Sulekha investing in artificial intelligence 

A significant part of the company’s future AI-related efforts will be focused on better utilising data generated during interactions between consumers, service partners and the platform.

By Author  |  Published: 21st Nov 2019  12:05 amUpdated: 20th Nov 2019  8:53 pm
Sulekha
Satya Prabhakar, CEO, Sulekha

Hyderabad: With over 24 million visitors each month and helping more than 3 million users and service partners connect and transact each month, Sulekha is emerging as a tech-artificial intelligence (AI) platform, which provides end-to-end local expert service need fulfilment. The company is investing in improving its AI capabilities.

A significant part of the company’s future AI-related efforts will be focused on better utilising data generated during interactions between consumers, service partners and the platform. The company believes that a combination of intelligence from chat and other interaction signals will significantly increase the predictability of the platform.

Sulekha is backed by marquee international investors including GIC (Singapore), Mitsui (Japan) and Norwest Venture Partners (US) and continues to be a profitable, fast growing expert services platform in multiple metrics related to consumer and service partner acquisition.

Sharing the company’s future plans, Satya Prabhakar, CEO & founder of Sulekha told Telangana Today, “Our tech stack is one that can handle the nuances involved in connecting service requests with service providers (SPs) across multiple “hubs” or categories. It has been designed so that commonalities and differences in hubs are addressable in a highly scalable manner. We are focused on investing in our tech stack to go beyond matchmaking and are building appointment setting and order booking capabilities in categories that are well defined (such as moving and packing). The overarching purpose of our platform is need fulfilment and our tech stack will continue to evolve to further this objective.”

Mobilising payments

“We are also building a fintech layer to our offering for SPs and are investing in building the capability for them to collect payments through the same app. We believe there are exciting ways to mobilise payments for transactions through the platform by providing SPs the capability to promote offers/discounts for their services and users to buy insurance products that could be tied to a specific need. We view our platform as one that can significantly increase digital adoption of service commerce in the country,” he added.

Also, the matchmaking is straightforward when there is a demand-supply balance on the platform, but when there is an imbalance, the company’s AI techniques can be used. The company’s growth is driven by the continuing digitisation of service-oriented small businesses, increasing smartphone adoption and increasingly lower costs of mobile data.

Catering to SMEs

Today, the asset-light digital marketplace, Sulekha has over 1,20,000 SME service providers registered with the platform. The total registered consumer base exceeds 50 million. It operates in over 200 categories across 40 plus cities (including 10 cities outside India with significant NRI population).

He added, “Some of the more popular categories for us include moving & packing, interior design & decoration, competitive exam coaching, job training, event organising, legal services, etc. Service requests are also recorded for higher-value needs such as painting, full household pest control, repair and AMC of laptops, Big Data training and hundreds of other such services.”

“We believe growth for expert services will come increasingly from tier 2 and 3 cities and we will expand the reach of our platform to cover SPs and users in emerging towns across India. We also see opportunities to acquire niche platforms with an established supplier base that cater to a specific segment or focus area, given that the space is large with multiple categories,” he informed.


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