A global leader in graphics processing units (GPUs) and an innovative technology major, NVIDIA has been growing at a CAGR of 50 per cent over the past five years. The company is also actively expanding into AI and solutions space starting with the manufacturing sector helping companies like Tata JLR and Mercedes Benz offer high-tech vehicle engine solutions in a revenue-sharing model.
Ahead of its global AI conference NVIDIA GTC 2022 which starts on March 22, Vishal Dhupar, MD, Asia-South, NVIDIA discusses the scope of emerging technologies like accelerated computing in India, the companies’ offerings here and plans of skilling tech talent in the country.
Where does India stand in terms of revenue growth and what kind of opportunities does this market bring for NVIDIA?
I am really pleased to inform that India has become a strong bet for accelerated computing, especially when you are looking at higher education and the government initiatives. We are a developer’s nation. We are finding a large part of the developers endorsing it. They are understanding the longevity of the technology.
Crypto miners lately have been hoarding GPUs since the boom of that segment, which leaves other businesses in scarcity. What are your thoughts on this? How is NVIDIA looking to solve for the GPU shortage issue?
It’s actually very small portion of GPUs going to crypto miners. We know this because we have a software which tracks where the GPU went. We need to ensure that gamers, scientists, content developers, engineers and researchers have access. To make sure that this is available, we have GeForce Now.
It’s a cloud service where you can rent a GPU. It’s a gaming service and even if you have a laptop without a GPU or an underperforming GPU, you can supplement that from GeForce offering. These offerings are to ease out the need of people. It’s an industry-wide problem which we are trying to tackle and solve faster.
NVIDIA had recently announced partnership with Tata Motors subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover for automated driving solutions. Are you in talks with Indian automakers for similar deals locally?
We made an announcement that all JLRs manufactured by Tata will be autonomous and there’s going to be revenue share between Tata and NVIDIA because the engine they are using is powered by NVIDIA. A similar contract was signed with Mercedes Benz a few years ago.
Technologically, it (the vehicle) can be advanced enough where you don’t need to carry your keys and when you walk towards your car, you are recognised by your retina. Now, if the car knows that you will open the door behind to keep your bags, it can automatically do that without you saying anything. In terms of deals in India, we only talk about successes and not the deals in talks.
NVIDIA had started working with gaming cafes in India. What’s the update of the business?
We partner with the ecosystem. Gaming is a very social activity, people meet, compete and enjoy themselves in cafes. With the growth that gaming saw in India, there was a lot of attraction for multinationals who have successfully set up cafes in other countries.
After they entered India, we saw MNCs build state-of-the-art gaming cafes here. Around late 2019, these efforts got dampened due to the pandemic. People couldn’t go to cafés. We were facilitating and collaborating with these companies through our platform offering.
With companies like Google piloting voice-based features and solutions, what is the scope and opportunity for natural language processing in India? How is NVIDIA innovating in this space?
Big NLP is really important to India. It is a large model that can take billions of parameters into account and do what human brains cannot. Our nation is multi-lingual and has thousands of dialects and we need to find a solution for the community.
Conversational AI is extremely critical at call centres and on websites. These services need to be augmented so that we can go beyond English to multiple global and local languages. I see a glimpse of lot of work taking shape in India.
Tell us more about NVIDIA’s start-up programme? What kind of capabilities have been supported in India so far?
The programme is called ‘Inception’ and the idea is finding new age companies wanting to disrupt traditional models. We help them with the technology support they need. Most of these start-ups will be coming for GTC this year presenting their products. We have almost 900 start-ups which are a part of the programme in India alone. They are working in computer speech area, retail, agritech, fintech segments to name a few.
What is NVIDIA doing to upskill talent in India given that there’s an industry-wide talent crunch?
Through our deep learning institute, we work with several universities and colleges. We create brand ambassadors with the knowledge and concepts of deep learning. They go and train these students in deep learning. Once they get the concept, we create boot camps where people bring their problems and mentors are available, whom they discuss their dilemma and learn how to solve it.
There are NVIDIA AI Technology Centres where people undertake research problems and they dedicate their resources, we help them by providing technological help and then connect them with multiple universities across the world which might be pursuing similar problems, so that learnings come to them faster.