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UiPath on AI PATH

Arun Balasubramanian, Vice President and Managing Director India and South Asia, UiPath

UiPath’s AI-powered automation solutions pave the way for a collaborative future, where human intelligence and AI converge to reshape work, creating an inseparable bond between efficiency and innovation

A leading enterprise automation software company, UiPath envisions delivering the Fully Automated Enterprise, one where companies use automation to unlock their full potential. Offering an end-to-end platform for automation, the company combines Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solution with a full suite of capabilities that enable businesses to rapidly scale digital business operations.

With offices in Mumbai and Bangalore, UiPath caters to diverse verticals like BFSI, Manufacturing and Logistics, Healthcare/Pharmaceutical, IT, Telecom, Energy, Food and Beverages, Travel and Hospitality, and Retail in the India market. The company maintains approximately 400 customers in the country, including Karnataka Bank, Bank of India, Max Healthcare, Quess, Tech Mahindra, Wipro, and Paradise Foods, among others.

In the coming years, AI-powered automation will spread internally and externally, encompassing other technologies such as Industrial IoT, low code no code, cybersecurity, wearables, and more.

Arun Balasubramanian, Vice President and Managing Director India and South Asia, UiPath

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company had worked with five state governments in India for simplifying the process of data collection from different sources and sharing them with state and national agencies. It has also worked with the Mumbai municipal corporation for automating the e-pass process in partnership with EY. Headquartered in New York, the company has business footprints across 40 offices across the world, including India, China, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore.

Arun Balasubramanian, Vice President and Managing Director India and South Asia at UiPath, had spoken to SME Channels on UiPath’s date with AI and how it’s leveraging AI to bring in business transformation.

Based in Bengaluru, Arun drives the Go-To-Market strategy to deliver growth and expansion of the customer and partner ecosystem in India. Armed with over 25 years of solid management experience, he has been a veteran business executive at large multinational technology corporations. Arun is passionate about strategically counselling clients in achieving their digital transformational goals.

Prior to joining UiPath, Arun held executive positions at ServiceNow, Microsoft, Salesforce, Computer Associates, and HP. He started his career trajectory with HP, working for close to 12 years before moving to Computer Associates to lead their enterprise sales team across India and SAARC. He then moved to Salesforce as their Managing Director for India and SAARC. He then took up directorial stints with Microsoft, Qlik and ServiceNow, before becoming the Vice President & MD for India & South Asia at UiPath.

In exclusive chat with SME Channels, Arun Balasubramanian, Vice President and Managing Director India and South Asia at UiPath, discusses how AI is creating new growth opportunities for enterprises; hurdles faced by AI industry; how his AI-based solutions are addressing business pains; how AI-based start-ups will impact the business scenario in the country; UiPath’s investments in AI; and much more. Edited Excerpts…

 The Indian AI market is slated to grow at the fastest CAGR over 2022-2029. What can be factored into this significant growth? How would this technology create new growth opportunities for enterprises in India?

One of the major factors leading to the growth of the Indian AI market is the increasing amount of data generated by businesses and the growing need to extract insights from this data. There is an increasing demand for AI-powered applications and services across industries especially in banking and finance, healthcare, and manufacturing. These industries are adopting AI-powered automation solutions to enhance customer experiences and deliver better outcomes whilst improving operational efficiency.

The growth of the Indian AI market rests upon the adoption of AI applications that reduce manual workload and help improve critical business processes.  Companies are already adopting data-based AI solutions to optimize processes, gain insights and enhance decision-making processes.

In the coming years, AI-powered automation will spread internally and externally, encompassing other technologies such as Industrial IoT, low code no code, cybersecurity, wearables, and more. AI-powered automation is now a key pillar for digital businesses in Asia and this necessitates businesses to shift from point solutions towards an end-to-end transformed state.

What are the major hurdles to the growth of AI industry in India?

Limited AI expertise: Organizations must understand how AI systems work. It requires highly trained and skilled professionals, but as it is an emerging technology, the talent pool is limited. UiPath StudioX enables users to get a quick way to automate their routine with a friendly drag-and-drop interface and pre-designed templates.

Lack of data or poor data quality: Since data is the foundation of AI, any country looking to accelerate AI adoption should have easy access to open-source data. Apart from regulatory restrictions on data, data annotation, and labeling are essential processes to provide useful data sets. Secondly, the algorithms of AI models predict instances based on the data being fed into them and based on the self-learning capability. However, in a few instances, the AI algorithm overlooks the accuracy of the data and gives an ambiguous result. To avoid this, having human intervention in the process is useful. Before a customer is exposed to a model’s output, someone in the business should have vetted it, to remove any incorrect content. Ultimately, human employees remain the best safeguard against the mistakes of AI models.

Security: There are privacy and security concerns surrounding AI that pose one of the major hurdles to its adoption. To harness the potential of AI, we must ensure the tech is trustworthy and transparent. That’s why our strategy encompasses three essential pillars: openness, flexibility, and enterprise readiness. For this reason, the UiPath AI Council has developed a set of guiding AI Principles to serve as the basis for how UiPath and our customers deploy the technology. We also believe that platforms that maintain human involvement in decision-making and create safeguards for AI systems are paramount.

Employee resistance and onboarding: Implementation of AI technology might require a few changes at an operational level. This can be stressful for some employees as they might experience shifts in their responsibilities. Frequent communication from leaders to ensure employees are fully informed about what is expected of them throughout the implementation process is essential to successful adoption. Fostering a culture of innovation within the company and upskilling the employees will only further accelerate this adoption.

How are your AI-based solutions different from conventional tech solutions? How do they address business pains?

Our AI-Powered solutions redefine automation, fuelling innovation in the digital era. We harness AI to automate tasks across databases,

technologies, and functions, expanding possibilities from simple to complex processes. Our inclusive approach democratizes automation, empowering both citizens and advanced developers, as great ideas can come from anywhere.

An example of this is Clipboard AI, our latest product that uses UiPath AI Computer Vision and Generative AI. It empowers individuals to harness the capabilities of powerful AI tools directly on their desktops, without the need for any coding expertise. Clipboard AI aims to radically transform the way we work, fostering human creativity and collaboration, and empowering people to innovate and drive business outcomes with greater ease and efficiency than ever before. Set to disrupt the industry, Clipboard AI offers unprecedented accessibility and ease of use, facilitating seamless data transfer between documents, spreadsheets, and apps, comprehending the content, and automatically inserting the data in the right places.

Additionally, we combine our industry-leading RPA expertise with the AI-powered UiPath Business Automation Platform to discover new automation use cases for our customers. UiPath Business Automation Platform offers a full suite of capabilities for end-to-end enterprise automation, delivering unparallel value, and saving time and resources while driving agility and adaptability.

With our AI-powered automation solutions, we pave the way for a collaborative future, where human intelligence and AI converge to reshape work, creating an inseparable bond between efficiency and innovation.

How do you look at the emergence of a new ecosystem of AI-based start-ups in India? How is it going to impact the overall business scenario in India?

AI is regarded as the means to create solutions and rightly so. AI is now ubiquitous, and every enterprise needs to use AI at the heart of its technology stack to meet the ever-evolving customer expectations. The emergence of AI-based start-ups in India looks promising as they go on to create an ecosystem that proliferates the importance and benefits of leveraging AI.  It creates a foundation that allows you to put great ideas into practice faster while giving the freedom to be more creative and discover smarter and more innovative ways of doing things. So, eventually, these AI-based start-ups will change the way business is done.

Moreover, businesses need to understand that AI and automation are no longer mere “nice to have” capabilities. These are imperative to enable companies to realize their digital transformation goals and compete effectively. To succeed with intelligent automation at scale, customers will need solutions that are simple to deploy. The past two decades have shown us that automation and AI can measure up against complex business use cases. And as AI gets even better at analyzing data, companies can leverage AI, even more, to help them work smarter and more efficiently.

What according to you will be the next big thing in the AI sector?

UiPath sees massive potential for AI to enable more advanced automation capable of handling even the most complex processes. AI presents an enormous opportunity to redefine our relationship with work and unlock human creativity. We are continuing to make advancements in Specialized AI by refining industry-leading solutions like Document Understanding and Communications Mining through the integration of GPT-based technologies. Furthermore, the range of Specialized AI solutions encompasses more than 70 models, empowering customers to gain insights from screens, extract task-related information, streamline document processing, and leverage exclusive proprietary datasets within their enterprise workflows. These Specialized AI solutions offer the flexibility for secure training with customer-specific data, enabling optimization to meet their unique requirements. The result is a suite of solutions that are fast, precise, and customized, providing cost-effective operations and delivering valuable outcomes of the highest caliber.

Low code becomes a top priority for getting automation and AI into more people’s hands

The good news is today’s automation platforms offer unique low- or no-code capabilities— that is, the ability to work with simple drag-and-drop visual interfaces, rather than complex programming. According to an IDC report published in September 2022, 29% more processes become automated when companies introduce citizen development programs. Now, users at all levels can quickly, and easily create more of the unique automation, data models, and apps they need.

New AI-powered innovations push automation’s boundaries even further

Advanced Communications Mining can extract the unstructured content contained within various messages—emails, calls, chats, and service tickets—and transform it into workable data used to train Natural Language Processing (NLP) models. As per the Precedence Research report in 2022, a 39% CAGR for Natural Language Processing has been predicted through 2030. Common questions and requests will be handled automatically, and detailed customer insights will be gathered along the way.

Are there any major investment plans in AI?

Our investments in AI over the past few years are now yielding significant benefits.  With the acquisition of Re:infer, we can offer innovative solutions such as interpreting customer sentiment across millions of emails, thereby reducing manual processing, minimizing client churn, and enhancing the overall customer experience.

We also announced our strategic partnership with Amelia, a trusted leader in enterprise-level AI. Through this collaboration, our customers can leverage the comprehensive UiPath Business Automation Platform alongside Amelia’s enterprise-grade Conversational AI to create a fully integrated IT digital solution. Employees can now submit support requests via chat, messaging, or voice, which are then processed by Amelia.

Our strategic partnership with SAP provides customers with the UiPath Business Automation Platform. This expanded partnership empowers customers to drive business transformations, seamlessly migrate vital business systems to the cloud, and enhance existing systems with the comprehensive capabilities of the UiPath Platform. The UiPath Platform is now endorsed as an application by SAP, further solidifying our joint commitment to delivering exceptional solutions to our mutual customers.

Recently, we also unveiled our strategic collaboration with Open AI at our annual AI Summit. To facilitate content generation in automation, we introduced GPT connectors, enabling users of our low-code development tools to seamlessly harness the power of Large Language Models (LLMs). This integration allows our customers to propel their businesses forward by incorporating cutting-edge AI advancements from industry leaders such as Google, Microsoft, AWS SageMaker, Open AI, and Azure Open AI.

In addition to all this, our recent launch of the 2023.4 platform release introduces a range of enhancements that capitalize on the potential of AI. It features noteworthy enhancements such as Solution Accelerators, Communications Mining, ROI comparison, and other valuable features. The key focus of these upgrades is to accelerate the implementation of transformative concepts, while also gaining a comprehensive understanding of the tangible benefits that AI-powered automation delivers to both the upper echelons and the financial performance of organizations.

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