India operator Bharti Airtel upped efforts to enhance customer service and cut the time taken to resolve problems by acquiring a stake in conversational AI start-up Voicezen.

While the operator did not disclose the sum invested or stake acquired, it explained the move would enable it to use Voicezen’s technologies to make customer interaction “more engaging and frictionless” by employing real-time analytics and insights to make its interactions with customers .

It added the move would also enable it to make contextual offers based on instantaneous conversations.

Airtel said increased customer engagement and integration of AI will offer “massive opportunities”, citing data from research outfit MarketsandMarkets predicting the value of the conversational AI sector to grow from $4.2 billion in 2019 to $15.7 billion by 2024.

Start-up Voicezen is based in the Indian city of Gurugram and offers tools using machine learning, AI, speech-to-text and voice technologies to provide real-time analytics.

Adarsh Nair, chief product officer at Bharti Airtel, said the company’s products were highly relevant for the Indian market, and explained the operator is heavily focused on the “deep positive impact” AI offers around “transforming customer experience”.