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The Tech Horizon: Industry Leaders Decode Ways To Leverage AI To Turbocharge Growth Of Enterprises


Organised by Inc42 and Google Cloud, the first edition of ‘The Tech Horizon' featured insightful sessions by some of India's foremost tech innovators, and was attended by 30+ attendees

The speakers discussed how cloud technologies, AI and GenAI are transforming business operations and customer experience

They shared real-world applications and use cases with attendees and discussed ways to adopt scalable and agile AI technologies

AI is undoubtedly the ‘flavour of the season’, and it seems its dominance in the tech world will endure for a long time. From optimising customer experiences through AI-driven algorithms to streamlining manual administrative tasks, businesses are eagerly embracing AI technologies to make more informed decisions and stay ahead of the curve.

According to the IBM Global AI Adoption Index 2023 report, about 59% of enterprise-scale organisations surveyed in India are actively using AI in their operations. Meanwhile, the AI craze is trickling down to smaller businesses too, thanks to open-source GenAI tools that have made its usage much easier and accessible.

Recognising the pivotal role of AI in shaping the future of technology, Inc42 collaborated with Google Cloud to organise ‘The Tech Horizon’ in the heart of India’s Silicon Valley, Bengaluru, on May 3. The first edition of The Tech Horizon was an exclusive, invite-only event that provided a platform for thought leaders, tech enthusiasts and industry experts to engage in insightful discussions and share valuable insights about leveraging AI and cloud technologies to propel startup growth.

The Tech Horizon was a melting pot of knowledge sharing and experiential learning. It featured sessions by some of India’s foremost tech innovators and was attended by more than 30 tech leaders and makers. 

The event featured a roundtable discussion, titled ‘Elevating Customer Experiences Through AI And Cloud-Driven Analytics’. Led by industry experts from startups like MakeMyTrip, Goodmeetings, and MedPiper, the discussion explored the ways in which AI and cloud-driven analytics can revolutionise customer satisfaction.

Following this, attendees were treated to a riveting fireside chat with Giridhar Yasa, CTO of Lendingkart, who delved into the fintech startup’s ‘techvantages’ and how it maintains its competitive edge.

The event wrapped up with a knowledge session on ‘How Startups Can Build Faster, Scalable AI Solutions With Google’s Vertex AI’. Led by Aditya Chauhan, AI GTM at Google Cloud, and Ganapathy Subramani, customer engineer and AI specialist at Google Cloud, the interactive session equipped attendees with practical strategies for leveraging Google’s Vertex AI to develop agile and scalable AI solutions.

Harnessing AI For Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

In the fast-paced world of business, staying ahead often means understanding and meeting the evolving needs of customers. In the roundtable discussion at The Tech Horizon, moderator Sameer Dhanrajani, CEO of AIQRATE & 3AI, explored strategies for leveraging AI algorithms to analyse customer data and deliver personalised recommendations. The following were the other industry luminaries who were part of the discussion: 

  • Srinivasan Narayan, Cofounder & CEO of Goodmeetings
  • Nitthin Chandran Nair, CEO of MedPiper
  • ⁠Barath Thangaraj, VP-Engineering at MakeMyTrip
  • Carl Abraham, Director of Engineering at Clinikk
  • Ananthakrishnan Gopal, CTO of DaveAI
  • Gaurav Baid, Cofounder and CPO of Avataar
  • Rohit Agarwal, CTO of ElectricPe
  • Anubhav Singh, Cofounder of Dubdub
  • Sreejith Chandrasekharan, CTO of OnMobile
  • Ramakrishna Rajanna, Cofounder and CTO of Cureskin
  • Kiran Kumar Badam, Sr. Director of Engineering at Vymo
  • Aditya Chauhan, AI GTM at Google Cloud 

The panellists shared insights and practical use cases that showcased the transformative power of AI and cloud technologies in enhancing customer experience (CX).

OnMobile CTO Chandrasekharan set the tone by emphasising the importance of hyperpersonalisation in CX. Underlining the significance of catering to individual preferences and needs, he said, “Customers want their content very relevant to their journey. We need to apply principles of micro recommendations here.” 

Further, DaveAI’s Gopal explored the potential of GenAI in driving real-time engagement and nudging customers towards making purchases. “By leveraging micro-segmentation, GenAI enables companies to tailor their offerings to individual preferences, thus fostering deeper connections with customers,” he said.

MakeMyTrip’s Thangaraj shed light on the travel tech company’s innovative solution, ‘pre book’, which simplifies user experience by summarising relevant information. This approach not only enhances user engagement but also streamlines the decision-making process for customers who are looking for hotel reviews before booking, he said.

On the other hand, Agarwal of ElectricPe highlighted the critical role of real-time analytics and machine learning (ML) in delivering seamless experiences, particularly when it comes to electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. “Having access to user data improves the user experience 10X,” he said. 

“Let’s say you are parked at a public place and your vehicle is unplugged. So based on the energy current, we will be able to generate signals in real-time and send a contextual notification to the user informing them that the vehicle is unplugged and this significantly impacts CX,” added Agarwal.

Goodmeetings’s Narayan illustrated how AI, particularly GenAI, can streamline processes such as sales audits, thereby significantly reducing time and effort and enhancing accuracy. “In large companies you have sales audit teams that go through sales calls to understand whether sales reps mentioned certain points or missed something. This is very time-consuming. But, with GenAI, you can actually read and review these calls within minutes and even rate sales reps,” he said. 

Speaking about the real-world impact of AI on business growth, Nair from MedPiper said, “With AI, we have improved our conversion rate. Previously, our drop off rate was as much as 63% on a purchase cycle… (now) we have brought it down to less than 8%.”

A Deep Dive Into Lendingkart’s Techvantages

During the fireside chat featuring Giridhar Yasa of Lendingkart and Chauhan from Google Cloud, the audience got a ringside view of operating a lending platform for India’s underbanked segment, straight from the horse’s mouth. 

Moderated by Dhanrajani, the conversation delved into Lendingkart’s tech-forward approach and the broader paradigm shift towards AI in the industry. The chat commenced with Dhanrajani’s question on what sets Lendingkart apart as a tech-enabled organisation. To this, Yasa painted a vivid picture of the startup’s customers, ranging from small pickle stores to remote village enterprises. 

He highlighted the challenge of extending credit to these businesses, particularly those without established credit histories or CIBIL scores. Lendingkart’s solution? Leveraging technology to streamline the underwriting process and democratise access to credit.

Yasa outlined how Lendingkart harnesses data from sources like GST numbers and PAN card details to rapidly assess creditworthiness. “By leveraging bank account aggregators, we can swiftly generate loan offers, often within five minutes,” he said. 

He added that the platform has a modern tech infrastructure and operates across multiple cloud platforms to ensure agility and innovation. As a result, the startup is able to disburse loans across 5,000 locations, has an average ticket size of INR 7.5 Lakh, and is able to get 2 Lakh+ leads per month. 

Chauhan then shared insights into how platforms are leveraging the latest technologies to speed up innovation, along with Google Cloud’s role in enabling them.

“We are pretty much launching new categories every other week. Most of our products are getting customer feedback, which means we are able to innovate much faster. Last month at our annual cloud event, we launched something called an ‘Agent Builder’. The intent is to build conversational bots for businesses with an n-code system and make this tech available to as many people as possible without having too many prerequisites,” he said.

Google Cloud Spotlights AI Advancements With Vertex AI

The event ended on a high with a knowledge session on startups building scalable AI solutions. During the session, Chauhan and Google Cloud’s Ganapathy Subramani delved into how the tech giant’s offerings can catalyse exponential innovation in AI. 

They explored AI’s role in fuelling technological prowess, slashing testing times and delivering rapid results through live demos and discussing use cases. 

Chauhan highlighted the importance of personalisation in tailoring superior customer experiences. “Through the customisation of agents and hyper-personalisation techniques, AI stands to revolutionise customer interactions, driving heightened engagement and satisfaction levels,” he said.

Introducing Vertex AI as a seamless platform for organisations to leverage AI effortlessly, Chauhan elaborated on ‘Model Garden’ – a rich repository comprising foundational and open-source models, including Google’s proprietary models, and integrations with popular frameworks like ‘Hugging Face’. This repository not only facilitates model building, deployment and training but also expedites integration and deployment of AI solutions, empowering organisations to fast-track their AI initiatives.

Expanding on Google Cloud’s ‘Agent Builder’ feature, Chauhan demonstrated its capability to tailor-make agents for specific use cases. Drawing on the example of a conversational bot, he explained how Agent Builder enables organisations to adeptly handle diverse customer queries, ensuring a personalised and responsive customer experience.

Subramani highlighted the ways AI can optimise marketing strategies, citing instances of campaign development and keyword strategy optimisation. “Leveraging the Gemini API, AI-powered tools empower marketers to automate tasks, generate content, and enhance campaign effectiveness,” he said.

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