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AI is Here to Cut Costs, Not to Replace Manpower: Ankush Sabharwal In December 2022, OpenAI's ChatGPT went public and to date stands as a pinnacle of the AI revolution. But Sabharwal brought in India's answer to the existing Generative AI/Large Language- BharatGPT

By Paromita Gupta

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Before launching CoRover.ai's BharatGPT, Ankush Sabharwal created AskSarkar, an AI product which ranked top three in 'AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge' supported by Niti Aayog along with the Atal Innovation Mission in 2020. The AI chatbot allows users to receive authentic information from government and verified sources and supports over 12 Indian and Vernacular languages in both text, audio, and video.

In December 2022, OpenAI's ChatGPT went public and to date stands as a pinnacle of the AI revolution. But Sabharwal brought in India's answer to the existing Generative AI or Large Language- BharatGPT. At present, the startup claims to have one Billion users in comparison to ChatGPT's over 100 million user base. It is on a mission to enable users to talk to any system the way they talk to an intelligent and empathetic person.

"We are in the best of times, especially in India, to have AI platforms in the world. Why? Because of data. And we produce data by just living life. We produce data by just consuming applications, either as individuals or as businesses." shared Ankush Sabharwal, Co-founder, CoRover.ai at Entrepreneur India's Tech and Innovation and W3 Summit 2024.

According to NASSCOM, there are more than 100 generative AI start-ups in the country. The global AI market is expected to touch USD 15.7 T, mainly to be propelled by China and India according to PwC's report.

Everyone is coming up with Large Language Models (LLM) these days. Sabharwal feels while India has enough technology, when it comes to applications we can do better, "I'm not seeing the acceptability of this among Indians."

"I think if you create something really meaningful, we have an audience to test, use and scale," he adds. The AI startup has raised capital from the likes of CanBank Venture Capital Fund, Lead Angels, Cognify, and Karekeba Ventures. It's been speculated that Microsoft is keen on investing in the venture.

Having started this journey seven years ago, Sabharwal shares, "I remember when we started this journey, I used to tell my clients, we don't manufacture answers. When they replied no, this answer was not good. I said this is given by your team. We don't manufacture answers. I used to say that. We don't generate answers, but now we do."

Being an India-first venture, the CoRover.ai founder understands the user experience specific to the country, "what we create say for India may not be that of global appeal." It's currently focusing on the home market and taking a back seat from overseas as reported by Inc42.

KPMG reported that Indian employees are more tense about losing their jobs to AI as compared to their counterparts in the US, UK, and Germany. On asking about the looming fear of mass exodus of humans by AI, he feels it will never happen, "If we reduce the manpower and that means we don't want to grow, we just want to reduce the cost. That's not why we started the business. Business is, of course, to achieve profitability and grow Year-on-Year. If you're achieving efficiency, you have hired the right people with a good aptitude and attitude. Yes, few jobs and few functions can be replaced with AI. But if you have good people and you want to grow, you can leverage them."

According to Gartner, 38 per cent of the companies are using Gen ai not to reduce costs, not to increase revenue, but to make their customers happy (Customer Experience/Retention.) Other prime focuses of Gen AI are Revenue Growth, Cost Optimization, and Business Continuity. Its client and partners roll include Digital India, BHIM, UPI, FASTTAG, ORACLE, Shapoorji Pallomji, NASSCOM, INMOBI, and Microsoft to name a few.

Startups should find a sweet spot to navigate the space to innovate and create, "I think one has to figure out what works and what doesn't. If you believe in your business, what you want to achieve, where you want to improve, and what existing technology to adopt, then create it."

"When you're in the business, they have already made up their mind. They have to use Gen AI. Now they're trying to figure out which problem to solve. The natural way is that you have a problem and you see how to solve it," he concludes.

Paromita Gupta

Features Writer with Entrepreneur India

Covering news and trends in AI and Metaverse segments. An avid book reader running her personal blog on the side. You may reach me at paromita@entrepreneurindia.com. 
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