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Generative AI may change how organisations work and completely redefine productivity metrics: Rakshit Daga, CTO, bigbasket

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With the fast-paced growth of IT, technology today plays a lot more than just being an enabler in our lives. It is now an integral part of us that transforms our lifestyle and everyday activities, giving it a digital makeover. And, startups have played a key role in propagating tech-led solutions. One such example is bigbasket, which has transformed the way a common man shops for daily groceries and monthly supplies. Rakshit Daga, Chief Technology Officer, bigbasket, in an exclusive interview with Express Computer, opens up on the evolving technologies and their impact on startups today. He also sheds light on how bigbasket is leveraging new-gen technologies to strengthen the business and serve customers better.

As post-Covid, the value of technology was well realised and everyone took the digital route, how has this massive shift affected the startup ecosystem in the country? How has this change impacted bigbasket?

The massive shift towards digitalisation due to the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the startup ecosystem in India. It has accelerated the adoption of technology across various sectors, including e-commerce and grocery delivery. For companies like bigbasket, this shift has presented both challenges and opportunities. On one hand, there has been a surge in demand for online grocery services, leading to increased growth and expansion opportunities. On the other hand, the competition has intensified, with new players entering the market. bigbasket has adapted to this change by focusing on enhancing our technology infrastructure, scaling up our operations, and ensuring seamless customer experiences through our digital platform.

I think the hardest nut to crack is customer trust. And this is the case for almost every tech-driven startup today. How is bigbasket leveraging technology to build trust and ensure quality and timely delivery?

Building and maintaining customer trust and consistently delivering customer delight is of utmost importance for us as a company. We leverage technology to provide a secure, reliable, and convenient shopping experience for our customers. Our platform incorporates robust quality control measures, such as real-time inventory management, ensuring fresh and high-quality products are available for purchase. We have implemented advanced logistics and delivery systems, enabled by technology, to ensure timely and efficient order fulfillment. On the data security side, we consistently audit and upgrade our technology landscape to make sure we stay on top of all emerging threats.

Though digital is convenient, it is dangerous too. The mobile apps like bigbasket that we use in our everyday life not only hold our address and contact details but also UPI and e-payment data. How important is cybersecurity for bigbasket? What measures are you taking to ensure the prevention of data breaches or other cyber attacks?

Cybersecurity is a critical aspect of our operations at bigbasket. We recognise the importance of protecting customer data and maintaining their trust. We have implemented robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard against data breaches and cyberattacks. This includes stringent access controls, regular security assessments, and vulnerability management practices. We comply with industry standards and regulations regarding data protection. Our dedicated security team constantly monitors and responds to emerging threats, ensuring the highest level of security for our customers’ personal and financial information.

How has AI posed a game-changer for B2C startups like bigbasket? Do you really think a chatbot used for grievance redressal is an effective way to deal with customers’ complaints and resolve issues?

AI has indeed been a game-changer for a company like bigbasket. It has enabled us to enhance customer experiences, streamline operations, and improve overall efficiency. At bigbasket, we leverage AI in various ways, including personalised product recommendations, demand forecasting, and customer support. Our chatbot is an integral part of our customer support system, allowing us to address customer queries and resolve issues promptly. While the chatbot serves as a first point of contact, we also ensure that customers have the option to connect with human representatives for more complex queries. This blended approach has proven effective in providing timely and efficient grievance redressal.

In what ways is bigbasket evolving? How are newer technologies helping you innovate and take approaches that are more efficient and effective?

Bigbasket is continuously evolving to stay ahead in the dynamic market and currently handles nearly 700,000 orders a day. We embrace newer technologies to drive innovation and improve our efficiency and effectiveness. For example, we are leveraging data analytics and machine learning to gain insights into customer preferences, optimise inventory management, and provide personalised recommendations. We are exploring automation and robotics for warehouse operations to enhance efficiency and order accuracy.

Additionally, we are investing in last-mile delivery technologies, including route optimisation and real-time tracking, to ensure faster and more reliable deliveries. These technological advancements enable us to provide a seamless and convenient shopping experience for our customers. 

Finally, we are now packaging all our technology, scale, and process experience and expertise into SAAS products like Transportation Management System (TMS) and Warehouse Management System (WMS)  which are now available for the industry at large.

With technology evolving by the day and the adoption of digital picking up pace, what developments or transformations do you foresee in the Indian startup scene?

The Indian startup scene is poised for further developments and transformations driven by technology. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect increased integration of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT) across various sectors. Generative AI, in particular, is poised to dramatically change how organisations work and may completely redefine productivity metrics. Startups will leverage these technologies to create innovative solutions, improve operational efficiencies, and enhance customer experiences. Additionally, we may witness increased collaborations between startups and established enterprises, fostering an ecosystem of innovation and growth. Overall, the Indian startup scene will continue to be characterised by rapid technological advancements, disruptive business models, and a focus on solving real-world challenges through digital solutions.

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