Tips for AI startups in India: Big clients can be a blessing & a challenge

Kata CEO Irzan Raditya (second from left) with his team at Microsoft Accelerator in Bangalore / Photo credit: Kata
The recent graduation function of Microsoft Accelerator’s 11th cohort in Bangalore had an unusual participant: Irzan Raditya, CEO and co-founder of, the first Indonesian startup to join this growth-stage accelerator program in India’s tech hub. The 13 other startups in the batch were all Indian.

A chatbot with 1.5 million friends

Landing big clients like Telkom and Unilever has been both a blessing and a challenge for Kata. “Typically, when you’re a B2B startup, you can scale slowly based on your growth or marketing. But in this case, we had to be ready on Day 1. We understood that we were serving the biggest telecom and fast-moving consumer goods companies, and they get millions of requests.”

This is where channel partners like Microsoft and Accenture can help in ensuring that the underlying infrastructure makes the usage scalable, flexible, and fast to deploy.

Kata needs to anticipate needs at two levels: the first is the enterprise or client level, and the next is the end customer who needs a fast response, ease of use, integration with her favorite messaging apps, and so on.

At the same time, Kata takes care to factor in the needs of its channel partners. 

The last couple of years have seen highs and lows in the hype cycle for chatbots. But as Kata and others figure out better ways to use them, and messaging apps continue to flourish with the spread of smartphone usage in Asia, we could see chatbots becoming more important for enterprises in engaging with their consumers.

This is an excerpt from the article published on TechInAsia. You can read the full article here

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