India has the potential to become the world’s second-largest cloud talent hub with the combined effort of government bodies, education and skilling organisations and technology providers, IT industry body Nasscom said on Monday. Nasscom, in association with Draup, said in a report that India currently ranks third globally with an installed talent pool of 608,000 (FY2021) cloud professionals.
“By 2025, India would have an estimated 1.4-1.5 million cloud professionals (baseline growth). However, with an estimated demand for over 2 million professionals by 2025, India could reach 1.7-1.8 million cloud talent pool with a fairly aggressive skilling roadmap,” the report titled ‘Cloud Skills: Powering India’s Digital DNA’ said. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Accenture were strategic partners for the research effort.
India’s cloud market is estimated to reach USD 5.6 billion by 2022, a 26 per cent year-on-year growth. With rapid digital acceleration and everything becoming on-demand and need-based, migration to cloud-based services will provide a significant competitive advantage for SMEs and enterprises in the new normal. This is further expected to grow exponentially with accelerated cloud adoption across sectors. Infrastructural agility, flexibility, and resilience on cloud with significantly lower costs, especially post the pandemic, have been the key growth drivers for such a shift, the report said.
The Indian SaaS (software as a service) startup ecosystem is another driver of cloud demand, it added. SaaS companies in India employ over 40,000 professionals across job domains, more than any other tech startup segment, Nasscom said. With a baseline growth of 24 per cent CAGR, India’s cloud talent pool is expected to grow 2.4X to nearly 1.5 milllion by 2025. However, there is an urgent need to scale talent further — talent with the right skillsets — that will help meet this demand, it said.
The report estimates that with a more aggressive talent building roadmap (30 per cent-plus growth rate), India can increase its cloud talent pool to between 1.7 to 1.8 million and in the process, become world’s second largest cloud talent hub. “Cloud adoption has witnessed an accelerated adoption during the pandemic as enterprises focused on building hybrid work models, collaboration infrastructure and business continuity. “Cloud has moved from being a relative back-end to a front-end (business-facing) technology, enabling on-demand access to resources,” Nasscom President Debjani Ghosh said.
For India to carve itself a unique identity as a global hub for cloud solutions, a concentrated public-private partnership and large-scale skilling is the key, she added. Nasscom has set up its FutureSkills PRIME initiative in partnership with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to upskill talent in emerging technologies and cloud skills are a key area of focus on this platform, she said.
The report said the demand for cloud solutions is growing exponentially, both in India and worldwide, leading to a higher demand for cloud talent as well. India saw about 380,000 job openings for cloud roles in 2020, a 40 per cent growth over 2019. The demand for cloud skills far outweighs the current supply and needs focus across stakeholders on upskilling, it added.