The COVID-19 pandemic set off an increasing need for virtual connectivity. The sudden shift from real to virtual, be it for work or personal interactions, has caught the attention of big companies. Facebook even rebranded itself as Meta, highlighting the shift in focus toward the metaverse. The rebranding has further propelled the adoption rates of the metaverse by other global brands and large firms.
This is not without reason. The metaverse, a virtual universe where real world activities can be done via an avatar, presents a great business opportunity, and organisations are keen on cashing in. According to the global investment bank, JP Morgan, the metaverse offers a $1 trillion market that will “infiltrate every sector in some way in the coming years”. Indian giants across banking, retail and IT sectors have also identified the vast spectrum of opportunities the metaverse presents. Several of these conglomerates have either begun work on their metaverse-related projects or are preparing to enter the space shortly.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the big three of India’s IT industry -- TCS, Infosys and Tech Mahindra -- are also hopping onto the metaverse bandwagon. Here’s how:
Infosys: On February 24, Infosys announced the launch of Metaverse Foundry -- a service that aids enterprises in implementing strategies that enhance “virtual-physical interconnections”.
The platform “converges the power of domain and design expertise, platforms and digital accelerators, with strong relationships in a rich creator-partner economy”, said the IT giant in a press release.
“Enterprises can harness this confluence of capabilities as services on-tap, with the flexibility to ramp up and down their explorations at will. This gives them on-demand ability to securely and efficiently create their own metaverse environment, deliver signature experiences in an existing metaverse, and bring advanced AI-powered data analytics and simulations to realise their evolving aspirations as the internet evolves,” it added.
Infosys has also unveiled more than 100 use cases and templates that are “ready-to-apply” in the areas of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G and cybersecurity. The firm believes that this will propel “value-exploration in the metaverse”.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS): In February 2022, Krishnan Ramanujam, President and Head of Business and Tech Services at TCS, told Moneycontrol that they had commenced investments in the metaverse with proposals already being presented to customers. “In terms of deals, a lot of proactive proposals we have put in for the customers. But currently, they are small,” said Ramanujam.
Experiences associated with online shopping and workplace interaction are the most popular on the metaverse. TCS has already made the proof-of-concept to enhance the consumers’ experience and augment the onboarding process for new employees. They are also working on recreating an office-like feeling in the metaverse by simulating workplace-like interiors, including the office cafeteria. According to the firm, giving employees a virtual tour can help them get familiarised with the TCS office.
In the same interaction, Ramanujam added that the raging interest in the metaverse was sparked by the increasing use of cloud technology -- a trend accelerated by the pandemic. Mass adoption of the metaverse may take time, but it will “eventually explode”.
Tech Mahindra: Tech Mahindra has marked its entry into the metaverse with the launch of the TechMVerse. The IT behemoth is deploying its technological capabilities in AI, blockchain, AR/VR, 5G and quantum computing to create Business-to-Business (B2B) use cases that can be applicable across sectors.
Tech Mahindra has revealed three use cases, each with a specific purpose:
1. Meta Bank -- a virtual bank as well as a gaming hub
2. Dealer Verse -- a virtual car dealership set in the metaverse
3. Middlemist -- a dedicated NFT marketplace
The firm believes that these three spaces currently offer the best opportunities aligned with its businesses.
“We are launching this on our own but will have use cases for platforms that have been launched by hyperscalers. We are enabling meta commerce, and 5G will enable us to deliver this,” CP Gurnani, CEO of Tech Mahindra, told The Economic Times. “There are seven layers to a good Metaverse implementation, the bottommost layer is infrastructure, and the topmost is human experience management, where we have leading capabilities,” Gurnani added.
First Published: IST