Artificial Intelligence in India – Opportunities, Risks, as well as Future Potential

Given the Indian government’s latest emphasis on developing a program for artificial intelligence, we chose to apply the strengths of ours (deep analysis of AI implications and apps) to figure out

(a) the state of AI innovation in India, and

(b) strategic insights to help India survive as well as flourish in a worldwide industry with the assistance of AI initiatives.

1 – AI Adoption and Potential in India – an Overview

Artificial Intelligence in India - Opportunities, Risks, and Future Potential 1

The Initiatives of the Indian Government Thus Far

Since the first 90s, the IT and ITeS services sector of India has been of huge value to the economy of its gradually growing to account for 7.7 % of India’s GDP in 2016. In an effort to cash in on this foundation, the present Indian administration announced in February 2018 that the federal government think tank, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog (Hindi for Policy Commission), will spearhead a national program on AI focusing on investigation.

This particular improvement comes on the high heels of the launch of a Task Force on Artificial Intelligence for India’s Economic Transformation by the Commerce as well as Industry Department of the Government of India in 2017.

The industry professionals we interviewed seemed to agree that artificial intelligence has definitely caught the attention of the Indian government as well as the tech community recently. Based on Komal Sharma Talwar, Co-founder XLPAT Labs as well as part of India’s AI Task Force:

“I really feel the Mody’s government has discovered we have to have the proper policy in place so that there is a mission statement from their website as to just how AI must evolve in the nation so it is advantageous at big for the country.”

Certainly it is comments as Komal’s which made us recognize that we ought to assist in figuring out a strategic path for artificial intelligence improvement in India – as well as find out almost as possible regarding the potential strategic value of the technology.

From our interviews and research, we watched consensus (from researchers, non-profits, and executives alike) this farming and healthcare will be among the most crucial sectors of the target to boost living conditions for India’s citizens.

Merely as Google, Oracle, Microsoft, and Amazon are actually battling to provide the cloud computing as well as machine learning requirements of the US government, the following 3 to 5 years might result in a similar dynamic inside India. As the Indian government pushes for digitization and enacts more AI initiatives, private firms will flock to win great contracts – contributing to the pool of money to create new systems and spin out fresh AI and information science related startups.

Mayank Kapur, CTO of Indian AI startup Gramener, claims that the federal government is also the largest potential consumer for information science products in the nation. Some other pros we spoke with have enunciated that far more plus more Indian startups & developed tech firms are actually starting to execute AI in their services and products.

Mr. Avik Sarkar, the Head of the Data Analytics Cell for NITI Aayog explains that the think tank – which has been tasked with spearheading India’s AI approach – is now engaged in the following public sector initiatives:

“The existing areas of focus for AI uses in India are majorly centered in three areas:

  • Precision Agriculture – The federal government has initiated an evidence of concept pilot in fifteen districts (counties) in India to utilize artificial intelligence based real time advisory based on satellite imagery, environmental information, etc. to improve farm yields in which the farm creation levels are actually low.
  • Healthcare – radiologists and pathologists are extremely few in number India family member to the general public, (especially in outlying areas) and these’re programs which could be augmented by picture recognition AI. We’re doing augmenting the output of present pathologists and radiologists as the very first (of many planned) pilot project in healthcare. NITI Aayog is concentrating on early diagnosis as well as detection of Cardiac Risk and diabetic Retinopathy depending on the AI clothes airers. This kind of initiatives would in the end help individuals on hands-on medication in earlier stages rather compared to reactive healthcare in advanced stages – bringing down healthcare costs as well as much better odds of recovery.
  • Indian Languages Project – {We have|We’ve} initiated {a long-term|a long term} project to {build|create|establish} {a complete|an entire|a total} natural language processing platform for Indian languages. {This would|This will|It will} {aid in|assist in} the {development|improvement|enhancement} of several {applications|programs}, like conversational {general|standard|common} and {career|job} counseling through {chatbots and assistants|assistants and chatbots}, conversing {in|within} {22|twenty two} Indian languages.”

How is AI Interest in India Manifesting Itself Today?

With the government’s increasing interest around AI uses in India, Deepak Garg the Director at NVIDIA Bennett Center of Research in Artificial Intelligence (and Director thinks that there continues to be a tremendous development of interest amounts about AI throughout all business sectors in India.

He describes that even though AI interest is substantially smaller in India than in China or maybe the USA, the improved AI interest has manifested itself in the following 3 ways:


  •    One) Industries have begun working to ability the manpower of theirs to allow themselves to participate with other global players
  • Two) Educational facilities have begun working on the curricula of theirs to incorporate courses on machine learning along with other related areas
  • Three) Individuals as well as professionals have begun acquiring these abilities and therefore are comfortable investing in upgrading their very own skills.”

The Current Challenges to AI Traction in India

In spite of the original passion for AI, there were additionally a couple of opinions from specialists about a feeling of unfulfilled opportunity and that the nation might be doing much more to adopt as well as incorporate AI technologies.

Another common theme we heard often during our interviews was that – culturally speaking – the cost of failure is much higher in India than the West. While failing in an effort at grand objectives and daring development could be viewed as noble or maybe brave in New York or silicon Valley City (or perhaps even Boston), failure typically suggests a loss of experience in India and several Asian countries. It has historically meant an absence of space for revolutionary experimentation.

Dr. Nishant Chandra, the Data Science Leader of Science team at AIG gives an invaluable insight regarding the high stakes for failure in India and that economic and cultural factors play into increasing these stakes:

“Indian society isn’t as forgiving to failure in entrepreneurship as US or perhaps Europe. So much, it has resulted in suggestions borrowed from other areas and implemented following customization. However I think, entrepreneurs are going to build upon the good results of IT services sector and create globally cut-throat AI businesses in near future.”

At the IIIT Banglore Faculty Campus just where we caught up with Mr. Professor Manish Gupta, CEO of VideoKen

We caught up with Professor Manish Gupta at IIIT Bangalore – Manish is additionally a startup founder (VideoKen) and former AI researcher at Xerox and Goldman Sachs India. He expressed the disappointment of his in India’s lack of worldwide AI participation:

“I believe we’re not doing sufficient justice to the prospective [of ours in India]; I believe we’re truly much behind several of the various other leaders. I see a great deal of Chinese and american businesses at worldwide AI conference as NIPS / AAAI and those 2 nations appear to be far in front of the majority of the pack. I look at India as a nation which ought to be creating a lot more.”

A number of our interviewees mentioned the prevalence of copy catting business models in India (taking a successful or famous business model in the USA or maybe Europe and reconstructing it in India), instead of the creation of completely new business models.

Google isn’t the copy cat of an additional company in another country, nor is actually Microsoft, Amazon, or Facebook – and several of the same interviewees we spoke with are actually optimistic that India will have the very own worldwide trend setters of its as it’s technology ecosystem develops.

Next Steps for AI Development in India

Our prior investigation on AI enterprise adoption seems to suggest that it might be another 2 5 years until AI adoption will become mainstream in the Fortune 500 – as well as that’s just at the amount of initiatives and pilots, not of groundbreaking outcomes.

This particular learning stage? noticeable because of the state of AI adoption the Western markets? might keep going longer in India’s reasonably underdeveloped economy.

Aakrit Vaish, CEO of Haptik, Inc. also appears to propose that in the following ten years we are able to count on that understanding of AI and just how it really works will likely become more commonplace among most specialized business executives:

“India could go in the path that China has gone, become the own economies of theirs. There are probably going to be pockets, Bangalore might be good at deep tech like robotics or research / Hyderabad being good at data/ AI training, Mumbai being good at BFSI and  Delhi for agriculture and government. Similar to China, many remedies will most likely be put on to the nearby economy.”

India’s services sector (call centers, BPOs, etcetera – roughly eighteen % of the Indian GDP) have a major likely chance to cater to the coming need for information washing and human augmented AI instruction (information labeling, search motor education, content moderation, etc).

Komal Talwar from Government of India’s AI Task Force included the views of her on what the Indian government’s potential technique around AI may be focused on:

“We believe AI might have a good effect of overall health sector. There’s a scarcity for great doctors & nurses, with AI the device is able to do the very first round of diagnostics. Staff is able to carry devices with them to help you cut down in the actual physical presence required for physicians.

The federal government is actually motivating startups to possess AI programs that actually have a cultural impact (AI in health, AI in training, etc), in which startups participate to resolve community problems.”

Key Points:

Has India “woken up” to artificial intelligence? Expert opinions on this subject appear to be combined, but through the studies of ours, we managed to distill the following themes:

  • Many pros agreed that there’s a bit of indication of grassroots level AI adoption now for India, however, the speed of innovation around setting up a detailed AI technique for the future is not similar to China or America now.
  • The majority of the traction now of India appears to be in the type of AI pilot projects from the federal government in healthcare and farming and also the growth of AI startups in Indian application hubs as Hyderabad and Bangalore.
  • Several of the pros we interviewed think that India’s underdeveloped economy will substantially slow wide AI adoption.
  • The Indian government as well as Indian tech hubs are definitely alert to (as well as usually psyched about) AI, but adoption lags interest.
  • India might be the hub for information cleaning around the globe. The IT services market could quickly transition into human trainers of AI, a demand that already exists (as evidenced by Figure 8,, Click worker, along with other players in the human assisted AI instruction market).
  • In India, the federal government push is towards AI uses which have community advantages as health care, farming as well as training. The immediate monetary effect of the sectors is huge, though the federal government appears to be focused initially on boosting the health as well as well being of the people of its.

2 – Artificial Intelligence in India – Strengths and Opportunities

Artificial Intelligence in India - Opportunities, Risks, and Future Potential 2

The vast majority of our Indian AI respondents as well as interviewees showed optimism about India’s potential to be among the major worldwide players down the road of AI. Optimism about the prospects of one’s own nation’s achievement appears an all natural bias (and one we have seen before in our geography specific coverage in Montreal, Boston, and more) – but India’s optimism is not unwarranted.

Since the early 90’s when the Indian economy opened up to foreign investment, the land has been considered by some people economists as the “dark horse” with the larger economies on the planet.

An Existing Foundation For Taking Advantage of AI

Historically, the slower adoption of IT services by domestic Indian businesses (in certain cases by still by a period of about ten years) as compared to worldwide competitors was a signal of the unfulfilled likely in accordance to several industry experts we spoke to.

Nevertheless, nearly all almost all of the interviewees appeared to be bullish on the reality that this time around in the trend of AI, India is securely backing the strengths of its as represented in the quote below from Aakrit Vaish Co founder and CEO of Haptik, Inc.

“The Indian basis of IT services as well as business process outsourcing makes me think that such AI instruction tasks will be a lot more profitable for India than somewhere else in the future.”

Of the job interview with him, Aakrit clarified the stance of his with a good example regarding the chance that Indian BPO services suppliers could possibly be appealing in phrases of price and techniques for projects (which he thinks will for a while remain a mechanical effort) as tagging and cleaning of information in the future.

We noticed opinions from various other experts favoring the perspective that India might be positioned very well to make the most of the AI disruption. Sundara Ramalingam Nagalingam, Head of Deep Learning Practice at NVIDIA India, shares the ideas of his on several of the benefits India might have more than some other places in phrases of AI:

“India is actually the third largest startup ecosystem in the planet, with 3 to 4 startups being created here every day. We feel India has a significant edge over some other places in phrases of talent, a brilliant startup ecosystem, strong IT services as well as an offshoring business to harness the strength of AI.”

Kiran Rama, the Director of Data Sciences at the VMware Center of Excellence (CoE) in Bangalore also appears to agree that the cost competitive skill of India is going to be a chance for businesses looking to offices that are open in India:

“There appears to be a great deal of opportunity for businesses that are actually setting u shop in India. Particularly since there’s a source of information science talent at an excellent price advantage. I additionally think there Indians are beginning to help the improvement of machine learning libraries as well as algorithms.”

Strong IT Services and Existing IT Ecosystem

Subramanian Mani, who heads the analytics wing at, an internet Indian grocery e commerce firm, reiterates the thought that the IT services history of India is actually a benefit.

We are seemingly joined by Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan (their brand ambassador) during our visit to the BigBasket Offices to interview Subramaniam Mani, their Analytics Head.

He thinks that the main distinction between the software program and AI waves is the fact that though India was slow to adopt software service as compared to America, this time around with the AI wave, adoption will be much faster and just somewhat behind the major nations.

“This is the next wave. The software program wave was thirty years back. Folks in India discovered they have been in a position to scale software and I believe AI / ML is actually an extension of software development.”

While software program was usually taught through books and in classrooms solely, a lot of the newest artificial intelligence methods are actually offered to discover on the internet – together with great suites of open source resources (from scikit-learn to TensorFlow and beyond).

Going in, we knew that one of the crucial benefits for India would, actually, function as the really IT and ITeS sectors that will allow it to be simple for Indian tech providers to change into AI services, provided that well developed ecosystems have developed over the past twenty five years in cities as Hyderabad and Bangalore.

Manish Gupta, Director of Machine Learning & Data Science at American Express India, expressed optimism of Bangalore as an innovation hub:

“Bangalore has constantly been viewed as the Silicon Valley of Today as well as India there are a great deal of analytics businesses with these. It’s all of the ingredients to be a leader in the AI room. The state government is actually keen on planning just grooming for startups of that area as witnessed by the launch of the Center for Excellence (CoE) in AI setup by the NASSCOM and GOI found Bangalore.”

Diversity (at Scale) May be a Massive Opportunity

With Rony Thomas (Right) and Madhusudan Shekar (Far right) from Amazon AWS right after our breakfast meeting at Novotel, Bangalore

Even though the advantageous asset from the current Indian IT industry might have been increasingly user-friendly, Madhusudan Shekar, Principal Technology Evangelist at Amazon AWS describes via a good example how India’s scale as well as diversity (generally regarded as a challenge) could be a chance to come up with the ideal out of a difficult situation:

“In India, folks talk more than forty semiformal languages in aproximatelly 800 dialects. You will find twenty two national languages and in case you wish to make a neural networking for speech, India is the ideal place to create that neural web. When you are able to make for India, you are able to probably build it for various other areas of the world.”

With this respect, India – with many of its language problems – might be a petri dish for translation oriented AI uses. The industry because of this technology – particularly when backed by the Indian government – might well rival the sort of AI innovations created about interpretation in other areas of the planet.

Hundreds of Millions of People Coming Online

Another insight that was oft repeated by the professionals was about the potential to have access to huge quantities of information in India. To further explain,  According to a report by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) the entire number of web subscribers of the nation as being a fraction of the general public increased by 12.01 % from December 2013 to reach 267.39 million in December 2014.

Together these lines, Mayank Kapur Co founder of Gramener cites the higher amount of the scale and information collection to which it can possibly develop as a possibility for India in public sector AI applications:

“In the public sector, we’ve a benefit of scale the quantity of information that will possibly be gathered is actually great. For instance, leveraging information to offer access to services is an enormous differentiator in the healthcare industry for uses as nutrition.” or illness avoidance

Figure. Number of internet subscribers

in India in 2014 by access type (Source)

Juergen Hase the CEO of Unlimit- A Reliance Group Company, one of India’s largest private sector companies, expressed his thoughts during our research:

“The immediate switch to mobile platforms in India means that there aren’t any legacy methods to cope with and brand new technologies could be created from scratch.”

As shown in the figure to the ideal, an overwhelming bulk of India’s Internet members gain access through movable wireless networks.

As Juergen points out, this means that large scale AI tasks in India could be relatively insulated from problems cropping up from legacy systems. This may additionally lead to a much better instant mobile fluency for India’s startup and developer communities, who have to appeal to a nearly solely mobile store.

Juergen gives, down the road, we are able to count on that AI software program will likely have this edge in India as compared to developed nations in which the ratio is much more uniformly distributed among mobile as well as fixed wireless users.


At InMobi’s swanky office with Avi Patchava, VP Data Science right after our interview

We believe the company market of ours will really locate the other quote from Avi Patchava, Data Sciences, Vice President, ML & AI – InMobi, highly informative in phrases of getting an introduction of India’s biggest strengths with regard to the country’s potential to leverage AI. Avi nicely summed up what he believes are actually India’s 4 biggest strengths to deal with the upcoming AI disruption:

  • “India has a great deal of engineering talent that has been taught during the last two years which must be funneled into a brand new path because of the automation of IT services. This core base of engineering is actually necessary to do things with AI for scale”
  • “India features a lifestyle which creates a lot of mathematicians, coders, and also statisticians (independent of the engineers) Bangalore as well as to some degree Hyderabad currently have good ecosystem set up. London basically attempted to establish the tech ecosystem of its in the past five years Bangalore has been at it for the previous twenty five years.”
  • “Data – We have received a nation that’s quickly moving towards digitization – For instance, the Aadhar or maybe UIDAI Project in India is actually probably the largest ever different identifier task of the globe. India is definitely pushing much more and more into producing the fact and public datasets that it’s a democracy will help with this point over China in which public details might be restricted to the government”
  • You have got more than three million individuals that are actually either exclusively interested in the IT services community of India and its approximately fourteen % of the Indian GDP. It was competent work, though it had been common, making it a vital opportunity for machine learning as well as automation. The IT services players as Infosys, Wipro etc have recognized this and began inner reorganizations to adopt AI”

The following points became evident through our interviews about India’s AI strengths and opportunities:

  • India’s present focus on mobile platform first method has meant that the many Indians’ very first a chance to access the web is actually apt to become a mobile device. There was over 1 billion movable telephone members in India in 2016. What what this means is for AI in the land is the fact that in a number of instances of B2B and B2C programs there aren’t any standardization or maybe compatibility issues cropping from legacy methods (like Macs or PCs) for brand new technologies that are being created from scratch.
  • The scale as well as diversity inherent in India is usually a chance in phrases of access to huge quantities of information that is an underlying necessity for just about any big scale AI task.
  • Each year, India’s numerous colleges make a substantial selection of mathematicians plus engineers ; these’re abilities which play a vital role in creating any AI program. The web offers to restrict the lag from first world computer system science classrooms to Indian businesses & researchers, allowing a nation with a swelling population that is younger to possibly keep pace (at minimum in certain sectors or maybe cities) with the legitimate cutting edge of AI.
  • There appears to be a government push towards digitalization suggested by the launch of AI oriented government initiatives such as the AI Task Force and NITI Aayog – and those initiatives will probably spurn much more man-made intelligence enthusiasm, businesses, and research investment.

3 – Artificial Intelligence in India – Weaknesses and Risks

Artificial Intelligence in India - Opportunities, Risks, and Future Potential

While there was numerous favorable views on the upcoming outlook of the Indian AI ecosystem, there appeared to be views that are various among professionals with regards to the difficulties that the nation may need to conquer to make it through as well as flourish in the AI disruption.

AI Hype vs AI Reality – and Often Stark Difference

We noticed a major amount of experts allude to the point that the hype available AI may still be extremely genuine in India and there exists below a typical inclination to see AI as a discrete industry rather as opposed to the wide, core technologies which it’s (like the internet).

Along with being misunderstood and not being correctly leveraged, a lot of the pros we spoke with were candid about addressing what they see as relative weaknesses of the Indian AI ecosystem.

Aakrit Vaish from Haptik, Inc. shares his thoughts on the AI hype that he sees in the Indian tech scene today:

“Today AI is getting a great deal of interest in India though nobody understands what it’s or perhaps what exactly are the very best uses because of it. There is a bit of of a spray-and-pray attitude across the board.”

While AI hype is actually tough to escape in the tech media in any sort of nation – the speaking engagements of ours in India seemed to affirm the state ambiguity available AI. We received post presentation questions from attendees (about AI taking tasks, regarding the definition of AI itself, about the ongoings of Google as well as Facebook) which looked like less informed thoughts than we may listen to from a likewise specialized market of Boston or maybe San Francisco.

This might mainly be because of the point that AI apps are less well understood, and truly well-informed AI talent is actually rarer. We may suspect this with the coming couple of years – especially in a tech hub as Bangalore – we would see this expertise lessen over time.

Venture Capital in AI still in Early Stages

Co-founder of XLPAT Labs as well as part of India’s AI Task Force Komal Sharma particularly points out that actually several of the federal government projects have faced trouble in phrases of obtaining funding for initiating AI pilot projects. She appears to suggest that the present Indian AI and startup funding ecosystem isn’t mature adequate to be much like the US and even China.

“The issue that we’ve faced I believe is funding in places where the area of ours is extremely niche. In India, IP is actually creating tons of interest, though we are nowhere close to the US or any other countries.”

Komal was much from being on your own in the lamenting of her AI’s lack of VC funding, as well as the sentiment of the respondents of ours appears to be backed up by the information.

The World Economic Forum chart below features information from Ernst & Young:

Used as a % of GDP, Israel’s VC investments represent aproximatelly 0.006 % of GDP, while India’s investments represent about 0.002 %. As the Indian economy will continue to create – as well as if India’s entrepreneurship trend continues – we need to see expense boost.

Lack of Collaboration Between Industry and Academia


Madhu Gopinathan Vice President, Data Science at MakeMyTrip, India’s largest online travel company, touches on a place repeated by various other industry experts also. He believes that the 2 underlying elements below are bigger salaries lie in the business industry, that is possibly developing a dearth of teachers for the coming generation of software designers looking to change into AI as well as the accessibility of information.
“Academia as well as Industry effort is a major problem of India. Though we’ve a great deal of colleges, the bonuses are skewed towards the business sector. For instance, folks just like me that have an understanding of the technology may well not be willing to instruct the coming generation at educational institutions, since working at the bigger businesses is much more profitable today. “

Madhu thinks that a great deal of the “AI upskilling” of India’s development skill is going to occur on the task in the cutting edge job environments of venture backed businesses, instead of in the classroom.

As Nishant Chandra from AIG puts it, the boom in the Indian IT services sector in the early 90s was partly created out of need – India simply didn’t have a wonderful “products ecosystem”. India has historically not done very well with goods and based on the pros, there also appears to be a dearth of great skill particularly for style as well as user interface capabilities.

Sumit Borar, Sr. Director – Data Sciences at Myntra, the Indian manner eCommerce firm, is actually of the opinion that the scale of AI skill in India is yet really nascent though he expects this to change in the following 3 years:

“Talent is going to be the largest strength for India with respect to AI. But AI is nonetheless new, therefore present talent of the industry is quite limited but in three years time I believe this will be a strength.

Industry-university partnerships where pupils are able to work with real life information science programs as well as reskilling of existing workforces (example: obtaining software engineers to look for vice or statistics versa) are simply starting to take shape in India (starting with the unicorns).”

Cultural Factors

The cultural aspects in India play a role in talent development here as defined by Nimilita Chatterjee SVP, Analytics as well as data at Equifax:

AI India Equifax
At Bangalore’s Equifax offices after our interview with Namilita

“I see issues in AI talent in India are at 3 levels:

  • Data science courses in India are actually customized to strategy and not to business context and program.
  • Because of the increased need for information experts with an experience level of zero to two or perhaps zero to three years, they’re being recruited by other businesses rather right after you employ them; thus, there’s a threat of losing talented staff. With Equifax, we know this to be able to entice as well as retain talent, we’ve to invest in a lifestyle that individuals wish to become a part of. We’re offering workers with skill set education, delivering collaborative projects, along with investing in producing the coming generation of leaders.
  • The 3rd issue is it’s sometimes hard to change analysts to leaders. A lot of the analysts of ours are excellent individual contributors and though young talent of India are actually urged to be studious, there’s not an extremely capable process in place for ensuring formally good individuals transition well into’ inspiring leaders.’ We’re looking for to alter this at Equifax. We are giving rotational development programs which train the personnel of ours, providing them access to various regions of the company, along with marketing opportunities.”

The problems which Nimilita addresses above are not all of that different from what we come across in the United States (indeed in Silicon Valley) on day schedule. It does appear safe to say, nonetheless, which experienced information science talent (more specifically: Talent that have applied information science and AI abilities in a genuine company context) is significantly more sparse in India than it’s in the USA – at least for right now.

Access to Large Amounts of Data in the Finance Sector Is Still an Issue

Nilmilita even thinks that an additional weakness for India today in phrases of information access for AI uses of the finance industry comes from the reality that the Indian economy still works largely on money. As of 2017, India’s Economic Times claims which money comprises ninety five % of the Indian economy.

Though there’s a tiny proportion of the population which is actually making the switch to digital transactions, she thinks this part of the population is still not substantial enough prior to AI adoption in this industry becomes prevalent in India.

“India shifting away from money & being cozy on a cell phone, however that part of the public is still little. It is going to come into play down the road, though these days it’s nonetheless a problem at the finance sector.”

Professor Manish Gupta, CEO of VideoKen is actually of the opinion that the Indian tech community as well as government projects about AI haven’t been thinking huge in phrases of exactly how India could greatly leverage AI. Professor Gupta additionally mentions the absence of cooperation between industry: and academia

“One of the stuff we lack is actually courage… I believe we lack the courage to establish ambitious sufficient objectives as well as to visit solve those issues.

Simply being less than a Western plan isn’t accurate innovation… that is not ALL that we ought to be thinking about.”


The following points became evident through our interviews about India’s AI risks and weaknesses:

  • Though generally there are actually VCs in AI beginning to emerge, access to venture funding is actually unusual.
  • Lack of cooperation between the industry as well as academia especially in the AI url.
  • Absence of ambitious or creative goal setting out of the tech community.
  • Language as well as translation challenges are actually rife in India, making collaboration from state to state really tricky – delaying down posing problems and info transfer growing companies.
  • An overall lack of AI fluency – maybe even in the tech community – compared to tech hubs in Europe or maybe the United States.

4 – Strategic Recommendations for Success in the Indian Artificial Intelligence Ecosystem

In light of NITI Aayog’s the latest report, as well as in light of the investigation of ours on AI in India (and the understanding of ours of AI’s economic chances in a variety of tech ecosystems), we had been motivated to help the national discussion about AI in India.

The goal of this last segment of our AI in India examination is actually providing the Indian government as well as Indian tech group with a set of actionable ideas for making the maximum of AI in phrases of social and economic advantage.

We’ve broken this conclusion down into two sections:

  1. To maximize the Economic Impact of AI. We highlight the region that we feel is actually of the best import for India’s economic prosperity (IT services) – including an evaluation of potential future of paths as well as action steps. This particular aisl was composed by Daniel Faggella, Founding father of Emerj.
  2. AI in India SWOT Analysis Highlights. We offer an introduction to what we feel to be by far the most vital one or maybe two strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and chances of AI in India. This particular aisl was composed by Raghav Bharadwaj of Emerj.

This last section – just like the majority of this particular analysis – is seated in the chats of ours with dozens of AI professionals in India, along with the analysis of ours of some other research initiatives as well as precedents of AI’s effect in some other tech ecosystems. We wish that the suggestions that follows will be of value for the tech as well as government leaders who’ll carry India into an era of AI disruption.

Maximizing the Economic Impact of AI: “Skills and IT Services at the Speed of Now”

Madhu Gopinathan MakeMyTrip
With Madhu Gopinathan of MakeMyTrip at their Bangalore office. MakeMyTrip is one of India’s most prominent tech “unicorns” (companies valued at over $1B)

India picked up on the software wave and the internet wave well behind the USA and Europe.

With the AI wave, there’s the potential to get up right away thanks tosubstantial and continuing progress in web connectivity, as well as India’s bloated population of young engineers could hypothetically leap straight to the leading edge of programming, development, and information science.

India has a bulging population of young people and a definite academic focus on info technologies. In case India is able to marshall this next generation of the tech savvy workforce individuals to the proper skills, they are able to develop an enormous base of only the sort of engineers plus information scientists professionals that the planet will require nearly all in the years ahead.

Ideally, with access to each of the newest algorithms, solutions, and use cases because of the word wide web, Indian businesses & facilities are able to update the abilities of theirs almost as quickly as do the peers of theirs in Boston or maybe San Francisco.

We suspect that the business process outsourcing (BPO) and IT services sectors has

  • It’s an industry where India plays a good worldwide role, giving Indian firms a base of abilities as well as knowledge to let them possibly leap over
  • It’s effective at absorbing India’s young technology graduates, enabling India to retain its perfect tech talent
  • The IT services sector might possibly function as an extra training phase, keeping talent powerful in probably the most contemporary and crucial technology skills (including information science, information infrastructure, printer learning)

Artificial intelligence is not destined for an always beneficial effect on the Indian BPO and this services sector. New technology solutions as well as automation might erode India’s dominance in this back office IT domain. By using it services being such a great center of development for the Indian economic climate – it behooves India to make certain that AI technologies make their economic engine stronger, not weaker.

With the arrival of artificial intelligence, there appear to be 3 major transitions which might come about to the BPO and this services sectors within India:

1. They might be eaten out by businesses that automate the work of theirs (basic IT services, customer service work, human resources perform, payroll, etc…).

There is almost definitely nothing great about this particular circumstance, unless India itself produces these brand new businesses, and lets you retrain a lot of the skill of its to operate in these new firms (which would entail considerable upskilling).

2. They might remain at the bottom part of the value chain, essentially being relegated to tagging pictures, combing through information for advantage instances, instruction algorithms, etcetera (we may name this situation “The nation of physical turks”).

India probably fills the job of the world’s outsourcing destination, and lots of of the companies in the crowdsourced information cleaning as well as tagging room (Figure 8,, etc) have massive teams in India, and for good reason: Costs are actually low. It appears to be not likely this work is going to bring a lot of extra economic value to India. Staying at the bottom part of the value chain is economically limiting, and totally not likely to job India as a technology leader.

3. They might get the deep expertise of theirs in various business processes, as well as be the first person to automate or even augment them with artificial intelligence. This will entail taking their current expertise of BPO and this services and discovering better and new methods to resolve those industry issues with AI and ML

This may take out of a copycatting mentality (i.e. being a more affordable variation of several Western business model), and turn into the type of firms that the majority of the planet references as top and premier, not simply more affordable.

The services sector is where much of India’s current and future growth is likely to come from (, with IT services and business process outsourcing (BPO) services employing millions of Indians.

We believe this area is worthy of focus because:

  • IT services firms are actually the low hanging fruit of useful tech expertise for India’s millions as well as millions of technology graduates that wish to keep inside the nation after leaving school.
  • In case these firms move the products of theirs up the value chain, they’re far more apt to hold India’s best graduates within the country (paying greater wages, doing a lot more fascinating and useful work), instead of losing them as a lot of India’s most promising graduates leave for the USA, Europe, or perhaps anywhere else.
  • To keep young talent of the nation – as well as offering them cutting-edge and engaging more issues – appears to be an all natural stage in the path of brand new innovation, instead of technology as well as assistance “copy catting” (simply taking a company model produced everywhere else and attempting to do it cheaper in India).
  • To have younger talent working on more high level issues in the IT services room appears to be more likely to spin out startups, as people that are young participate with tough issues together.
  • Mainly with increased promising talent as well as tasks will VC investments continue to develop (the base of fresh businesses needs to be there for buy to increase).

India should think about its competitive advantage the same way that Silicon Valley VCs think about the AI advantage of their portfolio companies. Namely, India should assess its areas of expertise areas and the areas where it collects masses of proprietary data. So what is the “proprietary data plume” (a term we heard first in our interview with Silicon Valley investor Ben Narasin), or self-feeding data ecosystem that India can “own” and continue to build more and more value around?

Focusing on BPO and IT services sector, it seems safe to say that India has tremendous expertise in:

  • Customer care operations (chatbots, routing, directing buyers to help resources, etc)
  • Call center operations (automating discussion and voice, routing calls, supplying feedback and analytics on call performance, etc)
  • Data entry, information management, and quality assurance workflows
  • HR as well as transaction processing workflows

Leading in the area of white collar and business process automation would really force India to participate on specialized advancements, rather compared to cost. Automating workplace as well as IT work is a chance for those business organizations as well as markets. Because of this, ought to India choose to lead the planet in automating as well as augmenting the BPO of its and this services business organizations, it’ll be competing with startups and with big consulting companies (such as McKinsey, Accenture, Deloitte) on numerous fronts.

One of the keys for Indian BPO, IT, and tech firms will be picking the domains of aim in which the experience of theirs is actually healthiest one (relative to the majority of the world), and exactly where economic opportunity is actually the biggest.

AI in India SWOT Analysis Highlights


  • India has historically created a lot of engineers, mathematicians as well as software developers each year. Furthermore, almost two thirds of Indians are in the age of thirty five and nearly half are under twenty five. By 2020, India would be the youngest state in the planet, with a median age of twenty nine years, compared with a median age of thirty seven years in China at that time.
    • India is going to need to place to work its increasing number of young engineers as well as scientists in the coming ten years. Enacting any AI policy at the scale of a nation as India is going to require this basis of this young talented workforce.
  • Existing IT ecosystem in India is going to enable a somewhat easier switch into AI services.
    • During the last twenty five years, the IT and ITeS sectors have accounted for a significant chunk of the country’s GDP (see figure below). Metropolises as Hyderabad and Bangalore are creating hubs for this service exports now. India is additionally the third largest startup ecosystem in the planet now with Bangalore once again being at the top part of that list. The business is currently relatively mature as well as added to the cheaper labor costs, a solid foundation for the upskilling using AI is currently in place and economically makes sense.


  • Timely government funding initiatives to generate excellent building blocks for an AI ecosystem. (Historically the Indian Government has been slow to respond to technology waves – The domestic Indian IT sector was a ten years more slowly to completely arrive in comparison to the US or perhaps China)
    • In terms of providing monetary assistance for AI programmes, the Ministry of Information and electronics Technology, Government of India, has been funding projects by educational facilities in the aspects of ubiquitous computing as well as wireless sensor networks for real time landslide monitoring as well as perception engineering (e.g. synthetic sensing, perceptual robotics). The ministry has likewise been operating a Technology Incubation and Development of Entrepreneurs (TIDE) pattern for facilitating technology innovation during the last ten years.
    • Though this’s a beginning in the proper path, the amount of funding from the federal government so much is a lot smaller in India compared to US and China. The suggestion here will be developing more such public sector initiative where private sector firms are able to acquire huge contracts, strengthening the government industrial complicated of AI


  • Industry as well as academic effort has been historically really underdeveloped. In accordance to this report by Fujitsu in 2005, on university industry collaborations in Asian countries, these kinds of collaborations in India were solely substantial () that is comparable of number after 2003.
    • Creating a network of alliances between the services as well as goods industries, academia, government organizations as well as start ups. For instance as the Danish ROBOCLUSTER initiative in Denmark centered on Robotics. Centers of Excellence are a great start in this particular regard.


  • Using back office expertise and BPO, India’s IT services firms could likely build the world’s best office automation as well as BPO AI uses. This will allow India to produce a better margin merchandise industry, along with their broad inexpensive services sector.
  • Data cleaning as well as information tagging is an enormous chance for near term enterprise. The BPO market of India might find a chance of information washing as well as tagging in substantial datasets, that will ultimately be utilized to train and error correct AI. Cheap experienced IT labor could possibly enable this particular opportunity. (Note: We feel that reliance on this particular approach to AI related work might be a detriment in the very long term, which we cover in the “risks” below.)
  • To upgrade the IT training to be on par with China as well as USA. Generally there ought to be no “gap” between other nations and India in IT understanding, as well as the web can make it possible to make certain that India’s youth bulge might get exposure to the most contemporary AI techniques. To have access to a skilled and young details science workforce with graduates directly at the leading edge of the technology might be an enormous increase for innovation.


  • AI may automate low-end services work, call center work, and BPO work:
    • The worry which AI is actually stealing tasks isn’t special to India, though it might reach this country especially difficult because a huge of the economy of its comes from IT solutions which require comparatively regular work that’s key for computers to take over.
    • Looking forward 5 years down the road, in some instances, Indian IT services businesses will automate the job themselves (requiring upskilling of the workforce). In other instances, vendors in the West will take action, therefore they don’t have to delegate work through to humans in India (resulting in loss of business).
    • We feel that in case the Indian tech products sector does not embrace AI, or even if they just embrace low end data entry as well as information labeling encroachment, automation, and work from international tech firms may be a major financial blow to the nation.

While the NITI Aayog released the National Strategy for AI which addresses what would be India’s strategy in AI, the Ministry of IT and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry have also made similar efforts in the past.

Based on Mr. P. Anandan, CEO of Wadhwani AI, nonprofit independent studies institute with objective of AI for social good (and before the Founder and Managing Director of Microsoft Research India, Professor of AI at A member and yale Faculty of Board of Governors of IIT Madras), probably the most prominent location of convergence among each one of these efforts has been in existence answering the question – What may be India’s leadership position in AI?

Anandan goes on to add:

“Germany, Japan, France etc. all have AI techniques tailored for the own places requirements of theirs as well as options. India is usually a nation which leads’ AI for all’ mainly because that’s essential issue for us to resolve and in case we do, it is going to be helpful for the majority of the planet also. India’s genuine ability is actually doing AI for social good as we’ve historically always been a technology test bed for interpersonal work and we possess the technological know how to get it done moderately well here.”

We definitely wish that India is able to make the best value of artificial intelligence – both for the health of the people of its and guarantee the overall health of the economy of its. The following 5 years are going to be a time to establish both the rate as well as pattern of AI adoption of the nation.

Source: This post was originally published by Rahul Bharadawaj. You can find the post at :

Artificial Intelligence in India – Opportunities, Risks, and Future Potential

Megha is a Editor/Writer/Social Media Lover of all that is 'quaint', her favourite things include dogs, cats, butter popcorn, Northanger Abbey novels. She has previously worked for News18, CNN IBN.


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