Indian IT industry charges ahead with generative AI platforms as opportunities emerge
Leading Indian IT services companies like TCS, Infosys, and Wipro have unveiled their generative AI offerings as they look to tap into potential business opportunities.
The world is abuzz with developments around generative artificial intelligence (GenAI).
The technology is being seen as a game-changer ever since OpenAI introduced its AI chatbot ChatGPT trained on large language models to generate conversational, human-like responses. GenAI has become the top priority for tech companies around the world as it can produce content such as text, imagery, audio and synthetic data.
Global technology companies like Apple, Microsoft, and IBM are already leveraging GenAI in their product and services. Microsoft recently partnered with OpenAI to introduce Ocra, which learns by imitating large learning models.
Leading Indian IT services companies like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, and Wipro are also showcasing their solutions to gain a firm foothold in the emerging technology market.
TCS, for example, has developed a large portfolio of AI-powered solutions and intellectual property in the areas of AIOps, Algo Retail, smart manufacturing, digital twins, and robotics. It will be partnering with Google Cloud’s GenAI services for deployment. “The company is currently working with clients in multiple industries to explore how generative AI can be used to deliver value in their specific business contexts,” TCS said in its press statement.
Meanwhile, Wipro plans to integrate Google Cloud’s full suite of generative AI products and services with its own AI intellectual property (IP), business accelerators, and pre-built industry solutions.
Infosys also unveiled its GenAI technologies which include services, solutions and platforms developed under the Infosys Topaz brand. According to the company, Infosys Topaz has over 12,000 AI use cases, 150+ pre-trained AI models, and more than 10 AI platforms that can be deployed across multiple industries.
These are early days for GenAI but for Indian IT giants, showcasing their generative AI platforms will send out the right message to the market. As DD Mishra, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, says, such innovation by leveraging generative AI can help Indian IT services companies get “a good focus and commitment from both the seller and buyer sides.
Many of these companies have already started deploying these solutions for clients. Infosys Topaz claims a food and beverages chain leveraged its platform and was able to deliver superior off-store consumer experience with more than 95% accuracy.
Race against time
With competition stiffening, keeping up with the pace of innovation and delivering services to clients quickly matters the most.
Holger Mueller, Principal Analyst and VP, Constellation Research notes that enterprises are in a rush to adopt AI and not be left out of a key business transformation. “So they do not have the time to learn and experiment internally—but need external help to get going as fast as possible and that is where System Integrators come in.”
These Indian IT companies are generally referred to as System Integrators, or SIs, as they build computing systems for clients.
As of present, GenAI is largely being applied in the area of software coding, fraud detection, financial modelling etc.
Infosys CEO Salil Parekh said in a statement, “We are seeing strong interest from our clients for efficiency and productivity-enhancing programs, even as businesses are keen to secure their future growth. Our own business operations have been hugely benefited by Infosys Topaz bringing the power of generative AI platforms and data solutions.”
A growing market
Generative AI has the potential to disrupt every business sphere.
“It can drive redundancy, make business models irrelevant and become a threat as well as create opportunities for new business models. It has economic, organisational, cognitive, cultural, geopolitical and my list will go on. The impacts are too big to consume in a short time and hence we have to observe the consequences and fallout of those impacts,” Mishra of Gartner observes.
The demand for GenAI services and solutions is burgeoning, and the market for this technology is projected to grow rapidly.
According to Allied Market Research, the global generative AI market size was valued at $8.2 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $126.5 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 32% from 2022 to 2031.
The growing demand to modernise workflow across industries is expected to drive the demand for generative AI applications among industries, as per Grand View Research. “They will change best practices in the enterprise and change the skills needed for many jobs. It is unlikely to replace human workers, but will augment their work and take the ’drudgery’ out of work,” Mueller notes.
This need for skill and expertise can become a key growth area for the Indian IT services industry, which is currently facing slowing growth and resorting to layoffs amid the challenging macroeconomic environment. The GenAI potential market opportunity is far too lucrative.
A word of caution
Despite the optimism around GenAI, there is also an element of concern around how the technology will unfold given there are still a lot of question marks on the grounds of legal, ethical and regulatory frameworks.
Elon Musk has already warned about the various dangers posed by GenAI. On the other hand, the European Union (EU) is very close to bringing out legislation to regulate AI.
However, it is too early to make a prediction. “There are many positive outcomes, but we also have to consider the societal and environmental impact and how the barriers are going to impact us,” Mishra explains
This could also lead to a situation where such solutions will cannibalise the existing offerings of Indian IT giants but also present new opportunities. For example, some of the tasks their engineers perform can be automated through AI.
However, one thing is certain for the Indian IT services industry in their quest to tap the GenAI market—they need to have the necessary talent.
TCS said it has over 25,000 engineers certified on Google Cloud. In addition, it has over 50,000 associates trained in AI with plans to earn 40,000 skill badges on Google Cloud Generative AI within the year to support the anticipated demand for its new offering.
Wipro aims to train 20,000 of its employees on Google Cloud’s generative AI technologies. It also has AI centres of excellence in Bengaluru, London, New Jersey, Dallas, and Mountain View to enable its customers to explore use cases for generative AI and develop individual strategies.
While GenAI will present opportunities for the Indian IT services industry, it’s still formative days for the technology.
“There are many unknown unknowns at the moment and looking at the number of variables, it is hard to say how it is going to impact their growth plans. This is an evolving situation,“ Mishra notes.
Edited by Kanishk Singh