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Ajit Narayanan, CTO at Myntra
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AI and personalisation to remain Myntra’s core tech focus, says CTO Narayanan

03 April, 2017

Flipkart-owned fashion e-tailer Myntra is in the nascent stages of overhauling its technology platform and integrating it deeper with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) across business functions, a top company executive said.

“AI is good for things that are repetitive in nature. ML gets smarter when you provide more instances. In time, both these technologies give output that is as good, if not better, than a human,” Ajit Narayanan, its chief technical officer, told VCCircle in an exclusive interaction.

The online apparel seller is no stranger to futuristic tech. Its app already has elements of AI incorporated into it, using which it provides automated suggestions on complementary looks and accessories to go with a particular product.

In February, Myntra launched its first fully-automated design collection for in-house private label, Moda Rapido. Here, the machine picks out the entire specification of an apparel and generates a design that is vetted by a human designer. Based on continuous human feedback, the machine learns to differentiate between good and bad design.

Narayanan said the focus on enhancing tech prowess was all-encompassing, and the company was looking to optimise the entire value chain. For example, since mobile accounts for 80% of Myntra’s revenues, it will continuously optimise the app to ensure it can function well even in poor networks, said Narayanan.

Likewise, the supply chain side of things will see major tech involvement in functions such as inventory planning and optimisation, often the bane of e-commerce firms. Myntra will take into account multiple factors, such as what’s trending, what colour works well, etc. based on the data generated on its platform. Such experiments are already under way at the company, Narayanan added.

Another core focus area for the firm is personalisation. “While easy to talk about, implementation remains a challenge. Every user will see a personalised version of our platform based on data generated from their previous shopping experiences,” he explained.

To solve this challenge, Myntra is also employing augmented and virtual reality both in its mobile offering as well as offline play.

Last month, it opened its first exclusive offline store in Bangalore for flagship in-house private label Roadster. The store has a fair amount of tech integration, including virtual reality headsets that take consumers on a virtual road trip, videos that display relevant fashion content and touch kiosks for an interactive shopping experience. According to Myntra, this outlet will constantly upgrade on the tech front, such as replace the human stylist with an AI-based one. However, it will take some time to implement.

Last September, Myntra moved the research and development team of Jabong in Bangalore to its own facility as part of its integration strategy. While Myntra has gone on record to say that it will continue to ramp up technology across functions, Narayanan refused to divulge any details regarding the size of its tech team and hiring strategy.

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AI and personalisation to remain Myntra’s core tech focus, says CTO Narayanan

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