Why Bangalore is the top city to hire software engineers in 2024

Bangalore, known as the Silicon Valley of India, stands out as one of the top cities to hire software engineers in 2024 for two reasons: its total number of engineers and volume of elite engineers. The city is the largest market for software engineers in the world. With over 360,000 software engineers, Bangalore has almost the same number of engineers as the top three U.S. cities combined (Seattle, San Francisco, and New York). It also boasts the second-highest number of elite software engineers in India.

Global giants such as Walmart and Cisco, Indian IT and consulting firms like Infosys and Wipro, and startups all have a large presence in Bangalore, demonstrating that organizations of all sizes and types can find success there. Here are three reasons why, as well as some challenges that companies may face when hiring software engineers in Bangalore.

Why Bangalore

Excellent engineering institutions: Bangalore is known for having some of the best educational institutions in India. This includes the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Bangalore, which was ranked first in Bangalore and third in the state of Karnataka in the Engineering category of the 2022 National Institutional Ranking Framework. Other top-tier institutions include the Ramaiah Institute of Technology (RIT) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

Growing center for AI: Bangalore is emerging as an AI hub in India thanks to its universities, the presence of multinational corporations that are developing AI, and government-driven initiatives. IISc established a new AI and machine learning center in 2021 to offer Bachelor’s, Master’s, and short-term courses in a variety of AI-related fields. Tech companies such as IBM and Google have research labs in the city that are doing cutting-edge work, including creating new AI models and using advanced AI techniques to “provide practical solutions to complex global challenges.” The state government is also fostering AI innovation and skill development and trying to cement itself as a leader in AI. The Department of Collegiate and Technical Education, Government of Karnataka partnered with Samsung to address the skills gap in AI by providing “students in rural areas with access to cutting-edge technologies and hands-on training.” In early 2024, the government signed a letter of intent with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to set up an AI center, which will be the WEF’s only center dedicated to AI in the country. This move will not only help the state “contribute to the global dialogue on the ethical and practical dimensions of AI,” but it also aims to help AI-focused startups establish a global presence.

GCC hub: There are more than 400 GCCs in Bangalore and it holds 42% of all GCC real estate in the country. Because of Bangalore’s low cost of talent and enormous talent pool, all sorts of companies have set up global capability centers (GCCs) there — from tech giants, like Alphabet, Amazon, and Microsoft, to semiconductor companies, Intel and Nvidia, and retailer Walmart. One of the latest companies to enter Bangalore is Best Buy, which chose the city for its “intersection of the scale of talent and skill sets.” The company intends to “make Best Buy India hub the heart of innovation around how we’re going to use mobile and AI platforms,” said Brian Tilzer, Chief Digital, Analytics and Technology Officer of Best Buy. To further attract more Fortune 500 companies, the Karnataka government will be announcing a new GCC policy later this year.

Hiring Challenges in Bangalore

Highly competitive: Since many large, established tech companies are hiring in Bangalore, this can make it particularly difficult for startups and less well-known companies to attract the best talent. Additionally, tech companies face competition from traditional IT companies and other flourishing industries in Bangalore, such as manufacturing, financial services, and aerospace.

Talent gap: Although Bangalore offers some of the cheapest engineering talent (the median salary is currently $36,000) in the world, its talent pool has historically come with some challenges in access and quality. As stated in a 2017 report on the global startup ecosystem, “engineers haven’t been hired very quickly, experience is average, and visa success is low.” More recently, despite hiring in Bangalore dropping by 16%, there was an imbalance between job openings and hires, which suggests a talent gap.

If you’re considering tapping into global tech talent to rapidly grow, manage costs, or expand into new markets, see our full report on the top cities to hire software engineers in 2024.