Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella highlights opportunity for an AI-empowered India to accelerate inclusive growth and development

Satya Nadella

Microsoft Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella kicked off his visit to India today by reinforcing the company’s commitment to supporting India’s transformation into an AI-first nation. The commitment aligns with India’s vision of becoming self-reliant by fostering a skilled AI workforce and empowering every sector and industry to transform with AI.

Nadella made the comments at the Microsoft CEO Connection event in Mumbai on Wednesday, which was attended by top business leaders and decision makers. During his address, Nadella announced that Microsoft will provide 2 million people in India with AI skilling opportunities by 2025, through its new ADVANTA(I)GE INDIA initiative. This will help to close skills gaps across the nation and strengthen India’s ability to thrive in the AI era.

“India is uniquely positioned to make the promise of AI a reality,” said Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft. “We are committed to partnering broadly across the public and private sector to help close the nation’s AI skills gap and create new opportunity throughout the country.”

Nadella highlighted how Microsoft Copilot, along with the company’s other AI solutions, is driving measurable productivity gains for people and organisations by helping them complete work faster and with superior quality. For instance, recent research on early users of Copilot for Microsoft 365 found that they were 29 percent faster in a series of tasks, including searching, writing, and summarising.

Many organisations in India are already boosting their productivity and accelerating innovation using Copilot for Microsoft 365 and GitHub Copilot. They include:

  • Axis Bank, the first bank in India to adopt Copilot for Microsoft 365 at enterprise scale, with 300 users and counting. It has seen productivity gains of more than 30 percent in daily work thanks to Copilot.
  • Infosys, an IT consulting firm and one of India’s most prominent early adopters of GitHub Copilot in India. More than 7,000 of the firm’s developers are using GitHub Copilot to tap into the power of AI and innovate at the speed of thought.
  • HCL Tech, a global IT services and consulting company that created a Copilot for Microsoft 365 plugin for Microsoft Teams to help software developers and managers streamline bug resolution.
  • LTIMindtree, an IT and consulting services giant that built a Copilot for Microsoft 365 plugin for Teams to optimise staff management.

Organisations in India are seeing an average US$3.86 return for every US dollar spent on AI projects, and more than 150 organisations are already innovating with Azure OpenAI Service across industries such as agriculture, aviation, ecommerce, and fast-moving consumer goods. They include:

  • ITC, a diversified Indian conglomerate, developed the innovative chatbot Krishi Mitra for farmers. The app uses Microsoft’s voice-to-text technology to understand and respond to farmers’ queries in voice and vernacular, making it accessible to those with limited literacy skills. Krishi Mitra is specifically trained for Indian farming environments.
  • Karya, an Indian social impact organisation, partnered with Microsoft to create new data sets in local languages, while creating new economic opportunities for people in rural India. The initiative enriches data sets while improving lives through fair wages, training, and support.
  • Arvind Limited, India’s largest denim manufacturer, expects to save 60 percent of time spent analysing annual reports with its Annual Report Copilot. The solution helps decision makers analyse annual reports from multiple years and gain valuable insights in a timely manner, enabling them to produce better business strategies at speed.
  • Air India, the flag carrier airline, deployed a generative AI virtual agent called AI.g. It has successfully answered over half a million customer queries since its launch in March 2023, and manages over 6,000 queries a day in four languages.

Nadella will speak to a large gathering of the country’s developers and technology leaders while in India this week.


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