GenAI as key to accelerating digital transformation in India

A reported conducted by Ernst and Young (EY) envisions that generative AI (GenAI) holds immense potential to accelerate the country’s digital growth

A report conducted by consulting organisation EY has recognised generative AI as the key to accelerating digital growth in India.

With GenAI growing exponentially worldwide as it enhances enterprise productivity and efficiency effects, its adoption has the potential to accelerate India’s growth trajectory. The report offers insights into how Indian enterprises can best leverage the technology.

With global institutions like the World Bank and the IMF recognising the Indian economy as one of the fastest-growing, the study highlights that the nation could experience a substantial boost in GDP. In fact, in just seven years, EY predicts that the cumulative impact could range from US$1.2tn to US$1.5tn - an additional 0.9% to 1.1% in annual CAGR.

Investing in India’s digital economy

EY cites India's economy as one of the fastest-growing in the world, as it continues to expand amidst global challenges. Projected to become the third-largest by 2027, its path to a US$26tn future hinges on GenAI.

According to the company report, India holds the potential to add US$359bn to US$438bn to its GDP as a result of GenAI adoption in 2029-30. Over a period of seven years (2023-24 to 2029-30), this represents an additional 5.9% to 7.2% of GDP. 

With this in mind, EY cites that it is necessary to increase investment into GenAI via education and upskilling to fully capitalise on it. In order for India to further accelerate its growth and achieve its ambitious digital goals, EY states that increased investment into AI research, education and upskilling is crucial. 

The above predicted figures suggest that AI impact will vary across sectors, with business services, finance, transportation, education, retail and healthcare predicted to benefit the most. According to EY, these industries are well-positioned to reap the benefits of AI’s potential due to their digitalisation.

Realising the full potential of GenAI requires a proactive regulatory stance that ensures citizen safety, according to EY. It states in its report that the government could ensure access to critical digital infrastructure through roll-out of 5G, data centre development, access to specialised chips and AI specific compute infrastructure. In addition, it could implement policies that cultivate and attract specialised talent.

Upskilling crucial to AI successes

Earlier in 2023, it was reported that India - like the rest of the world - was facing a massive skills gap in the technology sector. In fact, the country was previously witnessing a demand for 40,000 cybersecurity jobs alone, indicating an exceptionally high demand in the industry. 

At the time, reasons for the shortage were attributed to the rapid advancement of technologies like AI, in addition to not having enough workers adequately trained to deal with more complex scenarios like cyberattacks.

Education and upskilling are EY’s method for success, as the report states that this will enable India to fully capitalise on the demographic dividend. In addition, it highlights that better knowledge of digital systems will ensure more consistent and safe usage of AI moving forward.

Mahesh Makhija, EY India Technology Consulting Leader, said on LinkedIn that this report offers “a snapshot of India’s readiness for GenAI adoption.”

He says: “As we navigate this digital frontier, the complete report promises valuable insights into the future of India's economic landscape, driven by the revolutionary force of generative AI.”

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