Robotics and automation can be India's next big industry boom in a scale that can match the famous boom in information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) services in 2000s, according to Raghunath Subramanian, president and chief executive officer of UiPath India. Speaking to News18 at the sidelines of the three-day competition-workshop festival, Technoxian 2019, Subramanian stated, "If India embraces this opportunity properly, and include robotics into the education curriculum, there is a massive boom waiting to happen. This is similar to yesteryears like India’s IT and BPO boom, and actually gives us a huge opportunity on our hands."
He further added, "Digital transformation is taking over our world, and RPA is the true operating system for our digital transformation. For it to function properly, a large, talented workforce is necessary. Such volumes of talented workforces can only come from India."
Subramanian's belief comes from the observations of his firm, UiPath, which is one of the leading providers of robotic process automation (RPA) services across industries, globally. According to him, India enjoys the unique advantage in terms of the sheer size and variety of the talent pool present in its youth. This is further coupled with the presence of both Indian and international businesses across various sectors, all of which would likely adopt some form of RPA services in the near future, if not already.
Raj Kumar Sharma, president of the All India Council for Robotics and Automation (AICRA), further believes that a symbiotic relationship needs to be struck between interested individuals, startups, RPA leaders such as UiPath, and the network of central bodies such as AICRA. According to him, "Indian industry first-movers will need to collaborate with foreign partners, and also build technologies to contribute to education. To enable this, AICRA has tied up with lots of companies, with one of them being UiPath — a leader in the global RPA software space. This will help adoption of technology by industry partners, who would build technologies based on their existing software base, and this in turn would then be delivered to engineering colleges."
While the AICRA is ramping up its attempts to promote the robotics and automation ecosystem of India, it remains to be seen how far are these ventures supported by the central government, which will be a big boon for the sector. Artificial intelligence has been a key benefactor in recent times, with adoption in education curriculum by both central and state boards coming forth in recent times. With robotics holding key potential to take industries further in a weak Indian economy, stakeholders such as UiPath and AICRA will hope to see stronger support, as they bid to take robots beyond just a casual, engineering college hobby.