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After covid-led business disruptions prompted firms to turn to robotic process automation, or RPA, robotics solution providers are expecting another wave of mass adoption on the fear of a recession, and resultant layoffs. Mihir Shukla, chief executive, Automation Anywhere Inc., a US-based RPA solutions company, believes it will play a key role for firms and sectors due to its speed and scale.

In an interview, Shukla spoke about how firms are adopting automation, disruptive role of platforms like ChatGPT and more. Edited excerpts:

We heard about Automation Anywhere’s IPO plan. Has it been delayed?

We are growing fast, creating a very compelling product on cloud automation, which is being used by more than 70% of our new customers. We are very excited with the business we’re building and will look for an opportune moment to float our public offer.

Your key markets are North America and Europe but have you seen faster growth in India after the covid-19 led digital transformation wave?

India has been a great source of talent and innovation for us and it continues to be. We are strengthening our place in India with two R&D centres in Bengaluru and Baroda. We are seeing growing interest from local enterprises in adopting automation. With well-known brands in India scaling their businesses, they find a need for speed and scale. We are seeing some large private banks, oil and gas companies adopting and scaling automation, and are seeing traction in healthcare, telecom, and manufacturing in India, and a great deal of interest from governments.

Has the economic crisis impacted the adoption of automation?

Because of speed and scale automation is the solution to turn to in a time of recession and inflationary pressures, as we all are experiencing. I think you will have seen this in past recessions as well. You will see even faster adoption of automation across all enterprises.

What are your plans in India in terms of hiring and investments?

We are strengthening our teams in India:R&D and to serve enterprises. Over 50% of our global workforce sits in India and that speaks for itself. The team has led the work on some of the most cutting-edge products we have launched recently.

Many firms are working on integrating ChatGPT into their services. Will it become mainstream soon?

Most technologies start as entertainment initially. Technologies that have capabilities like ChatGPT will become more and more mainstream. ChatGPT is an example of where we are going and what’s to come. AI can be a great tool to answer questions. I think one of the things we as humans will have to get better at is thinking about what are the right questions. There is no AI software in the world that can tell you what the right question is.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Abhijit Ahaskar

Abhijit writes on tech policy, gaming, security, AI, robotics, electronics and startups. He has been in the media industry for over 12 years.
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