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Business News/ Ai / Artificial Intelligence/  92% of knowledge workers in India use AI at work as compared to the global figure of 75%.
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92% of knowledge workers in India use AI at work as compared to the global figure of 75%.

A Microsoft and LinkedIn -2024 Work Trend Index shows how India Inc is adopting AI at a faster pace

There is a preference for AI skills over experience, with 80% of the leaders in India preferring less experienced candidates with AI skills over seasoned candidates lacking such skills, a study revealed. (istockphoto)Premium
There is a preference for AI skills over experience, with 80% of the leaders in India preferring less experienced candidates with AI skills over seasoned candidates lacking such skills, a study revealed. (istockphoto)

India Inc. is witnessing a transformative shift, with a staggering 92% of knowledge workers across diverse sectors actively integrating artificial intelligence (AI) tools into their daily workflows, compared to the global average of 75%, according to a joint study by internet giant Microsoft and professional networking platform LinkedIn. 

Notably, 72% of AI employees are proactively bringing their own AI solutions to work, rather than relying solely on company-provided resources to enhance productivity. In comparison, the global average for AI workers embracing Bring Your Own Artificial Intelligence (BYOAI) stands at 78%.  

‘72% Indian AI users bringing their own AI tools to work’ 

"While leaders feel the pressure to turn individual productivity gains into organizational impact, employees aren’t waiting to reap the benefits: 72% of Indian AI users are bringing their own AI tools to work (BYOAI),"it said.

The study underscores the crucial role of knowledge workers in leveraging AI for critical thinking and analytical tasks, effectively influencing organizational decisions. However, this surge in AI adoption has amplified the demand for specialized training and expertise, intensifying competition for AI specialists across sectors.

To attract and retain top talent, companies are offering lucrative incentives, including substantial salary hikes of up to 40% for AI specialists with 5-6 years of experience. Sectors, such as information technology (IT), pharmaceuticals, banking and telecommunications, are at the forefront of this talent hunt, reflecting the widespread adoption of AI across industries.

Also Read: India Inc, not just IT, dangles big bucks for AI specialists. But is it all hype?

Moreover, AI proficiency has emerged as a top priority in India Inc.'s hiring strategy, with 75% of employers emphasizing the importance of AI skills for new hires, surpassing the global average of 66%.

Interestingly, there is a clear preference for AI skills over experience, with 80% of the leaders in India preferring less experienced candidates with AI skills over seasoned candidates lacking such skills, the study revealed.

"The burden of work during the times of covid to where we are now hasn't gone down. In fact, it has been going up...(companies) want to ensure productivity levels go up," Irina Ghose, managing director, Microsoft India and South Asia, told Mint

Also This: Why IT firms are treating AI as a poisoned chalice

According to Ghose, the surge in AI usage stemmed from the realization that the workload was not decreasing, prompting companies to invest heavily in AI. "This probably led to the surge in the number of cases from India using AI," Ghose said, explaining why Indian firms outperformed global counterparts.

The report also highlighted the gap between a willingness and the clarity in businesses on how they can use AI for their benefit. "91% percent of leaders in India also believe their companies need to adopt AI to stay competitive, 54% worry their organization lacks a plan and vision for implementation," said the study.

Interestingly, the drivers of AI adoption are not solely multinationals. A growing number of promoter-driven firms, including small and medium businesses, are also embracing AI. These companies are "very curious and committed," and they are already witnessing "tangible differences" by using AI-led tools, Ghose added.

“The scarcity of resources is real. The need to show ROI (return on investment) in less time is real. The reality of leveraging the power of AI for people, for processes and for enhancing customer experiences is tangible."

The insights of the Microsoft and LinkedIn global report are based on a survey of 31,000 people across 31 countries. The report also draws on analyses of labor and hiring trends seen on LinkedIn, Microsoft 365 productivity signals, and research involving Fortune 500 customers.

Read This: India well positioned to leap ahead of developed worlds with AI: Sundar Pichai

"Demand for AI expertise has seen a remarkable 17% jump over last year, echoing LinkedIn platform insights and findings of the Work Trend Index. We’ve seen professionals in India over index on learning while also adding AI skills to their professional toolkit," Ruchee Anand, head, talent and learning solutions, LinkedIn, said.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Devina Sengupta
Devina tracks and writes on workplaces, human resources and education for Mint. She also occaisionally writes an opinion column. She hosts a podcast on interesting HR trends in corporate India called The Working Life.
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Published: 16 May 2024, 06:16 PM IST
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