AI is powering the growth of the hyperlocal market: Girish Laxminarayan, Chief Technological Officer, SingleInterface

CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview with Mr. Girish Laxminarayan, Chief Technological Officer, SingleInterface


What is the role of SaaS platforms in the growth of the Indian retail industry?

SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms have played a significant role in the growth of the Indian retail industry in India.

E-commerce platforms such as Shopify or WooCommerce, Digital Identity and Engagement-enhancing platforms such as SingleInterface, POS systems such as Pinelabs, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems such as Salesforce, and several such SaaS systems make it easier for retailers to get online, closely track and understand consumer behaviour, engage with prospects, sell to prospects and turn them into repeat customers. SaaS has made associating with consumers and achieving favourable impacts, much simpler for retailers.


What are the key trends that you see will impact the hyperlocal sector?

Some trends we are seeing in the hyperlocal space are in the emergence of AI technologies which can and will be utilized heavily in messaging, ads, personalization, and reporting environments. Customers today increasingly demand convenience, leading to the rising need for hyperlocal services that are quick and relevant. India has one of the largest and fastest-growing mobile-user bases in the world, and this trend is expected to continue further. This is likely to fuel the growth of hyperlocal platforms that can be accessed via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. We are also seeing some changes in the regulatory environment. The government seems to be getting involved in the democratization of the eCommerce space through platforms such as ONDC (Open Network Digital Commerce) and also through protocols such as data privacy protection.


What are your views on how AI is powering the hyperlocal Space?

AI is already playing a significant role in the hyperlocal space by enabling companies to offer data-driven, personalized services to customers. With the advent of GPT4 which is a language and image model, companies leveraging hyperlocal strategies can allow customers to search for products or services using images. Further, AI is used to improve operational efficiencies such as task automation, processing, inventory management, and logistics, simplifying the overall management of several business activities. 

Personalization, predictive analysis, and customer engagement are other critical areas where AI will play a crucial role. For instance, when it comes to some of these optimized approaches that we at SingleInterface offer, brands and local businesses can refine a lot of their customer support operations through automated intelligent bots that are powered by our ‘Engagement’ suite, leading to increased revenue opportunities, as well as time and cost savings.


Can you throw some light on how the SaaS Industry is growing with the help of AI-powered solutions?

AI is almost always a part of our discussions at SingleInterface when it comes to designing an enhanced platform.  In the context of the larger SaaS picture, AI is the single greatest emergence that can make a massive difference in the magnitude of the value that SaaS offerings bring.

Customer engagement, predictive analytics, personalization, ops automation, and even cyber security are the areas where we are seeing the biggest impact AI can deliver.


Can you share the ways in which the Indian retail industry can leverage AI to transform their business?

Visual product search is coming (through GPT4) and it could make shopping even more easily accessible and productive than it is today, for a wide variety of customers and around a diverse range of use cases. It could also, for instance, be used for supply chain management in predicting demand, identifying bottlenecks, and streamlining logistics. Inventory management is a field with a lot of scope for optimization powered by Big Data and AI capabilities. In this space, AI-powered technologies can be used to identify slow-moving products and to ensure the right products are in the right place at the right time.

Personalization and customer engagement are areas that will continue to see major benefits through AI. To cite an example, AI can help with providing personalized recommendations on the basis of their preferences, purchase history, and behavioral patterns. AI-driven chatbots can enable retailers to offer 24*7 customer support, answer customer queries, and offer personalized recommendations

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