Today’s firms are creating a collaborative, intelligent workforce comprising man and machines. We aim to understand the nature of AI investments across firms.

Over 50 percent of the medium and high revenue firms have made large-scale firm-wide investments and they expect a significant increase in AI investments across the next five years. Refer Fig. 1 & 2

This is quite consistent with the rapid response from technology leaders in the market over the past few years. Google’s “AI First” approach, Microsoft’s CEO Nadella referring to AI as “breakthrough technology” and the nuanced deployment of AI in Facebook, Amazon and Netflix clearly demonstrate the manner in which large businesses are aligning business models to reap benefits that the technology offers.

Fig. 1 Scope of AI Investments
Fig. 2 Growth in AI Investments

In contrast, more than 45 percent of the small and micro revenue firms have deployed their AI investments in specific product markets or business units; nearly 40 percent of these firms expect an increase in AI investments in the next years.

The contrasting nature of the growth of AI investments in high and medium revenue firms can be explained due to the significantly higher proportion of foreign ownership when compared to small and micro revenue firms.

Fig. 3 Firms' Budget utilized across functional areas

The results highlight the heterogeneity in AI investments across firms. 

Projects with tasks that are more suitable to machine learning are an indicator of firm-level investments in scope, quantum, and a high growth of AI investments over the next five years.

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The AI Index is an initiative that focuses on monitoring the AI readiness and adoption patterns in India. This initiative is a work-in-progress and will be constantly evolving as we expand our data-sets and delve deeper into the world of AI.