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Ramco Systems CEO Virender Aggarwal.
Ramco Systems CEO Virender Aggarwal.

2020 will be the year of delivering digital transformation with AI: Ramco CEO

While mature markets are widely adopting AI-based applications, the adoption in India is relatively slow, says Ramco Systems CEO Virender Aggarwal

BENGALURU : Enterprise software firm Ramco Systems Ltd posted a global consolidated income of 149.24 crore for the third quarter ended December, down from 151.4 crore in the previous quarter ended September. This year, the company plans to focus on driving digital transformation for large companies by leveraging emerging technologies.

In a Mint interview, chief executive officer Virender Aggarwal talks about the key technology focus areas, the demand environment and hiring strategy. Edited excerpts:

What are the key technology areas Ramco Systems will be focusing on in 2020?

2019 was the year of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) becoming mainstream in enterprise technology. With this, Ramco focused on utilizing AI and ML-based algorithms to help organisations match the needs of changing business landscape.

Our focus was on moving from Passive ERP (enterprise resource planning) to an Active ERP era, where systems could alert users on anomalies in data; reduce data entry by defaulting values or even pre-populating fields based on historical data through Smart Fill phrases, and so on.

We have been leveraging behavioural analysis and prediction to reduce data entry and train the model to arrive at quick predictions. 2020 will be the year of delivering digital transformation to businesses leveraging AI/ML, bots, user-based personalization, image recognition, etc.

Also, with voice and chatbots becoming mainstream for customer/employee engagement, user interfaces (UIs) have become passé, as we are witnessing users carry out transactions by chatting with the bot.

The business implication of transforming the core operations will result in Ebidta improvement and better customer experience.

What is the demand for AI-based ERP solutions in India?

AI-based solutions are benefiting a lot of industries with umpteen business use cases built especially in consumer-facing sectors like banks and financial institutions or retail, where user experience is key.

Another area that is witnessing demand for AI-based technology is natural language processing (NLP), where AI infused enterprise applications are able to communicate with the users in multiple languages.

While mature markets are widely adopting AI based applications, the end-user adoption of AI/ML in India is relatively slow. However, it is exciting to see India becoming a hotbed of innovation with umpteen high-tech firms getting massive investment and global clientele.

For Ramco, in India, especially, we are seeing a good traction from large business conglomerates trying to consolidate their core operations and move towards optimization and digital transformation.

This will be a sweet spot for us as we are not just talking technology adoption but are able to show process improvements and cost benefits that are proving to be game changers in getting the boardroom commitment.

What is the impact of the recent five-year contract Ramco bagged from a West Asia-based multinational company to implement its logistics solution?

West Asia, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE, are key markets for logistics as a lot of road transport is prevalent in these markets. The five-year order that we have bagged from one of the largest independent family-owned multinationals in the West Asia, to implement Ramco Logistics ERP, will help the group effectively manage capacity exceeding 40,000 sq. metres of storage space.

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