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BW Businessworld

Incorrect To Blame AI, Robotics For Job Losses In IT: Narayana Murthy

Indian IT biggies, including Infosys, TCS and Wipro announced a cut in their workforce count in the June quarter. A majority of these companies have claimed that the reduced workforce is because of automation

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If you have lost your job in IT sector, don’t blame your loss on artificial intelligence, robotics or automation, advices NR Narayana Murthy, co-founder of IT behemoth, Infosys.

“Contribution of AI, robotics and automation, presently, is very small percentage of revenues generated by IT companies. Therefore, to blame these technologies for retrenchment is incorrect,” Murthy told BW Businessworld in an exclusive interaction.

He further clarified that IT market has slowed down across the world. “Hence, we are not in a mode to hire more and more people.” However, he refused to comment on his expectations on revival of the IT market.

Indian IT biggies, including Infosys, TCS and Wipro announced a cut in their workforce count in the June quarter. A majority of these companies have claimed that the reduced workforce is because of automation and digitisation which might result in a few more job losses.

Last year, for the first time in over two decades, Wipro and HCL Technologies reported net decline in direct hiring. Infosys, which has been vocal about its automation strategy, has reportedly “released” 8,000-9,000 employees in the past one year because of automation.

Murthy, also known as father of Indian IT industry, stressed on re-skilling and up-skilling employees. “We operate in an industry where the only constant is change. Everything changes in our industry as we go from country to country, culture to culture, technology to technology and application to application.”

The main difference in IT services industry compared to other industries is the ability of its staff to learn new skills quickly, he said.

“Companies need to create such intensive training projects along with creation of infrastructure to deliver these programs,” said Murthy who opened the corporate training facility in Mysore for Infosys which is recognised as world's largest corporate university and claims to train around 15,000 engineers concurrently.

70 year old Murthy, in recent months, has been vocal in his demand for improvement in what he has termed as “poor corporate governance standards” at India’s second-largest software services firm. Further, in August, Infosys announced that its first non-promoter CEO & MD Vishal Sikka had resigned while board of Infosys held Murthy solely responsible for the departure of a "valued" CEO and harming employee morale.


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