Nearshore Americas

No Layoffs Due to GenAI, Claims Infosys CEO

Infosys claims that no layoffs will happen at the organization due to generative AI (GenAI), even when the technology has lead to more efficient and productive business operations.

CEO Salil Parekh conveyed this assurance to CNBC-TV18, emphasizing that, while new technologies may render some skills obsolete, they also create opportunities in emerging areas.

Infosys, which counts several Wall Street banks among its clients, has been optimistic about securing more contracts related to GenAI. The company has even proactively trained over 250,000 employees in generative AI, preparing to capitalize on the increasing global demand for AI-enabled services.

However, in the past year, Infosys has reduced its headcount by 25,000 and nearly halted hiring new graduates from college campuses.

Company officials attribute this to the challenge of assigning recent graduates to client projects that require generative AI expertise.

 

Fear of the machine

Since GenAI exploded into the mainstream in late 2022, the technology has been heralded as the true arrival of AI, leading to a chorus of analysts, business executives, entrepreneurs and salesmen singing its potential to overhaul business operations and even day-to-day life.

Such a reputation has also generated fear for the consequences of the technology. GenAI has the capability to automate many white collar jobs, a fact that potentially threatens the livelihoods of millions of workers worldwide.

GenAI is already being used to automate some customer experience channels, as well as tasks such as data entry, translation, summarization and even creative writing. Art is being generated with AI; the technology is being used in legal research, fraud management, for coding and even to create digital personal assistants.

Doubts remain on whether humans are being replaced in massive numbers by GenAI. Few are the companies that openly boast about replacing human workers with AI-bots, but there are enough reports and studies pointing to AI being used to automate tasks that where handled mostly by humans just a couple years ago. TCS’ CEO even warned that AI could outright kill call centers as we know them.

Industry analysts in India concur that generative AI has significantly improved operational efficiency among software professionals, leading to workforce reductions in many major IT firms.

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Wipro’s Chief HR Manager, Saurabh Govil, recently stated that increased operational efficiency was a key factor behind their job cuts. Despite these trends, Infosys’ CEO remains firm that his company won’t resort to layoffs.

Some analysts argue that the recent waves of layoffs can be attributed to an overhiring spree in 2022. They anticipate a return to balance in the job market during the coming months.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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