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BENGALURU : Global technology startups are starting to either establish a footprint in India or expand their existing operations to exploit a readily-available pool of technology talent, especially in niche digital areas such as analytics and data science.

For instance, Fluxon Apps Plc, a San Francisco-based tech startup that began its operations in India in 2019, plans to hire about 1,000 people over the next two to three years. This will be done through the expansion of an existing office in Hyderabad as well as the setting up of a new hub in Bengaluru by December-end 2022.

Erad Fridman, CEO, Fluxon, said India is an “exciting market for Fluxon where we can discover the best talent and create impactful business opportunities to work on. We have already started working on exciting projects with India-based companies and we will be opening two new offices next year."

Likewise, Mitsogo Inc., a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based enterprise security startup, also based in San Francisco, recently launched a new office in Chennai to tap into the talent pool. It plans to hire 300 technology professionals in Chennai in the next few months, to add to its 250 employees in Kochi. Mitsogo also has offices in Australia and Germany.

Meanwhile, Indonesia-based ride-hailing startup Go-Jek has taken a different path. The company opened an R&D centre only to tap local talent as it does not have any direct operations in India. So far, Go-Jek has aqui-hired three firms—Bengaluru-based software firm C42 Engineering; Delhi-based development and operations firm CodeIgnition, and Bengaluru-based AirCTO, an AI-based recruitment platform.

There is a global shortage of skilled tech talent and “the pandemic has led a lot of the tech talent to move away from Silicon Valley and Bay Area…meanwhile, the Indian tech talent has also moved up the value chain which makes them sought after," said Jayanth Kolla, founder and partner of consulting firm Convergence Catalyst.

Bridgeweave, a London-based AI-based fintech, has 80% of its staff in India. It has recently launched a new product in the country and plans to double its India headcount by the end of this year in various tech roles such as digital and data science.

“Product innovation is at the core of what we do, and India is critical for two reasons. Our products are designed for digital investors and India is a unique market of substantial scale that is young, digital and investment friendly," said Akshaya Bhargava, founder and executive chairman, Bridgeweave. “So, we see India as an unparalleled business opportunity. Secondly, India is a source of talent for us."

iMerit Technology, a US-based data solutions firm, plans to expand into tier-II and -III cities. It recently opened a centre of excellence for AI data training in Hubballi, Karnataka. iMerit has 90% of its staff in India, out of its total headcount of more than 5,500.

“We have seen that the skills required across our teams working on cutting-edge solutions for AI can be found across India, but hiring tends to be saturated in limited urban pockets. There is a need for recruitment and skill development across the landscape. Our vision is identification of talent in tier-II and -III cities, followed by a robust skilling process," said Anirban Roychowdhury, vice-president of human resources at iMerit.

Hiring experts said more global startups may follow the trend. “Global companies have been setting up businesses in India due to a vast multitude of benefits extended by the government and the presence of skilled young workforce. Many large companies have expressed their intention to hire up to 25,000 by end of 2022 to leverage high quality talent at efficient costs," said Sanjay Shetty, director, PSS and Key Clients, Randstad India.

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