Infosys chief executive Vishal Sikka has asked India’s software industry to reposition itself as one that delivers global value and to move away from being a sector which delivers services by leveraging cost arbitrage, which can be replicated by global firms in the country.
“I am a US citizen. Anybody can set up a captive in India now. The idea that we are India-based services industry or we are an India-based company is something that we have to get away from,” said Sikka, while answering a question on automation and the future of the Indian IT industry at the Wells Fargo Technology, Media & Telecom Conference 2016 late Thursday night.
Sikka’s comments come at a time when the Indian IT industry is facing a crisis of declining business in traditional services, while growth in new services like digital and cloud is not matching up with the decline. India’s software industry is expected to grow in single digits for the first time in over a decade as global firms look at automation of existing software and shift towards the cloud.
“When I walk around in Bengaluru or in Shanghai we see every brand out there; every company is present in every one of these places, so it is no longer about an Indian IT outsourcing company but it is about a company that can deliver a sort of value and capability that nobody else can, innovation that nobody else can, and when we look at ourselves in that line there is a tremendous future ahead,” Sikka said.
Infosys and its rivals have been pushing for the adoption of artificial intelligence, in a bid to shift away from a people driven model to one that uses software as an additional layer to deliver services to customers.
“I think that we have to be the innovation driver. In the age of automation, the future belongs to those who can innovate. As long as we treat artificial intelligence as an amplifier of our ability and innovation as the human frontier where we can deploy our imagination, creativity to shape the unknown and doing problem finding. I think this will continue to be the industry that defines its future growth,” he said.