AI is for every business, says CozmoTec founder

Podcast Ep 202: “No matter what industry in, you have to leverage the benefits of AI,” recommends CozmoTec founder Cuty Gupta.

Despite being a qualified dentist, when CozmoTec founder and CEO Cuty Gupta first came to Ireland from her native India almost a decade ago, her qualifications weren’t recognised which precluded her from practicing her chosen profession.

Undeterred she made her way into the tech industry where she identified opportunities to help businesses close the gap between technology and capability and simplify and sharpen their business processes.

“I want to use my passion so that I can help companies no matter how small they are so that they can leverage technology in the same way as do the bigger corporates of this world”

Her foray into tech saw her rise from being a payroll specialist to eventually director of Innovation and Technology at Icon Accounting.

Gupta’s work led her to the realisation that in Ireland, largely an SME economy, many businesses are behind the curve on software and automation, which puts them in a tricky position in a world where AI and automation will soon rule supreme.

Don’t fear digitalisation


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This realisation led to the founding of CozmoTec, a start-up that has already resolved tech challenges for a variety of SMEs in areas from business process improvement, to software development, website development, data analytics and AI and machine learning.

Headquartered in Swords, Co Dublin, CozmoTec’s small but growing workforce follows the sun in terms of being distributed around the globe, with much of the software development work taking place in India while the business consulting work is led by Gupta in Ireland.

A born problem-solver, Gupta discovered that her road was leading to accountancy when in her heart it should have been leading to innovation.

She spoke to her director at Icon who encouraged her to instead focus on bringing efficiencies into the business. “When people look at coding they are often like ‘my God, it’s all gibberish’, but at the end of the day it’s about logic and common sense. Technology can solve problems for you because it can do things better than you.”

The business of tech is about understanding the logic behind it

Her view is that businesspeople don’t need to know everything about coding. “In order to run a business well and to be good at tech, you don’t need to know how to code as well, once you understand the logic behind how things are happening. If you have a business idea to solve a problem then 90% of the challenge is already done. You can find coders out there who are experts in their area and can do it for you.”

Gupta’s ability to understand business problems and then cultivate the required resources led to the establishment of her business.

Like many organisations at the onset of the Covid lockdown, Icon found itself grappling with suddenly dealing with a remote workforce. “We had to make so many changes in our technology and within a month we had completely changed the way we were doing things. Because of those changes we could see the results and efficiencies and profitability improved. This made me realise ‘Wow, if we can do this then every business can do this.’

“For many businesses, the challenge is when it comes to digital they don’t even know where to start, people don’t know where to go, and as result are lacking the efficiencies that could be brought to them through technology. And they think the technology is so expensive, that they can’t afford it. So that’s the silo I wanted to break. And that’s where the idea for CozmoTec came from.

“I wanted to provide a service in such a way that every business can afford it. We’re not particularly looking for businesses with millions of dollars in turnover. That’s not what I want. I want to use my passion so that I can help companies no matter how small they are so that they can leverage technology in the same way as do the bigger corporates of this world.”

Is AI for your business?

Woman in black dress.

The tech topic of the day no doubt is artificial intelligence (AI). Recent research from Microsoft revealed that 21% of Irish workers are using AI to do their jobs and of those not already doing so, 67% cite an interest in doing so.

At the same time businesses are constantly being reminded that they are sitting on hordes of valuable data but don’t know how to harness that.

Gupta believes AI can be used by businesses to turn that data into business value. “I’m a very pro-AI person. I believe AI is for everyone out there. No matter what industry you are in, no matter what business you are in, you have to leverage the benefits of AI. There are many tools already available in the market and it’s all to make our lives easier. It’s not going to take our jobs from us.”

She provides the analogy of imagining the work we’d have to do if Google Maps never existed and instead use old-fashioned maps to get around. “It uses the machine learning of the algorithms to do the same thing. Think of all the time you save because of this technology.

“So I think that’s what AI is for and I think businesses need to use AI,” she adds, pointing out many businesses are already using AI even if they don’t realise it.

The bigger challenge is unlocking the value of the data that has been accumulated by the business and that could yet serve the company well.

“If you think about all of that data that businesses are sitting on, the biggest challenge is that they don’t have the data centralised. They don’t get any information out of that data, and the reason for that is they cannot talk to the data. And that’s what machine learning can do for you. If you have all of that data in one place you can integrate that data, analyse that data and you can get predictive analytics from that data. If you can analyse all of your sales over the past five years, you can make predictions based on that for 2025 based on that data. So it helps us do things in a fraction of seconds and that’s the benefit of it. And I think definitely every business should use it.”

But where do businesses start? “There are many businesses that don’t even know if there is a problem in the business, all they know is that they are not efficient.”

And that’s where Gupta and CozmoTec come in. “It’s about finding out where all of that data in your business sits and then integrating it.”

The other scenario is where businesses do know where the problems are. “The starting point is making sure all of your data points are integrated. All your data should be centralised. Because if it is scattered you can’t do anything with it. Bring it together and know what information you need on a day-to-day basis.”

Just two years into being up and running, CozmoTec is already profitable and has developed a number of products. One of these is an automation platform aimed at the recruitment industry for onboarding temporary or contract workers. Using AI tools, the platform reduces complexity by managing compliance, invoicing, timesheets and more. “I would say it saves recruiters at least 20 to 30 hours per week,” she explains.

Her experience of starting a business in Ireland has been a positive one. “The people I meet are so helpful and always ready to help. They put me in the right direction.”

In terms of funding and investment, Gupta says she has bootstrapped the business so far and is currently not interested in taking on investors. “If I’m able to sustain the business side and hold onto the equity then there is no point in tapping the market for investment when I don’t need it.”

Her ambition is to make CozmoTec a global business. “I want to have offices all over the world. I am here to make an impact. I want it to be a company that is well recognised and well-known around the world. When people reach out to us it is when they know we are going to deliver a solution that is going to be innovative and make a difference in their lives. So that’s what I want to be known for.”

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John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.



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