India has the potential to become the global hub of business automation: Ankur Kothari, Automation Anywhere

A few reasons that India has the advantage over other regions of the globe are because of its history of operational excellence, experience in scaling, and a large, capable workforce.

Ankur Kothari, Co-founder and CRO, Automation Anywhere

Formed over 14 years ago in Silicon Valley, the presence of Automation Anywhere has grown consistently by now in India and around the world. Its Intelligent Digital Workforce Platform is a solution deployed widely all over the world. It brings together RPA, cognitive and analytics capabilities to provide a complete enterprise solution to automate most business processes end-to-end.  

Sarabjeet Kaur from BW CIO interacted with Ankur Kothari, Co-founder and CRO of Automation Anywhere about the demand of RPA solutions in India which has increased exponentially over the last few years due to significant adoption by GICs, financial institutions, telecom service providers, technology and manufacturing companies. Excerpts:

BW CIO: While some human touch is required, manual process is time-consuming and prone to human errors. What are the human errors that can be taken care of by using RPA? 

Ankur Kothari: Automation technology is currently growing with almost every sector recognizing the value it can bring. Rules-based, repetitive and predictable tasks which don’t require human decision making or intervention can be performed best with the help of automation. Bots do the repetitive, mundane tasks and liberate humans to do what they do best – use their intellect, creativity and talent. Bots can run 24/7 without making mistakes, requiring coffee breaks or vacations.

Some examples of automation include a major global bank automating its banking transactions for higher efficiency, productivity and automated reporting; a major retailer using RPA to significantly enhance factory to store to consumer turnaround time; and a major transportation and logistics provider using automation to audit, track and have real-time analytics of every bill that is generated by the system.

BW CIO: Automation is not a threat but an opportunity for Indian employment sector. Is it the truth or a myth? 

Ankur Kothari: Yes, automation is an opportunity. India’s working-age population increased by 300 million between 1991 and 2013, according to UN figures, but the number of people employed only rose by 140 million. As technology streamlines routine tasks, middle-skill jobs like clerical workers and machine operators decline while both high-skill and low-skill roles increase. A handful of modern studies have noted that there’s often a positive relationship between new technology and increasing employment in all sectors. 

Also, talent is everywhere, and technology makes sure that people in every location have the opportunity to make the most of their skills. In addition, India is becoming the automation hub for the globe, leveraging the power of bots to automate business processes currently done by human labor, while liberating human beings to take on new higher-level jobs. We believe RPA as a category can create new job opportunities in India in the range of 2,90,000-3,20,000 over the next 3 years. 

BW CIO: How is Automation Anywhere making a difference for Indian enterprises?

Ankur Kothari: In India, our Digital Workforce platform is in use across verticals like financial services, healthcare, technology, telecommunications, insurance, manufacturing, retail, logistics, automotive, media and several other industries.

Some advantages of automation include increased productivity, reduced errors, reduced costs, faster cycle times and process automation scalability. Depending on the processes automated, the typical overall productivity gain from RPA is between 30%-80% to start with –  and as the program scales, productivity gains are in triple digits. But real value at that point is the competitive advantage as an organization starts transforming into a digital enterprise by making its processes and thereby its operations digital.

BW CIO: Are there any R&D initiatives and RPA skilling programs by Automation Anywhere in India?

Ankur Kothari: India is the largest development center for us. We have offices in Bangalore, Baroda and Mumbai, with a total of 400 employees. We plan to hire over 300 new engineering and operations experts in India this year alone to support the growing demand. 

We also founded Automation Anywhere University (AAU) over a year ago. It is a comprehensive RPA training ecosystem for students, RPA professionals, global enterprises and non-profits. We have about 52,000 registered users on the platform. In 2018 so far, approximately 20,000 people have been trained with more than 4,500 certified. AAU includes a library of RPA courses and certification programs, an online, mobile-first eLearning platform and a network of training partners that deliver instructor-led, hands-on RPA training at a fast-growing list of authorized centers around the globe.   

BW CIO: Which sectors do you see are preparing for the future by embracing RPA the most today?

Ankur Kothari: BFSI, healthcare, telecommunication, manufacturing, automotive, retail, energy, utilities and logistics are the sectors which are driving the adoption of RPA-based solutions. They have a clear mandate to automate as much as they can, to improve customer experiences, productivity, drive competitive advantage, and improve compliance. While these sectors are driving RPA adoption today, eventually we will see widespread adoption of automation across every industry, every vertical, and in every country.

BW CIO: What are the driving factors of RPA in India? 

Ankur Kothari: India is already experiencing an automation wave and we see this accelerating. We believe that India has the potential to become the global hub of business automation, with digital and human workforces based in India running data-driven operations for companies worldwide. A few reasons that India has the advantage over other regions of the globe are because of its history of operational excellence, experience in scaling, and a large, capable workforce. India is poised to re-invent itself. It also has a very significant percentage of the global outsourcing industry and global inhouse centers with decades of process knowledge and an agile workforce.  

BW CIO: What are the key trends that are driving the adoption of RPA in India and globally?

Ankur Kothari: As enterprises begin to further explore and implement RPA technology, the capability of bots grows beyond automating routine tasks. RPA combined with advances in AI and machine learning is just the starting point for enterprises as they move away from legacy processes and integrate this rapidly growing technology that has the potential to disrupt how we work across all industries. 

Global population challenges are also at play. An April 2017, McKinsey reported that declining birthrates and the trend toward aging in many countries mean that peak employment will occur in most countries within 50 years. The expected decline in the share of the working-age population will open an economic growth gap that automation can help fill.  Automation Anywhere is focused on helping customers navigate these dramatic shifts and ensuring that they thrive.



Around The World