For the people at Intuit, a mission statement that reads, “powering prosperity around the world” isn’t some idealistic mantra, it’s a statement of fact. The global technology platform company helps over 100 million customers and small businesses worldwide, overcome their most important financial challenges, empowering them to take charge of their finances, and by extension, their future.
What they’re hoping to offer here is financial confidence to everyone; from working individuals, small businesses, or large enterprises. Everyone deserves the opportunity to prosper, after all, and technology is the path that enables this.
That said, technology’s role as a source of empowerment couldn’t have been made more profoundly evident than it was during the global pandemic. With entire businesses being forced to go digital overnight, it was only individuals and businesses who could adapt, and quickly, to the new economic paradigm that managed to survive, and in many cases, thrive.
Clearly, what we need here is a platform that’s not only inclusive by design, but also one that scales intelligently and is supportive and flexible enough to meet the needs of people and businesses at any level. What we need is a platform that people understand, and trust.
It’s with that aim in mind that Intuit has declared itself to be an AI-driven expert platform.
What is an AI-driven expert platform?
The biggest disruptor, this past decade, has been AI. It has permeated nearly all aspects of society and technology, and completely transformed the financial services industry. From automating risk management and onboarding to streamlining operations, and even robo-advisers guiding investments based on multiple data sources, AI is everywhere.
The pandemic, of course, accelerated the adoption of AI. Increased digitisation has also resulted in businesses having a more open mindset to new age technology, resulting in the rise of practices like omni-channel commerce.
That last point is a practice that Intuit has supported for years, and is now accelerating with the management of income streams, payrolls, and even taxes for businesses through their product and platform solutions. They’re also using AI to help customers upscale their business and work smarter by automating, predicting and personalising their experience.
“We are leveraging machine learning to build decision engines and algorithms that learn from rich datasets to transform user experiences, applying knowledge engineering, turning compliance rules into code, and using natural language processing to revolutionise how customers interact with products and services,” says Anshu Verma, Vice President and Fellow Engineer at Intuit.
That’s AI taken care of. But where does the ‘expert’ come in?
As Anshu goes on to explain, “On one hand we are using AI to drive smart experiences that power Intuit’s offerings, we want to make sure our customers have experts available at their fingertips to help them, and that is where the ‘expert’ comes in. One click of a button, and the right experts are available. We combine the power of AI + experts to delight our customers. It’s with this insight into customer behaviour that services like TurboTax Live and QuickBooks Live were born. Customers get direct access to experts and can seek advice on demand.”
AI has an important role to play here as well, working in the background to provide guidance to these experts, and elevating them to the role of advisers, ultimately offering even greater benefits to customers.
“However we choose to evolve, the one thing that’s remained constant has been our customer-obsessed mindset,” reveals Anshu.
Supporting omni-channel commerce and enabling virtual experiences
Fifty percent of small businesses fail in their first five years. And most of them fail because of cash flow problems. Product-based businesses especially face unique challenges as they manage their business and sell products across multiple channels. The aim of omni-channel commerce is to offer customers the same shopping or consumption experience regardless of what channel they are using, be that from a smartphone or in person at a store. It sounds simple and intuitive enough, but building a tech stack to support it is a core part of Intuit’s journey.
Regardless, this is a shift in traditional means of commerce that has been happening for a while now, but significantly accelerated during the pandemic. Together with an accelerated shift to the virtual world and the inescapable demand for an online presence, it’s been a challenging time for businesses.
Intuit, however, has been working for years developing the playbook for helping businesses make this transition seamlessly, and without negatively affecting growth.
“We're focused on helping customers grow their businesses by offering a broad, seamless set of tools designed to help them get paid faster, manage and get access to capital, pay employees with confidence, and use third-party apps to help run their businesses,” says Punam Goswami, Principal Engineer at Intuit.
Investing in talent
Lastly, one of Intuit’s biggest investments has been in its talent. India alone is home to over 1,300 engineers, representing nearly 22% of Intuit’s global engineering talent. These are the engineers powering Intuit’s greatest innovations, the people helping Intuit maintain its edge.
“Our teams in India leverage the power of AI/ML, Data Science, Cloud, Open Source, NLP and other key technologies, playing a pivotal role in helping Intuit remain ahead of the curve as we focus on enabling our mission of powering prosperity,” says Goswami.
Intuit puts a great deal of thought and care into the welfare of its workforce, earning recognition as a great place to work in India for several years running. The company intends to further scale up its India team this year, with a strong focus on scaling engineering innovation across the board.
For more than a decade, Intuit has been on the list for India's Best Companies to work for. It has featured consistently for five consecutive years in the top 3, and in 2021, Intuit was ranked #3. They have also been ranked among the Top 10 Best Workplaces for Women in 2021 for the second year in a row by the Great Place to Work® Institute as well as a certified “Gold employer” in the India Workplace Equality Index (IWEI) 2021 for the second time in a row.Intuit is hiring, by the way, and if you’d like to offer your skills and talent to help build up a cutting edge technology platform serving over 100 million customers worldwide, head here!