2019 will be the inflection point for conversational AI
Deloitte India’s ninth edition of its signature publication ‘Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions’ was released recently. The report predicts that the year 2019 will be the inflection point for conversational artificial intelligence (AI) in India, with voice assistants witnessing wider adoption beyond smart speakers. It further adds that voice assistants will move well beyond information access and entertainment in the next two to three years.
India’s first phase of digital explosion was driven by smartphones and mobile internet penetration, its next growth phase, however, will be led by mobile-first and voice-first technologies. Original and localized content will play a crucial role in ensuring the faster adoption and wider application of voice technologies.
The streaming music segment, which has registered faster growth in the last few years is poised to grow further, aided by expected demand for voice assistants and smart speakers.
Commenting on major Technology, Media and Telecom trends in 2019-20, PN Sudarshan, Partner, Deloitte India said, “The technology industry in India is in a truly exciting phase right now, unlike any other country at any other point in time. For more than two decades, its technology services industry was at the forefront of driving the technology-enabled transformation of businesses across the world. As new age technologies, such as digital, analytics, AI, robotics, and industry 4.0, disrupt industry value chains, the Indian industry is again at the forefront of driving this change in the global market.”
“AI-powered voice assistants could become an important element in home automation, hospitality sector, heath care, potentially progressing to voice-based commerce,” the spokesperson added.
Major highlights from the TMT India Predictions 2019 report are as follows:
Technology is set to democratize investments and wealth management
Another area that will witness significant growth is financial services technology. The shift in consumer preference towards digital channels for investments and wealth management is steadily rising. While digital investing may increase at varying rates for different asset classes, the facility of immediate service, better discovery of products, and innovations in providing improved customer experience will cause customers to increasingly gravitate towards these new-age platforms.
Deloitte India predicts that wealth management in the country will see a continuous and significant shift towards “digital investing”, i.e., investment in financial assets through mobile or web applications. The shift will be an unmistakable trend in “mutual funds”. Deloitte India estimates that digitally invested assets under management (AUM) are likely to grow by nearly 80% from ~INR 250 billion in 2018 to ~INR 450 billion in 2019. In comparison, overall retail Assets Under Management (AUM) is expected to grow by ~37%. In other words, digital investing will grow at more than double the rate of overall investment in mutual funds. If the projected growth for 2019 continues beyond as well, the AUM for individual investments in mutual funds invested digitally will cross INR 1 trillion by 2021; FDs booked through digital channels will exceed 50% of all FDs booked by 2022; and 1 in every 2 retail investors will use a digital platform to buy or sell equities by 2025. In all, technology will play a crucial role in providing equal access to investments and wealth management.
TV continues to remain relevant, Film Industry to pick up pace in 2019
Deloitte India predicts that convergence and scale are emerging as important elements for success in the Indian TV landscape. It is expected that over-the-top (OTT) video content will continue to see rapid growth in both demand and supply. However, unlike in developed markets, the impact on TV is likely to be additive rather than disruptive – at least in the medium term. Further, a key theme that has already started playing out is the importance of great content at scale and convergence. Young population, smartphone penetration, low cost broadband, quality and breadth of content, digital payment ecosystem are factors driving the demand for OTT video content in India. It is expected that online video audience will double over the next three years. This is further reflected in the level of competition in the market today. More than 30 OTT video offerings are available and more players are contemplating entering the Indian market. Accounting for 75% of the new video audience, rural India is expected to drive the growth of the digital segment.
The year 2019, therefore, is predicted to be a high-growth year for the Indian film industry with combined thrust from both the exhibition industry and OTT platforms. The continuous increase in online audience, coupled with efforts from the exhibition industry to enhance outdoor entertainment experience, is likely to act as a boost for artists in India. Further, it is predicted that the Indian film industry is expected to witness significant growth in the next 12−18 months, largely due to an increase in content production, improvements in the exhibition space, and addition of new monetisation avenues, such as OTT platforms and overseas markets. Overall, the film industry is poised to witness faster growth both in terms of high quality content and increased revenue.
5G: A journey towards building a smart society
Deloitte predicts that in 2019, with faster adoption and application, 5G will play a crucial role in building a smarter society. Major areas that will positively benefit from the 5G explosion are:
Agriculture: 5G will enable climate change monitoring or soil and crop monitoring, Smart irrigation, livestock monitoring and autonomous tractors will be made available to the farmers.
Healthcare: Smart wearables, tele-medicine and robotic surgery will be major contributions of 5G.
Education: Smart education use cases leverage on the eMBB and mMTC features to bring quality education, irrespective of location, thereby addressing the availability and accessibility issue.
Manufacturing: 5G use case around smart manufacturing leveraging on uRLLC and mMTC features focuses on industrial efficiency bringing in cost reductions as well as enhancing productivity and profitability.
Smart cities: With the population growth and urbanisation in India, 5G could help in creating a sustainable ecosystem where people can lead better lives.