Nandan Nilekani, the non-executive chairman of Infosys, has pointed out an environment of intense uncertainty, great short-term pressure, and crunched resources creating a need for more flexible business models, in his message in the company’s 2022-23 annual report.
According to Nilekani, uncertainty had become the overriding theme that defines the current situation of the world. “In any week, we may oscillate from caution to optimism and back to caution based on the news of the day.”
“The placid and the predictable are behind us as each new day brings new inputs and new events that derail the carefully-crafted models we have constructed of the world around us,” reads Nilekani’s statement in the performance overview of 2022-23.
The Infosys co-founder adds that the cocktail of inflation, interest rates, geopolitics, war, demand volatility, supply chain dislocations, and the shift from efficiency to resilience and security, are all stirring quickly and without warning. Nilekani said going ahead, businesses will need to develop the flexibility to be able to avoid limiting choices, reduce concentration risk, quickly adapt, and learn to thrive in any new reality.
“Our client relevance has never been so compelling, our investment in employees as continuous and consistent, and our purpose so keen. We are ready to co-create with our clients and our entire ecosystem a flexible future that puts people first and benefits the broader society even as it propels the business forward,” the chairman said.
Unplanned project ramp-downs and delays in decision-making from clients pulled down the Q4 FY23 performance of Infosys. The IT major’s revenue growth guidance for FY24 is pegged at four-seven per cent, which is significantly lower than the company’s annual growth in several years. This compares with the revenue growth of 15.4 per cent in FY23.
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While providing a roadmap on possibilities of generative AI, Nilekani said the journey to becoming an AI-first enterprise has hurdles such as AI hallucination, systematic biases, lack of explainability as well as plenty of practical, ethical and intellectual property-related issues. He said often, organizations, seeking to mine value from data and AI models, successfully undertake pilots but fail to factor in what it will take to scale value across the whole enterprise.
“Navigating to value-at-scale from AI and retaining the larger strategic vision while breaking down the tasks into sequential small wins, is not always intuitive or simple. With our AI-first strategy, Infosys is guided by that road map. We are also bringing to our global clients the ability to accelerate business value and amplify human potential using AI technologies with Infosys TopazTM,” Nilekani said.