Artificial Intelligence

artificial intelligence: AI and advanced analytics solutions provider Fractal bets big on quantum computing

Chennai: Artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics solutions provider Fractal believes that quantum computing is a big trend that will take shape in the long term.

“It is not the need of today or tomorrow. It is the need of the day after tomorrow,” Srikanth Velamakanni, cofounder, Group chief executive, and vice-chairman told ET. “But to be ready for the day after tomorrow, you have to invest today and that’s the approach Fractal has taken.”

He said the company is exploring a number of use cases across areas. Some of these are in healthcare where quantum computing application in protein folding is expected to accelerate research into diseases such as cancer, find new drugs and pioneer new treatment regimes. Finance is another sector where quantum computing is expected to solve problems like asset pricing, dynamic portfolio optimization, and risk management. In addition, supply chain and logistics provide immense opportunities.

Fractal is also collaborating with AWS to drive the development of quantum computing use cases for its clients, as part of its vision to create a world-class Quantum Computing Centre of Excellence (CoE). The Quantum Computing CoE will aim to execute Fractal’s goal of inventing on behalf of its clients.

“We are really interested in how we can help Fractal to leverage, improve and accelerate the research part of it, but then subsequently, how do they get into the insights generation, the discovery part of it, bringing the performance of their existing solutions to a whole new level, or even solve problem statements that were hitherto not solved and cannot be solved on a regular classical computer. Healthcare, finance, logistics, and raw material optimization… these are the areas we’re very excited to partner with Fractal for,” Kanishka Agiwal, Head – Service Lines, AISPL, AWS India and South Asia said.

Fractal, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, will use Amazon Braket to help leverage, improve, and accelerate research, discovery and insights generation, bringing their performance to a whole new level, the company said.

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“Our intent is how can we support the Fractal team on driving the skill behaviour on using Braket and once that is done, can we provide any programmatic and subject matter expert on leveraging some of these quantum computers for their innovative solutions.”

Last week, Fractal announced that it had
raised $360 million in a new round from TPG Capital Asia. The company said the transaction is expected to close by the first quarter of 2022 and the investment will accelerate its ability to scale and meet the rising demand globally.

“We have added about 41 new clients to our list and 2021 was particularly good because some of the acceleration came from Covid and its after-effects as it accelerated most of the trends that are already in play,” he said. “One of those being the need for digital transformation, the need for migrating to the cloud and the need for better intelligence in the systems and across the organization.”

Velamakanni said the company works with about seven out of the top 10 consumer goods companies. In addition, Fractal also serves almost three of the top five tech companies and a few of the big tech companies in addition to the top five banks globally. Financial services, insurance and healthcare are the important sectors. The US, Europe and Australia are the company’s most important markets.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time, but I’ve never seen an environment as I’m seeing right now where the entire focus has shifted from demand, which is unlimited, to supply because that’s where the challenges are. How do we hire people and cater to the demand side, which is really taking off,” he said.

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