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Has COVID-19 Opened Doors For Automation Even More?

Startup Vernacular.ai believes so. They have successfully built a voice AI/Automation system that currently services enterprise clients such as Barbeque Nation

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Vernacular.ai, a Series A funded start-up, are an AI-First SaaS business that is driven
with a mission to become the leading voice automation/AI platform in the world. At a time when remote working has become the talk of the town in the corporate sector, startups have been devising new ways to combat the crisis and come up with effective options.

In an e interaction with Gairika Mitra, Sourabh Gupta, Co-founder and CEO, Vernacular.ai  tell us about his future plans. Edited excerpts:

Do you think COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of automation?

We have recently witnessed a surge in demand amid crisis. Enterprises across diverse sectors are looking to automate support operations to reduce their costs. Automation has been a theme for enterprises for a while, and COVID-19 has only accelerated its adoption.

How is your startup inculcating the use of local languages?

What differentiates us from other players in the market is the depth we bring in the local languages. More than 90% of the country’s population doesn’t speak English. Even in local languages, dialects and accents are very comprehensive. We can distinguish and understand the speech nuances of a user and talk to them accordingly. To get here, we have had to solve some of the hardest problems in Voice AI as of today.

What kind of technologies is Vernacular.ai adapting?

We work on 3 major technologies:

1) Speech to Text – This technology understands different dialects, accents of the user and converts their voice to text for further processing
2) Spoken Language Understanding – This technology helps with understanding the intent of the user
3) Text to Speech – This technology converts written text to speech of any language/dialect/accent

What initiative is your startup taking to combat the pandemic?

The first step for us was to empathise with our customers that are not doing so well in the pandemic. For them, we have deferred all pending payments and offered them free of cost service till the current situation subsides.
For other businesses we have been in conversation with, we are offering up to 3 months of free service if the business is from an industry which has been impacted due to the pandemic.

Any plans of going global?

With our recent Series A fundraise, we are looking to grow our revenues by 10x within the next 2 years. We are also adding more languages and expanding geographically to South East Asia and the US.

In the long run, our vision is to evolve the voice platform to support most of the languages in the world and have multiple voice-driven products even outside contact centre markets. 

A takeaway?

I would advise future entrepreneurs to think about how COVID-19 will change the now ‘normal’, and build, create and innovate for the ‘new normal’. We can anticipate a rise in unique business models driven by young wannapreneurs, who are all set to leverage the norms of a new reality. 


If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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