Artificial Intelligence in India

According to a recent research report by Accenture, Artificial Intelligence has the potential to boost India’s annual growth rate by 1.3% by 2035.

India provides a perfect “playground” for enterprises and institutions globally to develop scalable solutions which can be easily implemented in the rest of the developing and emerging economies. Simply put, “solve” for India means “solve” for 40% or more of the world (NITI Aayog).

There are estimated to be 170 AI startups based in India. The total raised funding of these startups is USD 36 million with the average founding year of 2013. Bangalore is the hub of AI activities in India with the presence of 64 startups and USD 27 million funding. Delhi stands second among metro cities in India with 26 startups (USD 330K funding).

Total talent working in the AI space is 4187 employees. As to the talents working in the non-human intelligence space, especially AI, Bangalore leads with 2670 professionals while 950 AI professionals are working in Hyderabad and 300 in Delhi.

Bangalore, the technology hub of India, is making a name for itself in the field of machine learning, image and voice recognition. India’s Centre for Artificial Intelligence & Robotics (CAIR), operating under the country’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has been focusing on AI since 1986. Google and Apple have made acquisitions of local startups. Indian unicorns Flipkart and InMobi, which actively deploy AI in their businesses, are also headquartered in Bangalore.

India has seen a renewed venture capital interest in the AI space. The stirrings of AI acquisitions have been felt in India also. In 2016, Apple acquired a Hyderabad based AI startup Tuplejump for USD 20 million, making it third AI acquisition after Turi and Emotient. According to Indian Analytics Startup Funding study, 2016, the second half of 2016 saw an increased venture interest in AI startups., launched in 2015, received funding from Unilazer and Ratan Tata, while SigTuple, launched in July 2015, received seed funding from Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. Meanwhile vPhrase Analytics raised an undisclosed amount from Venture Catalysts in March 2016.

AI has the potential to offer competitive advantage to companies across sectors especially those below, according to NITI Aayog’s Discussion Paper on AI (June 2018):

Healthcare: AI driven diagnostics, personalized treatment, early identification of potential pandemics and imaging diagnostics offer the possibility to provide access to healthcare in rural parts of the country with limited connectivity and lack of healthcare Professionals;
Smart Mobility: Autonomous fleets for ride sharing, semi-autonomous features such as driver assist, and predictive engine monitoring and maintenance, autonomous trucking and delivery, and improved traffic management;
Manufacturing: Engineering (AI for R&D efforts), supply chain management (demand forecasting), production (AI can achieve cost reduction and increase efficiency), maintenance (predictive maintenance and increased asset utilization), quality assurance (e.g. vision systems with machine learning algorithms to identify defects and deviations in product features), and in-plant logistics and warehousing;
Smart Cities: Integration of AI in smart cities and infrastructure development can help meet the needs of the growing urban population. Application areas include traffic control to reduce congestion and enhanced security through improved crowd management;
Energy: Energy system modelling and forecasting to decrease unpredictability and increase efficiency in power balancing and usage. In renewable energy systems, AI can enable energy storage through intelligent grids enabled by smart meters, and also improve the reliability and affordability of photovoltaic energy. AI may also be deployed for predictive maintenance of grid infrastructure;
Education and skill development: Augmenting and enhancing the learning experience through personalized learning, automating and expediting administrative tasks, and predicting the need for student intervention to reduce dropouts or recommend vocational training;
Retail: Improving user experience by providing personalized suggestions, preference-based browsing and image-based product search, customer demand anticipation, improved inventory management, and efficient delivery management.

For more information on business opportunities in Artificial Intelligence in India, please contact:
Ambika Oberoi Sawhney
Senior Market Adviser
Innovation Norway, India
T. +91 11 49099202

Photo: Franck V,

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