Sunday, May 19, 2024

    MEET THE PEOPLE Rohit Maheshwari, Head of Strategy and Products, Subex

    What does you company do?

    Subex is a telecom AI company enabling connected experiences for communication service providers (CSPs) across the globe. Founded in 1994, Subex helps its customers maximise revenues and profitability. With a legacy of having served the market through world-class solutions for business optimisation and analytics, Subex is now leading the way by enabling the creation of connected experiences in the telecom industry.

    What sectors does your business operate in?

    • Telecom Business Assurance
    • Telecom Fraud Management and Security
    • Telecom Partner Ecosystem Management
    • Telecom Network Analytics
    • Telco GenAI co-pilots
    • Telco Fintech
    • AI use cases and services for Telcos aimed at Marketing, Customer Experience and Finance

    Which content and/or applications do you see being the most likely to benefit from telemedia billing technologies?

    There is a great story around telco fintech as a significant enabler for banking the unbanked: providing credits and microcredits in developing markets. There are definitely opportunities and new use cases emerging. In multi-SIM geographies, once a customer is on-boarded for telco fintech/wallet services the stickiness goes up and churn goes down. There are very interesting use cases around utilising AI and analytics for microlending and microcredit – predicting customer needs to ensure seamless experiences. For example, if someone is watching a football match and is about to run out of credit, their account can be automatically topped up based on analysis of their previous behaviours – they are seen as good credit risk for example. Retail float management can be better controlled based on predictions, and micro lending to small traders can automatically be extended credit based on their wallet history. All these services are made more efficient through the use of AI and data analytics.

    What major factors do you think will impact the future development of mobile payments and which other payment options represent the biggest threat?

    With the increasing digitisation of society and the growing number of consumers adopting the digital lifestyle, society is becoming almost cashless. Threats to watch regarding inhibitors to growth are fraud, social engineering and cybercrime.

    For the less developed regions using mobile wallet and mobile payments, there can be a certain amount of fear of adoption, even though most merchants accept mobile payment at the point of sale.

    As commerce increasingly becomes cashless, AI will play a pivotal role in monitoring transactions, preventing fraud, and unlocking a multitude of secure and convenient cashless use cases. The use of AI will guarantee seamless, cashless, and fraud-free transactions using predictive ticketing, and enable secure online transactions supported by transaction monitoring, fraud tracking, and anomaly detection.

    How do you see AI transforming the telecoms business model?

    Not just the business model – AI is going to be embedded in every aspect of product strategy and decision making. There is a lot of promise in AI, preventing bottlenecks in telco services, helping telcos write code and create generative AI campaigns. There will be much unlocking of productivity thanks to AI and all areas of the telco will benefit, whether activities are product launches or network operations.

    What key advice would you give telcos looking to reap the benefits of AI?

    Telcos need to assess their AI readiness both in terms of understanding how use cases will benefit from AI and also the strategic initiatives that need to be taken to leverage AI – the availability of technology, people management and change management. AI has to be owned from the top – it has to be a boardroom conversation – and when that happens there will be a tremendous amount of use cases unlocked by AI. We are already seeing some telcos take tremendous leap in this direction

    Imagine a current telco ten years from now that has seized and exploited the potential of AI – what does it look like?

    In these times of disruptive change, ten years is a long time! Five years is long enough to be disruptive. Today telcos are a people-to-people conversation – in the future it will be a ‘my agent-to-your agent conversation’.

    Generative AI is changing the way the consumer perceives the telco, and vice versa. Telcos will leverage generative AI to make the customer experience seamless. The ‘first call resolution’ is traditionally low – now the AI agent of the customer will interact with the AI agent of the telco and the goal will be to get resolution on first call and the shortest time possible

    Traditionally, telco customers subscribe to and see Netflix, YouTube content – future consumers will have the capability to generate their own content according to their taste.

    With generative AI taking over, a lot more time will be liberated for people. There will more time for creativity and leisure, as AI solves some of the biggest challenges of productivity.

    Your words of wisdom: on a more personal level, what is the most inspiring piece of advice that has seen you through a life in business to this day and who gave that advice to you?

    Be hungry for knowledge and information. Be inquisitive – be willing to learn new things. That was the advice I was given when I started 25 years ago. Since then, those principles have enabled me to continue exploring the changes that are happening and to enjoy an enriching career.

    About Rohit Maheshwari

    Rohit is responsible for delivering business growth through innovation and product strategy. He leverages his expertise in Artificial Intelligence (AI), analytics and digital services to contribute to Subex’s solutions. In addition, Rohit heads Business and Solutions Consulting (BSC) at Subex and has over 23 years of rich experience in delivering solutions and consulting to telecom operators across the world. Before joining Subex, Rohit worked with companies like Crompton Greaves and Kirloskar Electric Company. He is a graduate in electrical and electronics engineering from University of Mysore.

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