Monday, Feb 26, 2018 | Last Update : 12:50 AM IST

Automation, AI not about job cuts, says TCS COO

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Published : Jan 31, 2018, 3:05 am IST
Updated : Jan 31, 2018, 3:06 am IST

He said the ‘change’ is the only constant in the IT industry and internally his company uses it as an acronym.

Mr Subramaniam, who was here to participate in the WEF Annual Meeting last week, said the IT industry changes every 3-5 years and constantly requires reskilling and upskilling.
 Mr Subramaniam, who was here to participate in the WEF Annual Meeting last week, said the IT industry changes every 3-5 years and constantly requires reskilling and upskilling.

Davos: Confident that automation and AI will help businesses upscale and grow bigger, a top TCS executive says the job loss fears in the IT industry are highly exaggerated and it is the organisation’s responsibility to reskill and upskill its workers.

COO N. Ganapathy Subramaniam, who has been with TCS for 35 years and is known as NGS among colleagues, said the ‘change’ is the only constant in the IT industry and internally his company uses it as an acronym — ‘Change Has Another Name, Gaining Excellence’.

Mr Subramaniam, who was here to participate in the WEF Annual Meeting last week, said the IT industry changes every 3-5 years and constantly requires reskilling and upskilling. “We have been seeing these changes from the beginning, but what safeguards our employees from these changes is the contextual knowledge they possess,” he told PTI in an interview.

“What we do is that while working with a particular client, a particular industry at a particular time, our people acquire a contextual knowledge that is beyond the domain knowledge. The technology knowledge is something which you can get through training and that is not a big deal.

“All employees in the IT industry have been through various changes and keep updating their domain knowledge. But, contextual knowledge is beyond that and tells you that in a particular domain, how a client and its business operates. It tells you about the ecosystem, work flow, data and information flow, and that knowledge is very valuable to the clients,” he said, while explaining what sets TCS apart from others.

Asked whether the job loss fears are for real in the Indian IT industry with automation and artificial intelligence (AI) gaining ground, he said India is a very competitive country.

“Right from getting admission in nursery school to going through competitive examinations and then getting a job in a company like TCS with another exam and another interview, we come out from a particularly competitive environment.

“If our people cannot learn, I don't know who else can learn then,” he said while exuding confidence that Indians are always ready for any new challenge and keep upskilling themselves.

“There are some irresponsible statements that have come out that 60-70 per cent people would be left irrelevant and jobless and I do not believe that. We always say there are only legacy technologies and no legacy people,” he said.

“We at TCS believe in always reskilling and upskilling our people. Some competitors have gone ahead and done some acquisitions for getting new technologies and make money. We could have done that as we have the cash and make our own people irrelevant, but we did not do that and said we want to invest in our people to retrain them,” he said.

Tags: it industry, tcs