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IT Job Cuts Not Due to AI, Infosys Chairman Nandan Nilekani

IT Job Cuts Not Due to AI, Infosys Chairman Nandan Nilekani

Digital Transformation Driven by Public Infrastructure

Nandan Nilekani, chairman of Infosys and National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), emphasized the profound benefits India has experienced from digital public infrastructure (DPI). Notably, systems like Aadhaar and UPI have revolutionized daily life in India. Nilekani believes AI holds similar transformative potential.

AI’s Role in Job Market Dynamics

Addressing concerns about the IT industry’s headcount reduction, Nilekani clarified that the downturn isn’t due to artificial intelligence. “The decline in discretionary spending over the past few years is the primary reason. The reduction is a cyclical trend, not a result of AI,” he explained.

Long-term Perspective on AI Integration

Nilekani acknowledged the fears surrounding AI, noting that new technologies inevitably disrupt job markets. “Every technological advancement causes some job losses, but it also creates new opportunities. Although there might be a phase where job losses outweigh gains, India should adopt a long-term perspective,” he urged.

AI’s Potential to Enhance Services

Nilekani highlighted the positive impact AI could have on various sectors. “AI can improve services in education, healthcare, and agriculture, significantly benefiting citizens. We shouldn’t be overly concerned about AI if it can provide better services and knowledge,” he stated.

Harnessing AI for Greater Good

Reflecting on India’s success with DPI, Nilekani emphasized the need to use AI responsibly and at scale. “Appropriate and safe use of AI, with proper guardrails, can have a tremendous impact on society,” he said.

Future of Digital Public Infrastructure with AI

Looking ahead, Nilekani expressed his ambition to advance DPI using AI, with several applications in the pipeline. He also predicted that large language models would become commodities, stressing the importance of their correct application. “Daily, new models emerge. The focus shouldn’t be on the models themselves but on how they can make a difference. This is where India’s focus should lie,” Nilekani concluded.


In summary, Nandan Nilekani’s insights shed light on the actual reasons behind job reductions in the IT sector, debunking the myth that AI is to blame. His vision for AI’s role in enhancing public services and advancing digital infrastructure underscores the importance of leveraging technology for societal benefit. By adopting a long-term and responsible approach, India can harness AI’s potential to drive significant positive change.

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