Generative AI’s usage is largely exploratory, however it is expected to take off in 2024
Startup code generators are disrupting and augmenting tech services, freeing up developers to focus on solving more complex problems.
The stage is set for rapid EV expansion and further climate progress. Battery recycling and upgrading is an interesting element of that
This year, five key trends in innovation and tech will showcase India’s potential.
Amid signs the ‘funding winter’ could be thawing, a more strategic alignment of talent and resources in 2024 should help India’s dynamic innovators influence global change.
AI Usage Becomes More Widespread And More Concrete
It’s not often one thing makes a planet sit up and take notice, but AI did last year. ChatGPT’s launch changed the landscape entirely – and permanently.
The money pumped into generative AI was staggering, with Microsoft acquiring OpenAI and Google and Meta responding with investments and developments of their own.
It wasn’t just the big names however, generative AI startups raised a record $10 Bn in 2023, according to GlobalData. There are more than 100 generative AI startups in India alone.
Mass enterprise adoption has so far been elusive, but it’s not just about companies. For consumers, ChatGPT was the trojan horse. It created more awareness of AI at the individual level, and user numbers are rising rapidly.
That usage is still largely exploratory, but I see it taking off in 2024. I’m expecting this experimentation to produce some critical, recurring use cases for AI beyond the leaps forward we’ve already seen in digital and content marketing – potentially changing consumer behaviours forever.
More Industries Are Disrupted
Major disruption is already under way. As said, content generators were the first to benefit. Almost overnight, there was a huge leap forward in complex content generation, including audio and video, as well as written.
Look at the call centre industry, which has boomed across India and the Philippines due to labour-cost arbitrage. The founders I speak to believe using large language models or natural language processing will soon help augment busy call centre agents.
Personal and executive assistants, meanwhile, are starting to use AI to streamline decision-making. Elsewhere, startup code generators are disrupting and augmenting tech services, freeing up developers to focus on solving more complex problems.
As investors, we love potential game changers, and I’m optimistic more will come to fruition in 2024.
EV And Climate Initiatives Expand
The stage is set for rapid EV expansion and further climate progress. Battery recycling and upgrading is an interesting element of that. There’ll be a real need for battery renewals and recycling over the next three to four years as first-gen EVs go in for an upgrade.
I’m extremely bullish on prospects for EV adoption in general. The discovery of our Lithium reserves, along with support from the government’s Production-Linked Incentive scheme and the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles initiative, should power-up our lithium-ion battery manufacturing capabilities and expedite upgrades in battery charging and swapping infrastructure.
It should prompt an increase in domestic EV production, helping to address China’s dominance of the market. It’s something great we can do, not just for ourselves, but for the world.
Fintech Comes To The Fore
In some quarters India is perceived as a copier, not an innovator. That’s a mistake. We are one of the leaders on building fintech infrastructure – but much of it has, until recently, been domestic in nature.
However, UPI (United Payments Interface) and ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) are changing that. These technologies are remarkable, and they are gradually being adopted globally. We are coming of age – and 2024 should be the year the world wakes up to it.
AI of course is already global. I’ve always questioned why AI innovation hasn’t happened here as it should – you need data and talent and we have plenty of both. The first- and second-generation Indians behind many AI developments in the US are starting to come back to build here. 16% of the world’s AI talent now resides in India. It’s an exciting time.
Deep Tech Develops
There are also plenty of ‘deep tech’ developments away from AI in areas like biotechnology and quantum computing – again challenging the stereotype of few talented founders or generational disruptors.
Take biotechnology, where young entrepreneurs are making huge strides in personalising medicine by innovating technology that can tailor treatments to an individual’s genetic makeup. It’s radically different, and it puts us at the cutting-edge of deep tech transformations in the professional and personal lives of people all over the world.
Policymakers Are Likely To Be Supportive
Today’s key issues are sustainability and the rise of AI. For the former, there’s a common understanding of what’s required, a shared knowledge of our goals. India’s leaders have promised it will be where it needs to be. It feels like we’re (almost) all pulling in the same direction globally.
AI is different. Many countries have taken a tougher stance because livelihoods are threatened, in a move reminiscent of the early days of the industrial revolution. But machines ultimately took the world to a new level. And I think that will happen again, because we can all better ourselves and become more efficient – provided the negatives of AI are mitigated through regulation.
I hope we will all push on rather than pull back – monitoring risk all the while and preparing a plan B should any worst-case scenario come to pass.
Our youthful and thriving tech sector really is open for business. A lot of foreign capital has already flowed into our dynamic startups, but there is always room for more.
To attract it, we need a continuous flow of great founders building great companies. The talent is there, and the capital should naturally follow. And the best investors will be right there with you when you start turning the world upside down.