This study explores the application of a proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) and radial basis function (RBF)-based surrogate model to identify the parameters of a nonlinear viscoelastic material model using nanoindentation data. The inverse problem is solved by reducing the difference between finite element simulation-trained surrogate model approximation and experimental data through genetic algorithm (GA)-based optimization. The surrogate model, created using POD–RBF, is trained using finite element (FE) data obtained by varying model parameters within a parametric space. Sensitivity of the model parameters toward the load–displacement output is utilized to reduce the number of training points required for surrogate model training. The effect of friction on simulated load–displacement data is also analyzed. For the obtained model parameter set, the simulated output matches well with experimental data for various experimental conditions.