‘Indian tech ecosystem critical to Microsoft for enablement of AI’

Technology giant Microsoft sees the Indian tech ecosystem as a critical element for enablement of Artificial Intelligence (AI). With the Indian IT services players, Microsoft engages as a customer, seller, and collaborator on projects, and is excited about future collaborative endeavors, said Ahmed Mazhari, President, Microsoft Asia.

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In Asia, Microsoft has engagements with global system integrators(SI) in two regions, Japan -with the likes of Fujitsu, NEC and Hitachi, and India- with the likes of Infosys, TCS, and others. “We have a very deep relationship that has been built over the last two decades, and we do a lot of work with these players. These relationships are 360 relationships, and serve us in many ways,” Mazhari told businessline. 

threefold relationship

Microsoft has a threefold relationship with IT services players – being customers of certain services, selling to others, and collaborating with entities like banks, public utilities, or hospitals on platform implementations, particularly within the Microsoft IT services framework prevalent in India. 

“We see the tech ecosystem as supercritical to enablement of AI and they will play a very important role,” Mazhari said. Infosys for instance is one of the largest ITeS companies using GitHub and is driving productivity at scale, he notes. Microsoft is also committed to enabling implementation of services by focusing on improving the talent base, by their upskilling programs and certification courses. 

Talking about enterprise adoption in India, Mazhari notes that Indian companies are increasingly looking at integration of advanced technology and AI. For instance Microsoft OpenAI platform is being utilized by Indigo’s AI chatbot for booking tickets. This tech adoption extends to Air India moving its data center to Azure cloud successfully. There’s a focus on impactful initiatives, like Apollo’s AI-powered risk APIs for cardiovascular health, he notes. 

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For Microsoft, In education, India boasts a vast community of GitHub developers, with 13.2 million developers currently and a forecast to surpass the US by 2027. “India contributes significantly to AI projects, accounting for one in four globally, so I am very excited. Recent economic research also suggests that leveraging AI could unlock a potential increase of over 621 billion in productive capacity within India’s economy,” Mazhari said. 

Indian employee base

Commenting on the significance of the Indian employee base, Mazhari said that Microsoft has established a diverse range of capabilities in India, spanning from research to Windows support, AI, and core Azure infrastructure, backed by highly experienced resources and four data centers. “The growing need of India is what excites us. As Prime Minister Modi’s ambition of getting to 5 trillion by 2030 – we estimate that about 20 per cent of that economy is going to be digital. So, our ability to be a more significant economic enabler in India is just growing by the day,” the senior global executive said. 

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