- By Gaurav Chattur
With Digital Transformation becoming the biggest and most common theme of the decade, organisations are quickly realising the uncompromisable aspect of taking the tech leap. Our Finance Minister’s announcement of INR 8,000 crores ($1.12 billion) in quantum computing research over the next five years has further strengthened the belief that this industrial metamorphosis is inevitable, and an absolute necessity to survive.
While there is a shortage of tech skills in roles across Artificial Intelligence; Machine Learning; Data Science; Cybersecurity; UI/UX Design and related fields, this is contrasted by a high demand in both traditional tech and other industries. For roles that have always been fundamentally built on computer science, evolving to the above skills may come as a natural progression. However, for the roles that have not been reliant on technology so far, a complete shift would be required in terms of upskilling and application. Considering that the best of tech talent will be able to quickly adapt and thus contribute to an organisation’s bottomline, there will be intense competition between many employers to absorb the top talent in tech to create greater value. And while the salary and role shall continue to be one of the biggest factors, other parameters will also influence the decision of tech talent professionals choosing their employer in 2020. City-specific aspects beyond the professional arena, like cost of living; pollution index and traffic situation will ultimately mold the flow of top tech professionals migrating for work this year.
Pune: Nestled in the Sahyadri Hills, what makes Pune a favourable option for tech professionals today is its ability to catch the limelight as a developing IT hub. With a great quality of living; a solid tech infrastructure; pleasant climate and diverse job opportunities, Pune is a lucrative option for migration. Despite being in the shadow of Mumbai next door, 30% more techies are willing to move to Pune than moving out of the city. Not just that, Pune also ranks at number 12 on the City Momentum Index globally.
Hyderabad: One of the fastest growing tech hubs in India, Hyderabad comes across as one of the top choices for tech professionals looking to migrate for work. The entry of renowned IT companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook in Hyderabad has opened scope for more businesses. With this, the demand in office spaces increased from 1.5 million sq.ft. (H1’18) to 5.8 million sq.ft (H1’19) and ended the year (2019) touching 10.50 million sq.ft, a new high for the city.
Bangalore: Over the last few years, Bengaluru has emerged as the Silicon Valley of India. With the highest salary hike offered across top tech roles like A.I.; M.L.; Data Science; UI/UX Design; Full Stack Developer, Bengaluru has quickly taken the number one spot in the list of preferred cities. Although the city has lost some of its tech talent to Hyderabad, and is struggling with infrastructure woes, it’s abundant job opportunities are helping lure more talent to the city, mainly from Delhi.
Mumbai: Being the financial capital of India, Mumbai manages to maintain its position in the list of top 5 cities owing to its highly cosmopolitan culture and a fast pace of life. Mumbai continues to be home to a majority of big players across industries luring some of the best tech talent in India. Over the last few years, the city has also emerged as the third largest startup hub, as it continues to grab attention from investors in India and neighbouring markets. However, the commute time, quality of life and infrastructure struggles, does not make it an immediate place of choice for tech professionals not belonging to Mumbai.
Chennai: Although Chennai is not one of the current preferences for startups, the city is trying to catch up with its gradual growth of its SaaS sector. Despite its language barrier, an affordable lifestyle; a favourable traffic situation and a low pollution level make the city more liveable that Delhi. In terms of mobility, Chennai is one of the faster moving metros with an average commute speed of 25.7 Kmph. Although civic issues like water shortage continue to be a problematic area, the city holds scope for immense growth in the near future.
This year marks the commencement of the ‘Technology Decade’ , where we shall witness a majority of organisations beefing up their digital capabilities. Gartner estimates that through 2021, digital transformation initiatives will take large traditional enterprises, on average, twice as long and cost twice as much as anticipated. Needless to say, tech talent is and will continue to be an important cog of this tech makeover machinery. Astute players who have understood the need to blend their talent acquisition and business strategy will be successful in seizing tech talent as a weapon of strategic value this year and beyond.
- Gaurav Chattur is Managing Director, Catenon APAC. Views expressed are the author’s own.