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TWTW Weekly Wrap Up: 11-17 December

“At a time when customers are more than conscious of their needs and comfort, AI comes as a lifesaver for banks around the world.” — Jagdish Mitra, Chief Strategy Officer & Head of Growth, Tech Mahindra

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Last Week’s Latest

  1. EY announces the opening of an APAC Tech Lab to strengthen Asia-Pacific innovation portfolio 
  2. Cornell University Receives USD 20 million To Boost Innovation In Health And Technology.
  3. Bank of America is adding a human element to its artificial intelligence-powered (AI) virtual assistant Erica, per Banking Dive.
  4. Global payments giant Visa says it will invest USD 1 billion by 2027 to expand its investments in Africa amidst a digital payments boom on the continent.
  5. Plugo, an e-commerce support platform for D2C brands in Southeast Asia, picks up USD 9 million Series A funding.
  6. Piramal Capital & Housing Finance to hire 300 tech professionals; selects Bengaluru as innovation lab hub.
  7. To commercialise intellectual property rights (IPRs), the Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology (KSCST) is creating an app-based networking platform called "Patentkart".
  8. The MeitY Startup Hub and Google announced to help 100 more Indian startups scale their app businesses with the second edition of Appscale Academy.
  9. Amitabh Kant, India’s sherpa to the G20 made a strong pitch to promote institutions like the National Data Analytics Platform and Data Governance Quality Index so that data is available real-time, and leaders can be held more accountable.
  10. The agriculture ministry has set up two committees to suggest measures on reducing delay in crop loss/damage estimation and ensuring timely settlement of farmers’ claims.

Focused Story of The Week #1: Commercialisation Of IPR – The Way Forward For An Aatmanirbhar Bharat

At the recently concluded FICCI Annual General Meeting, there was a feeling of hope, optimism and most importantly, of zeal. One of the most important themes being touted, was on the emergence of India on the global stage in a post – Covid world. I was happy to note, that an important chunk of the discussion focused on technology and innovation driving India to a global centerstage. Fostering innovation, driving sustainable outcomes, creating an equitable labour force, all topics of significant import as India slowly turns 100. And without the former, the latter two would be impossible to achieve.  

A key facet to fostering innovation lies in the commercialisation of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Unless we attach a business orientation to innovation, to build an ecosystem which creates synergies between academia, industry and startups (supported by government and financial institutions), it will be difficult to become a global R&D leader.

NITI Ayog research suggests that India’s R&D spend (0.7 per cent of GDP in FY18) is amongst the lowest in the world. Other BRICS nations: Brazil (1.2 per cent), Russia (1.1 per cent), China (2 per cent+) and South Africa (0.8 per cent) are all above India. Only through business-oriented R&D, which underscores customer centricity, will we truly be able to foster innovation and achieve Aatmanirbharta by 2047. Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology’s new app ‘Patentkart’, is a very welcome step in the right direction.

“It is only when academia appreciates the business behind science, and when industry respects the science behind business, shall we see true Aatmanirbharta”.

Focused Story Of The Week #2: Artificial Intelligence – Enabling Customer Retention In The Banking Sector

Banking is a sector that has faced multiple challenges as an industry from competition to changing business models to security breaches. One such challenge which banks face even today is customer retention. 

Customers in the financial services industry want personalised and meaningful experiences delivered via simple and intuitive interfaces on any device, anywhere, and at any time. Although it is difficult to quantify customer experience, customer turnover is measurable, and customer loyalty is increasingly becoming an endangered idea. According to a survey of 33,000 banking clients from 18 regions, 49 per cent of respondents said that customer service is what majorly increases loyalty compared to other factors.

Banks have begun to incorporate AI technologies in the form of bots in recent years to provide a personalised interactive experience with their clients, which addresses their inquiries in real time and simplifies the entire process. Clients benefit in return by having their issues resolved faster than previously, allowing banks to keep their customers delighted and avoid the bitterness that was so widespread in conventional banking procedures.

As the world advances with new innovations and tech, Bank of America’s move of adding a human element to its artificial intelligence-powered (AI) virtual assistant Erica is truly the next step in creating a personalised experience for the customer and could be a game changer in customer retention for the banking sector.

“At a time when customers are more than conscious of their needs and comfort, AI comes as a lifesaver for banks around the world”.