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How AI Is Aiding India’s Startups To Sail Into The Wind

AI’s transformative potential arises from its ability to lend itself to diverse applications across various sectors and business functions.

By Ratna Mehta

India is on the cusp of huge opportunity for both economic progress and improvement in the general well-being of our people. Over the past years, we have diligently built digital highways to bring equitable access to technology across the country. The emergence of transformative new technologies will enable India to build on top of existing infrastructure for equitable social growth. Artificial Intelligence, specifically Machine Learning, holds tremendous promise for India and its startups from a technology capability perspective and a new exponential way of addressing some of the biggest challenges we face as a country and a society.

Over the past decade, AI has emerged as a transformative technology with its applications affecting numerous elements of our daily lives. However, in this new digital world, the immense economic potential of such remarkable technologies is yet to be harnessed and leveraged. In the years to come, we will see its true impact – one of them will be a significant uptake of AI-led operations in the startup world.

Source: NASSCOM report: AI Gamechangers 2021

Break-up of the Value add from AI in each Industry 

As it stands in India today, AI is making rapid strides and will play a significant role in its economic growth. Even COVID did not slow India’s march towards AI adoption and innovation and its aspiration to become the AI hub of the world. In 2020, India moved ahead of developed countries like Japan, the US, and the UK to become the largest adopter of AI. Here are some key statistics on AI adoption in India:

– Ranked 6th on Stanford Global AI vibrancy

– 0.5 million workers employed in AI, ML, and Analytics

– 45% of the organizations have increased AI adoption due to Covid-19

– AI Penetration rising in the startup ecosystem, with 50%+ using AI

Unlike a decade ago when its use was relatively unknown, AI today is pervasive across industries such as healthcare, education, retail, governance, agriculture, and manufacturing. AI’s transformative potential arises from its ability to lend itself to diverse applications across various sectors and business functions. As a result, the startup world will benefit immensely through operational efficiency, laser-sharp targeting of customers and highly accurate projection models.

Consumer Goods & Retail:

a) Predictive analysis to develop targeted, personalized campaigns using customer data

b) Protect against counterfeit products via block-chain enabled tracking

c) Improved cost competitiveness through resource optimization, real-time marketplaces


a) crop failure prediction to optimize supply planning, determine subsidies, protect farmer income

b) production planning using soil mapping and crop prices

c) precision farming for improved yields

Banking and Insurance:

a) AI-enabled risk assessment for underwriting MSME loans

b) Optimize pricing for self-employed customers through data-driven profiling

Other sectors:

Salud: remote diagnostics, optimized resource allocation, timely epidemic outbreak prediction

Transport: Road network optimization using geospatial data, traffic pattern analysis

Energy: Energy demand prediction and management, rationalization of asset utilization

The list below offers a sneak peek into the burgeoning Indian AI ecosystem. The wide variety of use cases featured reflects the broader applicability of AI.

If India acts quickly, it can become the first country to launch a holistic data utilization and AI effort, especially as countries emerge from the pandemic. A coordinated program across strategy, data, technology, talent, and execution is required to capture the opportunity and drive India to become the AI capital of the world

Source: BW Disrupt

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