MUMBAI: The growing number of potentially lucrative careers open to creative talent in India is resulting in a shortage of recruitment options in the advertising sector, leading industry figures have claimed.

"With so many choices for creative people, there are so many other things for them to do," Ajay Gahlaut, executive creative director at Ogilvy & Mather, told Campaign India. "It's [advertising] become one of many choices rather than 'the' choice it used to be."

Those other choices include Bollywood, TV and the host of opportunities being thrown up by new media. "There's also an entrepreneurial wave right now in our country," said Raj Kamble, managing partner, Famous Innovations, who reported that many people leave ad agencies to start their own production houses or ecommerce sites.

Remuneration is also a thorny issue, as Gahlaut noted that advertising was no longer one of the best-paid professions, especially as starting salaries had not really changed in 15 years. "Talented people want to be compensated for their talent, and they don't seem to get that anymore," he said.

Kamble's views echoed this assertion: "Talent goes where money is, and let's face it, advertising doesn't provide that now."

But the gloomy picture did not appear to be fully borne out by the growing presence of Indian agencies in various awards around the world.

Last week, Tim Lindsay, chief executive officer at D&AD (Design and Art Direction), a British organisation promoting excellence in advertising and design, described India as "a powerhouse" in terms of advertising.

And an analysis of entries for the 2013 Warc Prize for Asian Strategy revealed that India was the lead market in terms of the volume of submissions, and out-performed in terms of its share of entries on the shortlist.

Data sourced from Campaign India, Livemint; additional content by Warc staff