Indian IT services provider Wipro Ltd (WIPR.NS) said on Wednesday it planned to invest $1 billion into artificial intelligence (AI), focusing on expanding AI, big data, and analytics solutions. The company will also develop new research and development platforms, it added in an exchange filing. The announcement comes almost a week after rival Tata Consultancy Services (TCS.NS) said it planned to train 25,000 engineers to get them certified on Microsoft’s Azure Open AI platform, the latest in a series of investments by IT firms to beef up their AI capabilities.
The $1 billion investment aims to advance Wipro’s AI, data, and analytics capabilities and foundation, R&D, and platforms, as well as build new consulting capabilities to help clients adapt to change and unlock value through AI. The company will also accelerate investments in cutting-edge startups through Wipro Ventures and launch a GenAI seed accelerator program to offer training to select GenAI-focused startups to make them enterprise-ready.
Wipro will also create an AI-centric ecosystem that seamlessly integrates AI across its platforms and client solutions. The multinational will invest in generating IP and building state-of-the-art AI infrastructure, developing a comprehensive curriculum to train all employees on AI fundamentals and responsible use, and providing customized and continuous training for AI-focused roles.
As part of this initiative, the company will establish a new business line called Wipro Engineering Edge to drive its engineering and AI strategy. The new unit will draw in capabilities from cloud and partnerships; data analytics and AI; design and consulting; cybersecurity; and engineering to deliver solutions. It will also leverage the talents of 30,000 Wipro experts in data analytics and AI and the tech ecosystem from four global business lines.
This investment by Wipro ensures it continues to lead the industry in AI. It comes at a time when companies globally are doubling down on AI spending after the generative AI chatbot ChatGPT developed by Microsoft-backed OpenAI sent ripples across industries in late 2022 and helped democratize the technology.
Companies have also aggressively hired top talent to ramp up their AI capabilities and make them core to their businesses. As a result, the demand for data scientists and other AI-related skills has surged, creating a lucrative new career path for many.
This investment by Wipro will ensure it has a robust pipeline of IP and solutions in bots, intelligent customer engagement, automation, and advanced analytics. It will also enable it to accelerate its hiring for various roles such as data scientist, AI specialist, and machine learning engineer. The company will look at ways to recruit for these positions by running hackathons and challenges on its talent crowdsourcing platform, Topcoder, and partnering with universities. It will also work with its AI partners to identify emerging technologies. It will also focus on expanding its presence in the US and other key markets for AI services.