Augmenting business intelligence with conversational AI

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Founded in 2014, Exponentia.ai established itself as a niche solution provider to the BFSI industry. With focus on business intelligence and its flagship conversational AI platform, the company is well placed for future growth. In an interaction, Rohit Mathur, Founder and CEO and Ramendra Shukla, Co-founder and COO, share more insights

Ramendra Shukla, Co-founder and COO, Exponentia.ai

Please explain the journey of Exponentia.ai and its focus areas
Ramendra Shukla: We are an AI technology company, working across different domains – from conversational AI to RPA. We work with augmented intelligence and emerging technologies that enable us to build products and services for increasing efficiency in organisations. Prior to the company’s formation in 2014, Rohit and I were working in different roles with our engineering background. We identified the immense opportunities in the intelligent aspect of technology, but organisations were not able to approach it effectively. After building significant skills within our team, we partnered with Qlik in 2015. During our business journey, we started adopting more and more technologies, allowing our offerings to become more scalable. In the last few years, AI technology has also matured, enabling us to create more production-grade systems.

Our core industry focus is the BFSI sector. We are working with some of the leading banks and insurance companies such as HDFC Life, SBI Life, ICICI Prudential, Kotak Mahindra Bank, IDFC Bank, Fino Payments Bank and several NBFC companies. The BFSI industry constitutes 70 per cent of our clientele. Apart from this, FMCG and retail are among the other key business contributors.

Rohit Mathur, Founder and CEO, Exponentia.ai

Rohit Mathur: Our first customer was EPS, an ATM outsourcing company, which stills continues to be our customer. Most of the analytical systems at EPS are taken care of by us. One of our key abilities is to work with large enterprise platforms. Our systems are enterprise-grade and able to scale up to growing number of people and locations. We bring in significant proprietary domain expertise in our offerings. This proposition helps us deploy the solutions faster and bring in the required business impact and RoI.

India is our primary market, but we are also present in Singapore, the UK and the Middle East. In the future, we are looking at expanding within our current focus areas and also geographical growth.

What differentiates Exponentia.ai from other players in the market?
Rohit Mathur: Being focused on a particular domain and end-to-end set of machine learning technologies, gives us an advantage in being able to provide more comprehensive solutions. Our ability to deliver on large scale projects and our proven track record of successfully working with our customers further helps us gain trust of potential customers.

Since our inception, systems have become more complex and more channels have been added. Over the years, organisations have become more focused on technologies. Their willingness to adopt new technologies is higher today. Customers understand technologies and they already have a roadmap in place for technology adoption.

What is your observation on industry-wide adoption of AI?
Rohit Mathur: Most of the large organisations have adopted AI in some way. However, organisations are at different maturity levels in terms of implementation. Our conversational AI platform is deployed by many top enterprises with user base of around 20,000. AI is part of the digital transformatiod journey.

What is your strategy for winning new customers?
Ramendra Shukla: From a strategy standpoint, we focus on stable, scalable, production-grade solutions, as larger organisations require scalable systems. Currently, our focus is not on end-to-end digital transformation journey, we focus on conversational AI platform, which can be deployed across different areas in an organisation. We are a niche player in the digital transformation domain, and we are strong in the areas wherein we operate.

Tell us more about Exponentia.ai’s conversational AI platform
Rohit Mathur: The platform doesn’t just ensure customer support; it also generates great user experience. Conversations offer opportunities to engage with customers, and our platform is build around this. BFSI industry forms the DNA of our platform, having intelligence capabilities relevant to this industry. However, the platform can also be trained in accordance with other industries’ requirements. It is an open platform, allowing enterprises to connect with numerous systems. It is scalable from both, data and functionality aspects.

How has been your partnership journey with Qlik?
Ramendra Shukla: Qlik created its Qlik Sense solution to cater to the modern requirements, wherein our expertise can be largely utilised. This is where AI and embedded analytics played a pivotal role in democratisation of data. Qlik’s focus resonated well with ours. We have built products on Qlik platforms, which makes us their value-added partner. We have run one of Qlik’s biggest modernisation programmes for a leading insurance company in India. This project included a user base of 12,000 and around 120 applications. In partnership with Qlik, we also dived into some of the new areas, such as embedded analytics. Helping product companies include analytics into their product platform became a key focus areas for us.
Qlik has a mature partnership model, which enables partners in multiple ways – GTM approach, technical capabilities, online platforms, etc. Qlik also has a comprehensive platform, which caters to many modern and futuristic use cases.

How important is business intelligence for organisations?
Ramendra Shukla: Business intelligence plays a critical role in decision-making at different levels in an organisation. The workforce must be well equipped with capable tools to make decisions. The power of BI platforms is growing, leading to more power in the hands of decision makers. With increase in channels and data growth, BI is gaining significant importance in handling of large data sets. Feeding this data into the BI platform is a process; that’s where we have an end-to-end capability.

Being a startup, what are the advantages that you enjoy in the market?
Ramendra Shukla: As a startup, we have the advantage of bringing emerging technologies for customers and doing things faster. Today, the world is more open to startups if they can prove their capabilities. This is the best time for startups to exist, from customer acceptance and funding perspectives. As the entire startup ecosystem flourishes, it will be a good period
for us as well.

Are you also looking at the mid-market and SMB business?
Ramendra Shukla: Our platform offers features that are relevant to SMBs as well. With subscription based models, the technologies are available to SMBs at an economical value. Adoption of technologies is faster in startup customers.

What’s Exponentia.ai’s growth roadmap for the future?
Ramendra Shukla: We don’t want to increase our partner base, but we want to deepen the depth of our relationship with them. We are primarily working on AI and tools that cater to data; this will continue to be our focus.We want to build solutions and add more value to our platforms. We are currently working with five partners.


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