Fuelling AI innovation: The India Talent Pool Perspective

India's AI market, backed by a $4B investment, ranks third globally in AI talent. By 2027, demand for AI professionals will soar, driving innovation across diverse sectors.

DQI Bureau
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In 2022-23, India received $4+ billion Al investments, indicating that investment in India’s tech market has risen manifold, and has even more potential — Thus says a recent NASSCOMM report. It also states that India has the third largest Al talent base in the globally. The demand for talent is expected to further rise to about 15 lakh trained AI professionals by 2027. 


Indian talent capability setups are playing a critical role in today's race for AI innovation. While much of the R&D focuses on generative AI, its integration with hard sciences like physics, chemistry, and astronomy is still in a nascent stage and holds significant potential. To harness AI's growth, India must cultivate talent from the K-12 level all the way through to postgraduate specializations. AI Innovation is also indigenously emerging from within India, exemplified by deep-tech startups operating in this ecosystem such as Digantara, an AI & ML space-tech venture providing real-time orbital insights, akin to Google Maps for space operations. 

In the post-COVID era, Global Capability Centres (GCCs) in India are transitioning from back-office support roles to becoming integral in developing global solutions and generating new revenue streams. A PWC report projects that by 2025, India will host 1,900 GCCs with a market size of USD 60 billion. This shift, however, presents both opportunities and challenges, as leading GCCs may need to cannibalize existing revenue streams to invest in long-term R&D and innovation. 

Despite the ongoing demographic advantage, India faces significant challenges in securing large investments in infrastructure and computing resources. For instance, Microsoft's India Development Center in Hyderabad conducts vital research in AI, cloud computing, and quantum computing, yet relies on its US-based infrastructure for necessary support. India must adopt a realistic approach to capitalizing on its AI potential, balancing the demands of sustainability and resource requirements. An illustration of this is Peer Robotics, with its modest seed funding of USD 2.3 million, which exemplifies how AI and human-centric tech, like computer vision, can drive innovation in manufacturing automation.


Indian talent plays a pivotal in AI innovation but needs to be supplemented with substantial investments in computing and sustainable data centers, to transition from being a country of innovation supporters to one of innovation creators. Indigenous AI innovation targeting the domestic market is key for growth. India’s auto industry, poised to double in size to INR 15 Lakh crore in 2024, still relies heavily on manual quality checks, presenting a so far untapped opportunity for AI-driven solutions. There is massive potential for indigenously developed computer vision products that can assist in this area and vastly improve efficiencies. 

In today's highly interconnected business environment, developing the necessary talent pool to drive innovation requires a multi-disciplinary approach, encompassing the intersection of technology, economics, and geopolitics. In order to become a global powerhouse and contribute meaningful innovation towards the global AI economy. India simply cannot afford to ignore the development of a conducive environment necessary for its vast talent pool, which has the potential to disrupt sunrise sectors such as renewable energy, electric mobility, space, biotech, semiconductors, and health tech. In order for us to productively reap the demographic dividend, India must also focus on foundational talent development which will drive sustainable innovation if it is to become a developed knowledge economy by 2047.

 Authored by  Ravinder Pal Singh, Deep Tech Investor and, Co-founder, School of Entrepreneurship, Rishihood University