Bengaluru, June 18 (IANS) Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka on Saturday said automation and design thinking have become crucial for the company and are already showing results.

"The repetitive tasks can be automated by brining Artificial Intelligence (AI) to our existing services and existing customer landscapes, so that we fundamentally transform cost and productivity," he said in a letter to the stakeholders at the 35th annual general meeting here.

According to Sikka, if something can be done, it should not be done again and can be automated.

Addressing the flipside of automation eroding jobs, he said it should not be a major worry, noting that jobs had been taken away by automation right from the times of industrial revolution only to produce new kind of opportunities.

In fiscal 2015-16, Infosys released nearly 4,000 full time employees from projects as a result of automation of underlying services.

"We have several additional levers to further enhance operational efficiency, such as utilization, onsite effort mix, onsite employee cost and sub-contractor expenses, which we plan to optimise," said Sikka.

He said the company's employee engagement in fiscal 2015-16 has shown results with attrition declining to 13.6 per cent from 18.9 per cent last year.

Another major initiative with human resources was the introduction of Zero Bench concept in July 2015 with an aim to eradicate the bench, with Sikka noting that he still cannot comprehend the concept of bench even after 21 months in Infosys.

"In just nine months, by the end of the financial year 2016, more than 12,000 jobs had been created on our Zero Bench marketplace, and more than 67 per cent of folks on the bench had completed at least one of these," said Sikka.

Design Thinking is another major focus of Infosys which has trained over 80,000 employees in it.

"Going forward, we will bring Design Thinking to every facet of our work, it will help us deploy our bandwidth," he said.

Innovation imbibing Zero Distance is another major initiative of the company.

"I am most proud of initiatives such as Zero Distance, in which the teams working in more than 7,000 master projects at Infosys have found and continue to find incremental innovation," said Sikka.

About total contract value of large deals won in 2015-16, he said their value increased by 45 per cent to $2.8 billion.

In FY16, the Bengaluru-based company raised its client count from 950 in 2015 to 1,092 while the employee count rose to 1,94,044.

Infosys has six $200 million plus clients and one $300 million client and $1 million clients increased to 558 in 2016 from 529 in the last fiscal.

COO U.B. Pravin Rao said 97 per cent of the company's business is repeat and CFO M.D. Ranganath said the value of Infosys liquid assets is Rs 34,468 crore.