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Google for India- Key Takeaways

3 minutes, 33 seconds read

On the 19th of September, India saw the tech giant go all ‘desi’ at the Google for India event 2019. Initiated in the year 2015 the event has ever since introduced features that cater to the Indian masses. From bringing support for various Indic languages onto a number of platforms such as Search, Lens and Bolo; to announcing a new artificial intelligence (AI) based lab in India. Google for India event 2019, saw the company announcing new products and initiatives that are designed specifically for the Indian users. 

In addition to this, Google also introduced products and initiatives – such as the Digital Payment Abhiyan and the Vodafone-Idea Phone Line. This would eventually connect more people, especially the ones who are not adept at using technology and live in remote areas that lack internet connectivity.

In this blog, let’s have a brush up on all the updates that Google had announced at it’s Google for India event.

7 key takeaways of Google for India event

Google Research India

At the fifth edition of its annual Google for India event, Google announced that it is setting up a research lab focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and its applications in India. Google’s Bengaluru based AI lab, led by Dr Manish Gupta, will focus on two things. Firstly, on the advancement of Computer Science research in India, where it will focus on Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Languages, Speech, Systems, and other related areas. Secondly, it will focus on applying this research to tackle big problems in areas relating to healthcare, agriculture, and education.

Google Pay goes big

Google announced a new Jobs platform that focuses on entry-level jobs that are not easily discoverable online and are often filled via offline channels and backroom hiring centres. It uses Google’s machine learning-based matching algorithm to recommend the best job; scheduling the interview and communicating with their potential employer. As an added bonus, it also has a free CV builder tool.

Google India also launched a special version of Google Pay, Google Pay Business, for merchants. It would enable hassle-free digital payments for small merchants and storefronts. 

Language decoupling & Interpreter mode in Google Assistant

Now Google Assistant supports a total of nine Indian languages. Being available on all Android, Android Go and KaiOs devices, users will now be able to use a local language simply by saying – “Hey Google, talk to me in Hindi”

Google assistant in google for india key takeaways

Google Assistant will now be able to act as a real-time interpreter between two people who don’t speak the same language. To launch the interpreter mode, all users need to say is – “OK Google, help me speak in Hindi“. This feature will be available on Android and Android Go phones in India in the coming months.

Free public Wi-Fi

“With Google’s ongoing commitment to improving access beyond train stations to villages across India, we have partnered with BSNL to bring fast, reliable and secure public WiFi to villages in Gujarat, Bihar and Maharashtra,” Caesar Sen Gupta, Vice-President, Next Billion Users Initiative and Payments said at the Google for India event while making the announcement.

Taking its Google Station program a step further; Google today announced a partnership with BSNL as a part of which it would provide high-speed public WiFi to villages in Gujarat, Bihar and Maharashtra that are yet to get Wi-Fi connectivity.

Vodafone-Idea Phone Line

Google is partnering with Vodafone-Idea to bring Google Assistant to people in areas with poor internet connectivity. Vodafone users who are still using 2G networks can now call a toll-free number – 000-800-9191-000 – to ask their queries to Google; which would then answer them actively.

Discover gets 7 new languages

Google introduced support for seven different Indian languages in the Discover section of its Google app. This includes — Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Malayalam. Support for Oriya, Urdu, Punjabi will be made available in the coming months.

Lens gets smarter and better

Users will be able to translate a road sign or a poster or a menu by taking a photo. They can tap on the translate button and select their prefered language. Using Google Lens users can now tap on a word and launch Search directly to look for the details.

Google Lens users can now tap on a word and launch Search directly to look for the details.

How do you think Google’s new direction would affect the users?
Let us know by commenting, or drop us a Hi at hello@mantralabsglobal.com

Stay tuned for more such industrial event snapshots. 


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Retention playbook for Insurance firms in the backdrop of financial crises

4 minutes read

Belonging to one of the oldest industries in the world, Insurance companies have weathered multiple calamities over the years and have proven themselves to be resilient entities that can truly stand the test of time. Today, however, the industry faces some of its toughest trials yet. Technology has fundamentally changed what it means to be an insurer and the cumulative effects of the pandemic coupled with a weak global economic output have impacted the industry in ways both good and bad.

Chart, line chart

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Source: Deloitte Services LP Economic Analysis

For instance, the U.S market recorded a sharp dip in GDP in the wake of the pandemic and it was expected that the economy would bounce back bringing with it a resurgent demand for all products (including insurance) across the board. It must be noted that the outlook toward insurance products changed as a result of the pandemic. Life insurance products were no longer an afterthought, although profitability in this segment declined over the years. Property-and-Casualty (P&C) insurance, especially motor insurance, continued to be a strong driver, while health insurance proved to be the fastest-growing segment with robust demand from different geographies

Simultaneously, the insurance industry finds itself on the cusp of an industry-wide shift as technology is starting to play a greater role in core operations. In particular, technologies such as AI, AR, and VR are being deployed extensively to retain customers amidst this technological and economic upheaval.

Double down on digital

For insurance firms, IT budgets were almost exclusively dedicated to maintaining legacy systems, but with the rise of InsurTech, it is imperative that firms start dedicating more of their budgets towards developing advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics, AI-driven offerings, etc. Insurance has long been an industry that makes extensive use of complex statistical and mathematical models to guide pricing and product development strategies. By incorporating the latest technological advances with the rich data they have accumulated over the years, insurance firms are poised to emerge stronger and more competitive than ever.

Using AI to curate a bespoke customer experience

Insurance has always been a low-margin affair and success in the business is primarily a function of selling the right products to the right people and reducing churn as much as possible. This is particularly important as customer retention is normally conceived as an afterthought in most industries, as evidenced in the following chart.

Chart, sunburst chart

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        Source: econconusltancy.com

AI-powered tools (even with narrow capabilities) can do wonders for the insurance industry at large. When architected in the right manner, they can be used to automate a bulk of the standardized and automated processes that insurance companies have. AI can be used to automate and accelerate claims, assess homeowner policies via drones, and facilitate richer customer experiences through sophisticated chatbots. Such advances have a domino effect of increasing CSAT scores, boosting retention rates, reducing CACs, and ultimately improving profitability by as much as 95%.

Crafting immersive products through AR/VR

Customer retention is largely a function of how good a product is, and how effective it is in solving the customers’ pain points. In the face of increasing commodification, insurance companies that go the extra mile to make the buying process more immersive and engaging can gain a definite edge over competitors.

Globally, companies are flocking to implement AR/VR into their customer engagement strategies as it allows them to better several aspects of the customer journey in one fell swoop. Relationship building, product visualization, and highly personalized products are some of the benefits that AR/VR confers to its wielders.  

By honoring the customer sentiments of today and applying a slick AR/VR-powered veneer over its existing product layer, insurance companies can cater to a younger audience (Gen Z) by educating them about insurance products and tailoring digital delivery experiences. This could pay off in the long run by building a large customer base that could be retained and served for a much longer period.

The way forward

The Insurance industry is undergoing a shift of tectonic proportions as an older generation makes way for a new and younger one that has little to no perceptions about the industry. By investing in next-generation technologies such as AR/VR, firms can build new products to capture this new market and catapult themselves to leadership positions simply by way of keeping up with the times.

We have already seen how AR is a potential game-changer for the insurance industry. It is only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace.


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