BPO Jobs At Highest Risk From AI, As Per NASSCOM Chairman; "Use AI Or Become Extinct"


Mohul Ghosh

Mohul Ghosh

Mar 04, 2024


Workers in India’s business process outsourcing (BPO) industry face the greatest threat of displacement by the rise of advanced artificial intelligence systems, says Nasscom chairman Rajesh Nambiar.

BPO Jobs At Highest Risk From AI, As Per NASSCOM Chairman; "Use AI Or Become Extinct"

Nambiar, who heads IT services firm Cognizant in India, said BPO roles focused on repetitive processes could quickly become automated by AI.

Software Services Jobs Also at Risk from AI

While less susceptible than BPO jobs initially, software services roles not leveraging AI also run the risk of replacement by AI-powered systems and tools in the coming years.

Nambiar warned professionals not utilizing AI as part of their work “run the risk of getting replaced” by those incorporating AI capabilities.

India’s $250 billion technology sector, including over $194 billion in software/IT services exports, drives substantial GDP growth. But AI adoption poses workforce challenges.

BPO Industry Evolution Raises Vulnerability

He noted that the $48.9 billion Indian BPM sector has moved far beyond managing simple processes, increasing technological displacement risks.

Generative AI that can write prose and code poses heightened risks for higher-skilled white-collar jobs previously insulated from automation.

“This is the first time you are going to have a productivity enhancer, which will actually impact more if you are using your brain a lot more,” Nambiar said.

Short-Term Overhype, Long-Term Underestimation

If viewed short-term, the impact of AI on jobs is overestimated presently, Nambiar suggested. But the 5-10 year outlook likely underestimates the technology’s transformative and disruptive potential.

“The impact of Gen AI and AI in general will have a much greater impact than any of us could imagine,” he warned.


Mohul Ghosh
Mohul Ghosh
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