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SaaS, AI can help Indian startups scale globally: Microsoft’s Anant Maheshwari

SaaS, AI can help Indian startups scale globally: Microsoft’s Anant Maheshwari
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: 123RF.com
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Indian startups have the potential to grow at a global scale if they adopt emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and use software-as-a-service platforms in their operations, according to Microsoft’s India president Anant Maheshwari.

Maheshwari was speaking to the president of TiE, Rajan Anandan, about the opportunities, challenges and the road ahead at Microsoft’s India Internet day at Gurugram on Friday.

Maheswari said startups need to constantly work towards bringing together people, data and processes to gain a competitive advantage. He also emphasised on having a trusted big partner who could match the intensity and innovative ambience of the startup.

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He said that, apart from the diverse workforce and increasing digital presence, the startups could benefit from the knowledge and experience of angel investors. He reiterated that India’s true value stemmed from small and medium enterprises and that the AI wave is already impacting healthcare and fintech domains.

However, the panellists said that taxes and biases were impacting the ecosystem, whose problems were added on owing to a lack of a conducive policy environment.

Maheshwari and Anandan said that corporate investment in SMBs was growing and startups could reap more benefits if they followed the SaaS approach to solving customer issues.

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It is to be noted that India competes against the likes of US and China in nurturing and building advanced talent in the startup ecosystem.

SaaS holds the largest segment of the cloud market with its revenues expected to touch $85.1 billion globally in 2019, according to Gartner. The market research firm projects that the Indian SaaS landscape is likely to grow much faster than the worldwide average of 17.8% in 2019.

Maheshwari also said that Microsoft has been working with state and central governments as well as companies across sectors to help leverage new technologies. Several startups are already reaping benefits in the country, he added.

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