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We’re implementing GenAI with caution and control, ensuring integrity and security of data: Vamsi Ithamraju, CTO, Axis AMC

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In an exclusive interview with Express Computer, Vamsi Ithamraju, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Axis Asset Management Company (AMC) shares his vantage points on innovation and technology implementation in the customer services sector. He highlights the impact of GenAI and NLP chatbots on the industry, and opens up on the future outlook of the company.

What are some recent innovations by Axis AMC? How do these make you rank among the leaders in the Indian financial industry?

The Asset Management industry is a sunrise industry that constantly presents new opportunities to innovate for a wide set of investor pools. We tap into India stack opportunities (e.g. UPI Autopay) to simplify and make customer journeys convenient. We have made our services easily accessible through platforms like WhatsApp to meet the vernacular language needs of our customers. Our cloud strategy is focused on preparing our digital assets for 5x scalability over the next three years tackling concurrency challenges to ensure our website remains robust under significant traffic.

What exactly is an NLP-focused bot? In your opinion, how such a bot can transform the finance sector?

Natural Language Processing (NLP) bots, as the name suggests, are capable of detecting, processing, and responding to human speech inputs. One key difference between today’s chatbots and the future lies in human empathy (contextualisation, understanding sentiments, values, ethics, etc.)  and emotional intelligence. NLP allows bots to understand and engage in human-like conversations and hence holds the potential to transform the customer experience in the finance space. At Axis AMC, we are working on NLP chatbots to craft personalised content that resonates with our customers.

How has technology democratised financial e-services in India while including the people at the grassroots level? What role Axis AMC is playing in this regard?

We have refined our web and mobile user journeys to include goal-oriented investment paths, timely notifications, and single-click operations for ease of use. A dedicated data science project is underway to leverage vast amounts of data, allowing individual insights and sentiment analysis. The ₹100 SIP option when integrated with UPI Autopay becomes a seamless combination to build retail participation at the citizen scale. I think this is a phenomenal example of democratisation in the asset management industry. As a commitment to financial inclusivity, we provide educational content in a blog-style format that resonates with both B2B segments and individual investors, ensuring that our distributors are well-equipped to engage with customers effectively.

GenAI and LLM models are much talked about these days. How is Axis AMC leveraging these technologies?

The fervour to integrate GenAI within our operations is indeed active. However, we are acutely aware that the sanctity of data that gets processed is equally paramount. Hence, our foray into GenAI is marked by caution and building controlled environments to ensure data integrity and security. Our journey with GenAI has so far been promising in creating compelling content for our employees, customer relationship teams, marketing narratives, and developing innovative talent acquisition and learning platforms. We see potential in complex areas like fraud detection and generating actionable research insights.

Can you shed some light on Project Udaan? What outcomes do you envision with this project?

Udaan has successfully completed its first phase as we speak, marking a significant stride towards personalised investment solutions. The project allows for nuanced bundle creation, risk analysis, and assessments of individual risk tolerance/ appetite levels. One objective is to furnish investors with a tailored risk profile and asset allocation strategy, guiding them through their financial goals with newfound consistency. The other objective is to foster greater persistence in investment behaviour and facilitate planning for continuously evolving financial goals in an investor’s lifetime journey.

What are your plans and outlook on Axis AMC for the near future?

The focus continues to be ready for the opportunities that come with the India stack and the demographic dividend we enjoy as a nation (e.g. account aggregator). Another focus is to invest in continuous learning for our employees. At Axis AMC, we are fortunate to have extensive training programs that empower our technology and data science teams to upskill. Developing data champions within each of our teams is a priority. We are enabling them with access to niche visualisation tools, including low code/no code platforms for the business analysts to shift left the development process. 

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