Artificial intelligence emerges as the driving force behind India's economic boom
September 2014, Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the “Make in India” initiative - the 21st century version of the Swadeshi movement - with the revolutionary vision of encouraging multinational as well as domestic companies to manufacture their products within the country. In September 2018, whether it’s the owner of a small tea shop in Delhi or a successful businessman in Hyderabad, no citizen in India can deny that this initiative has stayed true to its vision by helping the country move towards its long-term development plan. Creating an increasing number of jobs, enhancing skill-sets, increasing ease of doing business and attracting more FDI - it has helped India emerge as a globally competitive manufacturing and design hub.
However, the “Make in India” success story has been driven by an increasing penetration of digital technologies across Indian industries. In the manufacturing and servicing industry, these technologies enhance efficiency, total factor productivity, transparency and accountability. For instance, digital payment services enable hassle-free and transparent access to credit, e-commerce facilitates efficient supply chain management for the logistics sector, digital identification services prevent fraud cases and digital learning platforms boost literacy.
Leveraging AI for driving India’s economic growth
Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and robotics have emerged as the new-age technologies driving the next phase of innovation, and consequently, India’s economic boom. AI and robotics, in combination with Internet of things (IoT), virtual and augmented reality, drones and cloud platforms, are making inroads into all aspects of our lives through a range of products and services. AI is currently being applied in modern-day India across all major sectors of the economy - manufacturing and supply chain, agriculture, education, healthcare, financial services, consumer and retail, national security, defence, etc. Additionally, the government has consolidated efforts for popularising AI research and development across diverse fields.
However, to help in facilitating the government’s vision of enabling the adoption of tech-enabled production processes for capitalizing upon untapped value-producing opportunities, organizations need to adapt their internal processes to meet the requirements of digitalization.
Benefits of adopting digital technologies
Digital technologies are helping organizations across business verticals in finding, analysing, creating, communicating and using information effectively. Adopting the full range of smart technologies like AI, machine learning, natural language processing, etc. in the manufacturing and services sector, can save operational costs and time through the automation of routine tasks and processes. They increase productivity and operational efficiency by identifying problems early in the product’s lifecycle and enable quick resolution, keeping product development on track. Additionally, they yield outputs which are free of human error and facilitate faster decision-making. They also help in increasing revenues by identifying and maximizing sales opportunities, and generate quality leads by mining extensive data thus expanding the customer base. Cognitive technologies use insight to predict customer preferences for offering them personalized experiences in line with their needs. They enable predictive analysis, offer intelligent advice and support in multiple operational areas, and enhance servicing capacities by reducing the response time to customer demands. Therefore, digitization is offering a competitive advantage to brands and businesses across sectors.
Various innovative businesses in India are also using machine learning algorithms for bringing about equilibrium between the supply and demand side of the market – connecting potential employees with recruiters in an increasingly competitive talent acquisition market, helping consumers discover suitable properties for buying or renting based on their needs, facilitating hassle-free access to loans matching with one’s credit profile etc. Novel use-cases and landmark applications of AI are thus helping leading businesses in India and abroad in servicing an evolving customer base by better understanding and responding to consumer needs.
Use of AI in media and entertainment
The media and entertainment industry is a major sector leveraging AI for developing stronger connections with its widespread consumer base. As digital streaming services are offering cutting-edge entertainment products, the modern-day consumer is diverting away from traditional media channels. Through the employment of AI, digital entertainment providers are employing machine learning to recommend personalized content to consumers from all around the web, based on data derived from user activity and behaviour. This means that films, documentaries, news, podcasts and publications can all now be accessed under a unified and managed interface without the necessity of frequenting multiple content platforms. Media content producers are also using AI for accelerating the speed and efficiency of the media production process and for facilitating the organization of visual assets.
Not only consumers but publishers are also benefitted from the data-driven approach which is increasingly employed by digital media platforms. Publisher-focused features allow them to address each aspect of the customer lifecycle by accessing content delivery, targeting, dissemination and analytics. Additionally, companies are reaching wider consumer segments by training machine learning algorithms to develop film trailers and design advertisements. Moreover, with the emergence of new-age digital content creation and aggregation platforms, advertisers are able to break free of run-of-the-mill marketing strategies and are instead able to develop novel campaigns after monitoring and analysing user experience and content performance.
What the future holds
As smart technologies are altering the ways of accessing the world by innovating products and processes, India is set to witness exponential economic growth in the foreseeable future. Supported by government initiatives enabling businesses to leverage AI for a unique competitive advantage, the country is set to attract increasing trade and investment from all around the world. Digitization is thus set to mark the “fourth industrial revolution” making the digital factory a reality – equipped with cloud computing, the industrial internet of things and factory automation. The digital factory will help in optimizing production by combining high-performance software with state-of-the-art hardware and digitization of product development and distribution. Therefore, a modern day revolution started in the name of “Make in India” is helping secure India’s place on the world map by encouraging businesses to reap the benefits of adopting cognitive technologies which learn on their own through experience – much like the human mind itself.
Gautam Raj Anand
Founder & CEO, Hubhopper