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Automotive, A&D and Semiconductor Braces the Talent Pool of India, Marks Twofold Growth by 2020


Zinnov has released intriguing reports emphasizing on the MNC R&D Talent Landscape specifically focusing on Automotive, Aerospace & Defense and Semiconductors verticals.

The report said that the R&D talent pool is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.9% and touch 1 million by 2020 from the present 610,000. The Indian ecosystem currently houses 928 MNCs, with 1165 R&D centers, making the current MNC R&D talent pool stand at 323,000, with the Telecommunication/Networking, Semiconductor and Automotive verticals employing approximately 10% each of the total MNC R&D talent pool, respectively.

The report also shares vivid insights on the talent distribution across locations, stating that 96% of MNCs are set up in tier-1 cities with Bangalore and Pune accounting for the highest concentration of R&D talent. However, tier-2 cities too, with their quality infrastructure coupled with lower operations cost, are gaining prominence in MNCs’ decision to set up R&D centers, thus suggesting a rapid evolution of a multi-city R&D ecosystem in the country. R&D ecosystem

Talking about Aerospace alone, the report reads that with top MNCs based out of Bangalore like Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Safran, Lockheed Martin, etc, R&D centers in this vertical are aligning their capability with global trends such as IoT and Big Data.

Additionally, the Aerospace & Defence MNCs largely employ software and embedded talent with minimum focus on mechanical talent, it added. This sector in India has leapfrog in the product-engineering value-chain, from providing just peripheral services to securing high-involvement collaborations for developing whole subsystems, systems, and solutions.

Total MNC R&D talent

Vertical                             MNCs in India                     R&D centres                                    pool in India

Aerospace & Defense          Nos. 13                              Nos. 17                                           Nos. 3,356

Automotive                           Nos. 62                              Nos. 73                                           Nos. 30,757

Semiconductors                   Nos. 58                               Nos. 83                                            Nos. 23,333

Laying specifics on the Automotive vertical, the study examines that the MNCs in this vertical have a significant R&D presence in India with players like Mercedes Benz, Visteon, Fiat Chrysler, Renault Nissan, Ford, etc. And when it comes to talent, automotive R&D centers majorly employ mechanical talent but are increasing their hiring focus on embedded and software talent to deliver advanced solutions such as ADAS.

It also added that the Deccan Triangle (Pune – Hyderabad -Bangalore) is the automotive hub in India with Pune leading with the highest number of automotive R&D centers in India. While cost arbitrage continues to be a key driver for R&D globalization, automotive vertical in India has progressed from just CAD/CAM solutions to infotainment systems, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and other core engineering services.


Semiconductor as a vertical, on the other hand, houses names like Intel, Qualcomm, ARM, AMD, Applied Materials, Texas Instruments, etc, in the MNC R&D landscape and Internet of Things (IOT) has boosted the installed talent in this vertical significantly. The centers in this vertical employ software and embedded talent only, it reflected.

The report continues that India is becoming a key market for most semiconductor companies with initiatives such as ‘Digital India’ and ‘Smart cities’ in motion. Most of the centers are focusing on next-generation technologies, which are centered around wireless networking (4G & above) and video technologies. Apart from this, India is also becoming a hub for R&D in developing products for Internet of Things platform.

Speaking about the released study, Anand Subramaniam, Engagement Manager & Project Lead, Zinnov, said, “Attributing the burgeoning talent growth to factors such as the rise in MNCs (over 200 MNCs have entered the Indian ecosystem in the last decade), service providers, tech startups and Indian establishments, we are confident that proactive government initiatives like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ are expected to further drive the R&D talent intensity in the Automotive, Industrial, Software, Semiconductor and Engineering Services verticals.”

“There is an increasing shift in mindsets across the R&D community, moving away from cost arbitrage to value creation. The R&D ecosystem in India has grown at a phenomenal pace in the last decade. MNCs, service providers, tech startups and Indian cos /establishments are driving this growth and by 2020, 49% of the global 500 R&D spenders will have their centers in India,” he added.


Niloy Banerjee

A generic movie-buff, passionate and professional with print journalism, serving editorial verticals on Technical and B2B segments, crude rover and writer on business happenings, spare time playing physical and digital forms of games; a love with philosophy is perennial as trying to archive pebbles from the ocean of literature. Lastly, a connoisseur in making and eating palatable cuisines.

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