By 2020, AI will generate more jobs than it might destroy: Vymo CEO Yamini Bhat

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 08, 2018 Published on January 02, 2018

Yamini Bhat, Co-Founder & CEO at Vymo

Machines did not destroy all jobs – they created newer, more skilled ones. Can we expect the same of artificial intelligence (AI)?

Absolutely yes, says Yamini Bhat, Co-Founder & CEO at Vymo, a Bengaluru-based start-up that provides predictive sales analytics solutions.

A recent Gartner study estimates that by 2020, AI will generate 2.3 million jobs, exceeding the 1.8 million that it would wipe out.

Vymo works with four of the top 10 banks in India, among other leading organisations. The start-up is funded by Sequoia Capital and is recognised by Gartner as a ‘Cool Vendor’.

Yamini Bhat spoke to BusinessLine on how AI could ‘creatively disrupt’ the workplace. Excerpts:

Does AI mean the end of the salesperson?

On the contrary, the salesperson will become more relevant. AI will empower and augment salespeople with additional intelligence, rather than make them redundant.

AI will let salespeople focus on more human attributes of their work, such as empathy, higher order intelligence and other aspects that may require human discretion and engagement. If anything, it ill help salespeople be more human.

It is an inevitable change. According to IDC, over 40 per cent of companies said they will adopt AI within the next two years.

...So what does it bring to the table?

Most repetitive tasks will be coded away, decisions will become more data driven, and the average worker will possess the power of augmented intelligence.

Complexity of jobs will increase disproportionately and it will require re-skilling people if they have to stay relevant. This has been the trend for the last 100 years, and humans are adapting to changing circumstances at the workplace.

Indeed, it is one of the prime reasons why human IQ has increased steadily in that time.

Another view has it that AI actually helps salespeople keep their jobs. Does it?

Yes, it does. AI improves productivity dramatically, making it more lucrative for organisations to hire and retain workforce.

To illustrate this with an example: it is common for organisations to disproportionately support and incentivise upper quartile reps (top 1-50 per cent of the sales force) to do more.

This is prioritised over raising the productivity of the bottom quartiles.

To test this hypothesis at Vymo, we graphed a model basis sales performance data for some of our clients over the last five years.

The result was that with the current approach of undue focus on upper quartile reps, incremental cost to the company increases significantly, crossing incremental sales impact with time. In fact, by year three, we see a downtrend in profitability!

Can AI identify correlations that might have been missed by a human, as is being argued by some?

At Vymo, we are able to analyse data of the best sales reps across the organisation and correlate activities to outcomes.

So the Vymo engine can predict with a high degree of accuracy, for instance, when a sales rep should reach out to a prospect based on a variety of parameters, such as lead source, prospect profile, product, location, time of quarter/year, and so on.

Based on this data, the Vymo app suggests next best actions, which proactively nudges reps into performing high-ROI activities, such as calls and meetings, at the most optimal time. For instance, if a meeting is cancelled, Vymo automatically detects that there is scope for an activity in the calendar and prompts: “You have only one meeting today. Here are three suggestions.”

Published on January 02, 2018
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