SoftBank-backed Robotic Process Automation firm expanding in Middle East & India
Priya Wadhwa
10x Industry

SoftBank-backed Robotic Process Automation firm expanding in Middle East & India

The RPA market in India, MidEast and Africa is growing at 200 percent year-on-year.

SoftBank-backed Robotic Process Automation (RPA) firm — Automation Anywhere — is on an expansion spree in the Middle East and India. After launching its regional headquarters in Dubai last month in July, it is reportedly looking into expanding in India to capture a larger segment of the RPA and AI market share, which is estimated to be around $50 billion globally.

Reports suggest that the robotics firm will prioritise setting up its offices in Saudi Arabia, after which it will be opening four new offices in India, in the cities of Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai. It currently already has offices in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Baroda. Over the next three to five years, Automation Anywhere also plans to invest $100 million in India, which is said to be the second largest market for the company.

Automation Anywhere’s expansion plans in India include setting up more research and development centres, and focus on training people in the field of AI automation along with growing business connections to boost automation.

Hailing from San Jose in California, the firm was co-founded by Mihir Shukla, Ankur Kothari and Neeti Mehta in 2003. It now has plans to deploy more than 1 million software bots across India, Middle East and Africa by 2020.

What is RPA?

Robotic Process Automation is essentially a technology that automates many of the repetitive tasks that consume work hours. Businesses can improve productivity and focus on important tasks when the mundane ones are taken care of. It is similar to having a digital personal assistant who learns from your work and then takes over the repetitive tasks for you.

The business process automation works with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning. It is built to learn from the human performing a task, after which the RPA repeats them. It can also perform a series of tasks, such as once you receive an invoice on your email, it can extract the data and add it to your bookkeeping spreadsheet or software.

Global market

RPA is the fastest-growing segment of the global software market. Its revenues grew by 63.1 percent in 2018 according to Gartner, reaching $846 million; and are expected to reach $1.3 billion in 2019 and $4 billion in 2025.

This growth is a lot stronger and faster in the Middle East, Africa and India region — reported to be 200 percent year-on-year. This is also why the San Jose firm is pushing into these markets.

Spend by RPA companies are also expected to grow by 37% year-on-year according to Zinnov.

Expansion plans

The global RPA market growth is reflective of the increased automation demands of corporates. To address this demand and capture a larger segment of the increasing market, Automation Anywhere is pushing forth with its expansion strategy.

Mihir Shukla addressed the press in Bengaluru, saying they plan to double their workforce in the Middle East, Africa and India by the end of 2019. They are looking to increase the number of employees in the Middle East from 20 at present to 100 by June 2020.

The firm already has approximately 50 customers in the region, including Network International, Emirates NBD, and Dubai Asset Management. It is reportedly also in talks with UAE-based airlines and telecom operators.

The global leader in RPA, Automation Anywhere counts some of the world’s top companies from healthcare, technology, finance and more amongst its clients. The 200 percent market growth will certainly see them growing fast and strong in the region, especially with the financial backing from SoftBank.