How India became the global hub for analytics?
The economic reforms at the start of the 90s led to liberalization of government policies and encouraged multi-nationals such as GE, American Express and British airways to enter India. Initially these companies sought to move their back-end operations such as transaction processing and customer service. These areas were traditionally considered low-value and resource intensive and these companies realised huge cost savings due to the low cost of labor in India.
As offshoring matured, so did the kind of work that was offshored. GE and American Express were amongst the first companies to identify an abundance of analytic talent in India. They started to move some of the high-end work such as data analysis and predictive modelling to India. The results were very successful and with the availability of PhDs and other highly skilled resources in India at about one-tenth the cost in the US, this strategy was a clear win for the businesses.
Soon, financial services companies such as Citibank and HSBC, online companies like Google and Amazon, and retailers such as Target, Tesco and Supervalu also set up their analytics teams in India.
Indian IT companies had already made huge strides in the global arena and they also realized that offering analytics services to their clients was the ideal way to move up the value chain. IT giants like Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant and TCS also jumped into the fray.
Last 10 years
All this happened in 90s and the first half of the 2000s and by this time, there were several people in India who had spent significant time in this field. Entrepreneurs with strong analytics experience set up companies such as MuSigma, Fractal analytics, Manthan systems and Marketelligent – niche analytics companies serving clients across the globe.
Finally, the latest entrants in the field of analytics in India are Indian businesses themselves. Financial services companies such as ICICI and HDFC led the way for Indian businesses. Now analytics usage has spread to retail, telecom, e-commerce, insurance, healthcare and even sports.
There are no official figures available around the size of the analytics industry in India. As per crude estimates, the analytics industry in India employs anywhere between 80000 to 300000 people, depending on how you define analytics. And it is growing at a rapid pace.
Analytics salaries in India have grown by 400% in the last 10 years and even the recession had little impact on this growth.
The future of analytics industry in India looks very promising. The growth is fuelled not only by global companies but also by the domestic market which is increasingly turning to analytics to stay competitive. The author firmly believes that businesses not only in India but around the world will continue to rely increasingly on analytics and it is truly a career for the future.
Gaurav Vohra is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore with over 10 years of experience in the field of analytics. Gaurav has been in the analytics industry from its initial days and his career has spanned companies like Capital One and Information resources Inc., recognized as thought-leaders in the analytics space. Gaurav is now the co-founder of Jigsaw academy, a training institute that aims to meet the growing demand for talent in the field of analytics by providing industry-relevant training to develop business-ready professionals. You can visit Gaurav’s blog at www.analyticstraining.com