AI Startups & Jobs on a Steady Rise in India

India has one of the most rapidly developing startup ecosystems globally, third only after US and China. The Indian technological landscape has seen tremendous growth in the creation of innovative startups, propelling it to the country's third-fastest growing hub for technology startups.

More than 500 million people in the country use the internet. As a result, we can anticipate the active implementation of blockchain, AI, IoT, and data analytics across multiple technology sectors. The Internet of Things accounts for 5% of the total global market. AI, on the other hand, is expected to be worth up to $15.6 trillion by 2030.

With an increase in the deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) across sectors, the number of AI startups in the country has also increased significantly.

John McCarthy, Researcher of Artificial Inteligence and the person who coined the term AI defines AI as "It is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. It is related to the similar task of using computers to understand human intelligence, but AI does not have to confine itself to methods that are biologically observable."

According to ‘The AI Index 2021 Annual Report' by Deepa Mani, Madhumitha Mohan, and Monish K of the Srini Raju Centre for IT and the Networked Economy, ISB, the number of AI startups has increased from 0.68 percent of total startups in the country in 2000 to 7.50 percent in 2019.

According to the report, Karnataka had the most AI startups in 2019, with 356, followed by Maharashtra with 215 and the two Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana with 111.

The ecosystem in states such as Bihar, Goa, J&K, Jharkhand, Puducherry, and Uttarakhand, on the other hand, lacked the presence of any AI startups, it added.

AI startup funding has also increased at a CAGR of more than 97 percent, from $20 million in 2013 to $233 million in 2019.

According to the report, the percentage share of total funding in AI startups as a part of the total startup ecosystem in India increased steadily from 0.28 percent in 2013 to 1.54 percent in 2019.

Along with startups, there has been a significant increase in AI-related job postings across the country in recent years.

However, AI job postings accounted for only a small percentage (2 percent from January 2019 to March 2020) of all jobs posted in India, according to the report.

“With the emerging use cases of AI in a vast array of sectors, the challenge remains in generating skilled resources to meet the demand of growing AI-related jobs,” the report said.

India has the highest relative AI skill penetration across all five industries, while the United States and China frequently appear high up on the list.

Deepa Mani, an ISB faculty member, stated that AI has assisted Indian businesses in being resilient to the Covid-19 pandemic in the country and in redesigning their models for the future.

Telangana IT and Industries Principal Secretary Jayesh Ranjan and Microsoft India's national technology officer Rohini Srivathsa launched the report virtually.

The 2021 report also examines the impact of COVID-19 on AI development from a variety of angles. The Technical Performance chapter discusses how an AI startup used machine-learning-based techniques to accelerate COVID-related drug discovery during the pandemic, and our Economy chapter suggests that the pandemic had little effect on AI hiring and private investment. If anything, COVID-19 may have led to a higher number of people participating in AI research conferences, as the pandemic forced conferences to shift to virtual formats, which in turn led to significant spikes in attendance.

According to the report, From 2016 to 2020, the countries with the highest growth in AI hiring are Brazil, India, Canada, Singapore, and South Africa. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, AI hiring increased in the sample countries in 2020.

The Indian strategy focuses on both economic growth and ways to use AI to increase social inclusion, while also encouraging research into important AI-related issues such as ethics, bias, and privacy.

The AI Index Report tracks collates, distills, and visualizes data related to artificial intelligence. Its mission is to provide unbiased, rigorously vetted, and globally sourced data to policymakers, researchers, executives, journalists, and the general public in order for them to develop intuitions about the complex field of artificial intelligence.

The 2021 AI Index report is one of the most in-depth studies of artificial intelligence to date. This latest edition significantly expands the amount of data available in the report, which was drawn for calibration from a broader set of academic, private, and non-profit organisations.