IT’S been said countless times – companies the world over are facing a talent crunch, even as demand for data science, network architecture, and data analysis skills continue to rise.
In India, the world’s fastest-growing startup ecosystem, the tech talent shortage was especially pronounced this past year. But given the rapid emergence and adoption of more advanced technologies, local firms in the South Asian country are expected to double down on hiring tech professionals in 2019, with an eye on closing the widening gap with its global counterparts.
According to one report, the push for recruitment is due to the emergence of new technologies, the need for businesses to transform, and the rising expectation and demand of customers and clients, as well as supporting the growth in the digital space.
Companies in the automotive, banking, financial services, consumer goods, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical space will create the biggest demand for tech talent next year.
In fact, automobile manufacturing is seeing unprecedented growth in demand for skilled workers with expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) and automation.
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), India’s third-largest passenger vehicle manufacturer, is already shopping for talent with technology expertise in AI.
“We will be using AI and emerging technologies across the Mahindra Group, and we are taking it very seriously,” said Prince Augustin, M&M Executive Vice President of Group Human Capital and Leadership.
Meanwhile, in the financial sector, the focus is going mobile, and thus, the industry will be seeking talent to develop apps, digital payment platforms, mobile technology, and cybersecurity experts.
“We are hiring quite a bit in technology. We’ll continue investing in and continue outpacing the growth in other headcount,” said Axis Bank Head of Human Resources Rajkamal Vempati. He added that investment in tech talent by the banks would also double next year.
However, the increased demand for tech workers is part of a broader pattern and the effect of growth in digital business worldwide.
For example, EXL, a New York-based company providing IT services had ramped up its recruitment of talents in advanced digital technologies in recent years.
The company’s global head of digital transformation and global chief information officer, Baljit Singh said, “The growth in our digital business is pushing up the need for digital talent and expertise.”
Meanwhile, IT and outsourcing firm, Mindtree foresees at least 5 to 10 percent growth in hirings in the areas of digital, infrastructure management, and testing services.
What is in demand?
In the last five years or so, there has been an increase in the demand for talent in advanced technologies such as AI, robotics and cognitive automation, machine learning, cloud technology, and many more.
Highly specialised roles, such as digital solution architects, business analysts, design and architecture experts, analytics leads, data science and data governance experts, and cybersecurity specialists will be in high demand next year.
Companies realise that most of the future technologies are merely a few years old and experienced talent is scarce.
And thus, headhunters are looking at niche firms specialising in AI, consumer internet, and tech firms, as well as top universities for their talent needs.
As talent shortage is not something that could be addressed in the immediate future, increased collaboration between private firms, government agencies, and universities is crucial to develop a framework to generate a sustainable talent pool, so that the country’s digital transformation journey is not impeded.
A version of this article first appeared on our sister website Tech Wire Asia.