The increased uptake of smart technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and drone technology has been a defining feature of entrepreneurship in recent years.
Businesses ranging from Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to global multinational corporations have worked towards including smart technologies in the overall value chain and to minimise redundancy in operations.
A Global Survey by PwC revealed that 70% of Indian companies increased the uptake of AI solutions and chiefly implemented them in areas including Human Resources, Research & Development, Logistics, Cybersecurity, and Finance.
Post the onset of the pandemic, the use of AI has facilitated revenue maximisation and cost reduction up to 92%, giving entrepreneurs greater incentive to maximise technology adoption.
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AI solutions are a valuable asset to entrepreneurs for a number of reasons such as the ability to automate manual tasks and promote creative thinking, improve decision making by analysing large volumes of data, generate critical insights that can shape the future of organisations, increase the quality of customer support and most importantly, give startups a competitive edge over other entities in the space.
Multiple areas of operations can be effectively managed through the strategic deployment of AI-based solutions.
As of 2020, 75% of the companies surveyed by PwC expressed their commitment to increasing organisational spending on automated Human Resource (HR) technologies.
When implemented at scale, AI tools can revolutionise HR operations starting from the hiring process. With the aid of quality tools, the first level of the candidate review process can be seamlessly executed without human intervention.
Through the use of keyword matching components, AI tools can cherry-pick relevant resumes and allow HR managers to proceed to the subsequent levels of the hiring process thereby catalysing the process.
Additionally, HR management can be digitised through the use of well-trained chatbots in order to approve leaves, monitor employee wellness parameters, manage employee data and resolve queries.
From a customer service perspective, chatbots can also be utilised to provide round-the-clock support and handle communications. With the blurring of geographical boundaries, AI can help take on routine FAQs and execute basic tasks across time zones.
With better training, AI functionalities can be made more humane so as to improve the quality of customer interaction.
The extensive mapping of customer profiles and preferences coupled with strategic presentation of data to customers can elevate the scope and quality of interaction.
The delivery of tailor-made solutions to customers can invariably boost sales and generate valuable insights pertaining to the demand and consumption patterns.
AI solutions can also play a role in minimising the margin of human error in critical operations such as manufacturing and finance.
By maintaining records of business and manufacturing management data, managers can assess potential failure areas and make informed decisions with regard to crisis mitigation and prevention.
From a financial standpoint, AI tools can take on similar functionalities to improve long-term decision making. Procurement and revenue patterns can be effectively analysed and the financial health of companies can be substantially improved through the use of such tools.
Smart technologies, at large, have immense potential to close the gaps in operations and reshape the prioritisation of tasks among the human capital.
The influx of AI-driven technologies like drones can monitor a wide range of activities including construction surveys, safety compliances in centres of manufacturing and storage, surface sanitisation and even agricultural operations.
The large volumes of image-based data collected can help businesses analyse patterns and formulate strategies to tackle operational challenges and improve overall performance.
According to NASSCOM, the increased adoption of AI tools in the Indian entrepreneurial space could add US$ 450-500 billion to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025.
(The author is Co-founder, and CEO, ideaForge Technology Pvt. Ltd & Member of ASCENT Foundation.)
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