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Business News/ Companies / News/  Another job AI could take over and replace? THIS industry will be revolutionalised, believes TCS CEO K Krithivasan
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Another job AI could take over and replace? THIS industry will be revolutionalised, believes TCS CEO K Krithivasan

TCS' Krithivasan foresees that AI could reshape call centres by reducing incoming calls through proactive technology, adding that generative AI adoption by MNCs may revolutionise the industry. He did add that this is a long-term prospect.

File image of K Krithivasan, CEO of Tata Consultancy Services during a press conference in Mumbai (Photographer: Indranil Aditya / Bloomberg)Premium
File image of K Krithivasan, CEO of Tata Consultancy Services during a press conference in Mumbai (Photographer: Indranil Aditya / Bloomberg)

Tata Consultancy Services CEO K Krithivasan believes that artificial intelligence has the potential to significantly alter the landscape of call centres, within a short timeframe, the Financial Times reported.

Krithivasan thinks AI could have a transformative impact on the industry, and foresees a scenario where call centres would get minimal incoming calls due to the proactive capabilities of AI technology.

Generative AI to Play Major Role in Shift

Explaining the role of generative AI in this shift, Kirthivasan said that wider adoption of such technology among multinational companies (MNCs) could revolutionise customer service operations, traditionally reliant on call centre assistance.

"In an ideal phase, if you ask me, there should be very minimal incoming call centres having incoming calls at all. We are in a situation where the technology should be able to predict a call coming and then proactively address the customer’s pain point," he told FT in an interview.

Krithivasan said the tech is moving towards chatbots becoming capable of analysing customer transaction histories and performing tasks typically handled by call centre agents. But he did acknowledge that this transition may take around a year to materialise fully.

The potential ramifications of advancing AI technology extend beyond call centres. There is much anxiety about its impact on various white-collar professions, including call centre agents and software developers, prompting global policymakers to take notice.

AI: Business Driver vs Jobs Disruptor

India, known for its back-office services, particularly in the IT and business process outsourcing sectors, could see significant effects from AI-driven changes, given its large workforce in these areas. 

TCS, a prominent player in the Indian IT sector and a subsidiary of the Tata Group, has experienced substantial growth in its generative AI projects, with its pipeline doubling quarter over quarter to reach a value of $900 million by the end of March.

Krithivasan expects this momentum to continue, with the company's order book for the financial year ending in March reaching a record $42.7 billion, indicating sustained demand for AI-driven solutions.

However, he cautioned against exaggerated expectations of immediate benefits from generative AI. “We are in the phase where we are in a hype that we are overestimating the benefits. he impact would be seen more long term than expecting to get the benefits in the next two to three quarters," he said.

Prospects of Young Workforce

Addressing concerns about the employability of India's graduates, Krithivasan highlighted the necessity for workforce training to meet the growing demand for tech talent, particularly in light of reported skill deficiencies among a significant portion of engineering graduates.

"The world is going to need more and more people, not fewer people, in terms of technology talent – and India has so many people. The country needed more workforce training to take advantage of this demand for tech talent," he added.

TCS, known for its extensive internal AI-skilling program, aims to expand its hiring pool from "50 percent of colleges" to skill and thereby increase employment opportunities for the youth, he said. Krithivasan added that this will also address the global demand for technology expertise.

Despite the positive outlook for AI-driven innovation, inflation, war, and upcoming elections were "driving uncertainty" and pushing businesses away from new tech projects.

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Published: 25 Apr 2024, 01:21 PM IST
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