potential AI use cases, and staying updated on the latest developments in computer vision, natural language processing, recommendation systems, and neural networks. Upadhyay also mentioned that there has been a 60% increase in hiring for mid-to-senior AI talent compared to the previous year. Companies often hire Indians returning from AI-driven roles in advanced economies like the US due to the shortage of experienced professionals, he added.
Hiring platform foundit reported a 12% increase in demand for senior-level AI roles, with IT, retail, auto, telecom, healthcare, and BFSI being the sectors with the highest demand. According to Sekhar Garisa, CEO of foundit India, the demand for AI talent is expected to grow in the future.
Several companies are actively scaling up their AI talent. Hitachi recently appointed its first-ever chief AI transformation officer to drive company-wide transformation through generative AI. Accenture is focusing on four key areas for AI talent expansion, including value strategists, infrastructure and technology architects, AI/ML computational scientists, and modern data architects and engineers. Semiconductor firm AMD is also hiring AI professionals who can think at the system level and advance AI and machine learning in their hardware and software development.
Read From ET |AI hiring on the rise
K Sudarshan, managing director at executive search firm EMA Partners India, predicts an increase in demand for AI talent as more industries start hiring. He believes that salaries in this field will further spike as demand grows. Ashutosh Khanna, co-founder of WalkWater Talent Advisors, highlighted that professionals with experience in building algorithms, creating products at scale, and knowledge of data security and ethics in AI will have an advantage in the job market.