According to National Statistical Commission Chairman R.B. Barman, the emerging field of data science using conventional tools, machine learning, and artificial intelligence is a "fertile area of research" for deeper insight on the market microstructure, hidden in voluminous transactional data of customers.

He further goes on to say, "The numbers are not known. Only price is an indicator. There is a shortage. Today if you want to employ, there are some companies in Bengaluru, I think they pay anything from Rs 20 lakh (per annum) and above."

In the course of our journey, we have seen a lot of startups trying to acquire great talent in data science. There are already a lot of big companies like Myntra, Flipkart, who are known for having great data science talents on board. However, for new and emerging startups, there are a lot of confusions while hiring for this emerging and demanding role. Few of them are,

  1. What are the skills to concentrate on?
  2. When to have an in-house data scientist?
  3. How much to pay the Data Scientists?
  4. Examples of a good JD
  5. What is the number of data scientists in India? And in specific metro cities?

We have covered the first two points in our previous article. After that, we got requests from a lot of people to provide details on the points 3, 4 and 5 mentioned above.

So, we decided to dive in deep and find out more about the numbers in India.

Are StartUps hiring Data Scientists?

As opposed to the popular belief, besides the big Analytics players, a lot of small and emerging startups are hiring for data scientists as well.

As you can see, Bangalore beats the other cities by a huge margin when it comes to hiring data scientists. And as the demand-supply principle goes, the number of Data Scientists in Bangalore is also the highest as compared to other cities.

According to LinkedIn data, the total number of data scientists(partially excluding the data analysts) is approximately around 8000. One mistake many startups does is expect a lot of criteria while hiring data scientists, without considering the number that the market has to offer.

One of the criteria being, the candidate should be from a premier engineering college like IITs, good NITs, BITS Pilani, DTU etc. Now, we did some research on the number of data scientists who are actually available in the market and come from these colleges.

The number of data scientists coming from premier colleges, all over India is roughly around 1709.

Distribution of data scientists from premier colleges

As you can see the number is not much and good data scientists from premier colleges are really short in number. If you're a new startup, maybe colleges can be one criterion you can do away with.

Now that we know who are hiring and what's the target market, let's discuss on the payscale offered to data scientists on an average.

Referring to Angel data, generally Indian companies hire for these positions,

  • Data scientist
  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Senior Data Scientist
  • Lead Data Scientist

Of course, the pay scale can be adjusted according to your own budget and needs.

Now,that we are clear on the payscale and other details, let's discuss about platforms which you can use to hire good data scientists.


If you're a new startup and are not sure if you need a data scientist in the long-term or if you don't have the resources to hire one and are looking for a part-time person, Upworks can be a great platform to hunt data scientists. Their charges start from as low as $5 dollars an hour and goes upto $55 dollars an hour. You can find more details from here.


You can use AirCTO if you are looking to hire full-time data scientists starting from 1 year to 10+ years of experience. You have to create a proper JD and add your budget and extra specifications ( like startup enthusiast etc). We have a database of data scientists already connected to us, besides we reach out to new people on a regular basis through personalized messages and offline interactions and educate them about your brand & product.

Recommended AirCTO Data Scientists


If you're in no mood to pay for recruitment, you can look in LinkedIn and type the proper keywords. You need to be present personally to answer the queries of the candidates and generate build a good relationship with the prospects. However, this method might not work if time is a factor, because the time gap starting from hunting a new prospect on LinkedIn, engaging, convincing, screening, shortlisting, interviewing, offering and onboarding him/her can easily be up to 3 months. As a founder or hiring manager, you often wouldn't have the time for that.


A time-consuming process indeed, though it comes with long-term benefits. But, it is feasible only when you are also slightly related to the field of data science or are a techie yourself.

For a non-tech founder, it makes no sense to spend the majority your time in tech-events(though it's okay sometimes) for hiring a single data scientist; when you can spend that time in growth-hacking meetups or other events. For a recruiter, it can be beneficial if you're really serious about tech-recruitment.

You can always ask your friends to refer, but it doesn't work out in the long-run. We would suggest you educate yourself about the process of hiring a data scientist (refer this article and this, that will be more than sufficient), create a proper JD, and entrust a proper service to hunt for data scientists for you. But, first, be informed yourself.

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