Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

TCS Chair: Six takeaways on what you should know about AI

As TCS sets date for annual meet, Chairman N Chandrasekaran, in his letter to the shareholders of India's biggest IT company, offers a glimpse into the big picture on the impact of artificial intelligence

Harichandan Arakali
Published: May 9, 2024 03:34:19 PM IST
Updated: May 9, 2024 03:46:42 PM IST

TCS Chair: Six takeaways on what you should know about AIN Chandrasekaran, Chairman, TCS. Image: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Artificial intelligence (AI) and, in particular, generative AI is affecting industry after industry, and the only thing we know for sure about it today is that we don’t know what it’s long-term impact will be. For now, businesses are finding that it can be used to improve productivity significantly in specific instances.

In India’s IT services industry, which has seen modest growth while reducing its workforce over the last 18 months, the biggest companies are investing urgently in training an army of generative AI specialists. For now, it’s not clear to what extent this is translating to serious revenues.

“Generative AI will not only improve productivity, but also create impact we hitherto have not seen or imagined,” Chandrasekaran writes. The company’s annual shareholders meeting is set for May 31. Here are six takeaways from the chairman’s letter:

1. AI.Cloud:

In the fiscal year ended March 31, TCS consolidated its AI and cloud teams with the creation of its AI.Cloud unit. And some 300,000 TCS employees were upskilled on generative AI technologies in FY24.

The company is adding AI features to its various software products and solutions, including TCS Bancs, its core-banking software, and in cybersecurity.

Listen: IT services — how generative AI is changing applications development and maintenance

Secure networks have become critical to businesses, as they support everything from predictive analytics and AI to personalised customer experiences. As value of data increases, along with concerns of privacy and protection, cybersecurity is an area of focus.

2. More from less:

The deployment of AI and generative AI will significantly help financial institutions in improving efficiency. For example, insurance claims will be processed in a matter of minutes, lending and disbursements will become much faster.

AI will also free up financial clients, TCS’s biggest customers, to tap data to personalise their products and services to their end customers, raising their ability to retain customers and add new ones.

3. AI in energy transition:

Adoption of new energy solutions and AI technology is shaping the future of automobiles, contributing to not only providing a new level of customer experience, but also contributing to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Watch: How Infosys, TCS might benefit as enterprises move to sunset legacy apps using AI

TCS is investing in research on green hydrogen and biofuels, and developing digital platforms to help customers reduce GHG emissions, including Scope 1, 2 and 3.

4. AI in medicine:

AI software is accelerating drug development by screening millions of compounds, predicting interactions and generating new candidates for testing. Medical devices have more sensors that are also sending data back to both on-device and cloud-based applications.

This is changing health care delivery by raising productivity, enabling remote care and reducing the critical shortage of skilled people at every stage.

5. AI in manufacturing:

The latest manufacturing practices include machine learning, artificially intelligent software and other emerging technologies such as computer vision and augmented reality to reduce costs—via simulations for example—and improve effectiveness and safety on the shopfloors.

6. The backbone for AI:

The global telecom industry is upgrading communications infrastructure to 5G and 6G technologies that allow for unprecedented data transfer speeds. These high speed, low latency networks, along with edge compute (meaning, typically, the devices at the periphery of the networks) will become the backbone of businesses of the future.

TCS is developing 5G/6G communications stacks using open standards. The company has set up two state-of-the-art telecom and communications R&D labs at Bengaluru and Gurugram, and it is working on indigenous technologies in the area of 5G SA Core (SA: Standalone; Core: Controller core) and O-RAN (Open radio access networks) radios.