On Saturday Evening, Vikas Kakkar, Founder of Amara.ai sat down with the TechGraph editorial team for a wide-ranging interview. We discussed Amara’s journey, use conversational ai, and much more.
Read the complete interview here:
TechGraph: Could you help give a sense of how far Amara has come since its existence?
Vikas Kakkar: We are founded in 2016 with an idea to automate HR processes, Amara began with a recruitment automation product – HireXP, and served as a voice-based feature that constantly kept asking candidates relevant questions throughout their recruitment cycle. It successfully predicted which candidates would join after accepting an offer letter.
Later we expanded in 2019, it was extended to employee engagement strategies when Amara was conceived as an AI chatbot. Employees are the biggest assets of any business organization. In this increasingly growing war for talent, every employer wants to attract, grow and retain the best industry talent.
However, highly productive and engaged employees do not come easy and HRs have to invest heavily in strategic recruitment tools and processes. Considering this scenario, Amara was launched to transform the employee experience with an AI chatbot to predict, engage and nurture employees’ lifecycles to future-proof the business growth.
The beginning was modest, with a customer in the Middle East signing up for a beta version in 2019 to our current user base of 100K+ in 15+ countries. It was a fantastic roller coaster of success and failure.
TechGraph: How Amara is utilizing its sectoral expertise and technology to solve the unsolved tech gap in conversational ai based chatbot & HRTech industry?
Vikas Kakkar: As the world becomes more digitally driven, AI is bringing about dynamic changes in business organizations across all industries. Similarly, the HR industry is not immune to the efficiencies generated by AI integration. To match the speed of human intelligence, we are closing a large gap in connectivity between machines and humans, which is further disrupting the human enterprise experience. Forward-thinking business organizations are increasingly focusing on leveraging the power of AI to help talented teams work more efficiently.
According to IBM’s Global AI Adoption Index 2022, as digitalization continues to deepen in India, approximately 57 percent of IT professionals report their organizations have actively deployed AI technology, while over 27 percent indicate their organization is exploring AI use cases. As a result, Indian HR teams are leading the AI revolution by recognizing its significant use cases – interacting, conversing, and automating human processes.
TechGraph: Machine learning and Ai adoption in the Chatbot and HRTech sector is speeding up. How is Amara capitalizing the same?
Vikas Kakkar: Amara chats with employees at critical touchpoints in their employee lifecycle. It gauges their level of psychological investment in the organization and proactively identifies those who are highly disengaged or at attrition risk. In other words, she is a robot programmed to chat with employees intelligently, in a human avatar. The highly customizable chatbot boasts advanced features and is recognized as the most affordable solution in the market.
It is one of the fastest-growing conversational chatbot providers, delivering solutions that assist HR leaders in driving real-time employee engagement and using insights to gain a competitive advantage.
Amara.ai enables global brands to predict attrition, improve retention, anticipate engagement trends, optimize people processes, and transform unstructured employee feedback into a valuable asset for the organization’s growth.
Amara.ai has uniquely addressed the employee engagement space since its inception, attracting some of the world’s most recognized brands as clients.
TechGraph: How is Amara leveraging technology to enhance employees’ experience?
Vikas Kakkar: Amara has already made its way to the boardrooms of several organizations. This year, we are increasing the use of AI to improve engagement and create a safe and diverse company culture, but by 2024, the rate of adoption of HR technology and AI-powered data analytics platforms will skyrocket.
Amara promotes diversity and inclusion, employee well-being, one-time surveys, quarterly pulse surveys, and employer branding modules for start-ups, and large and small businesses with more than 200 employees. Currently, the chatbot serves businesses with 200 to 20,000 employees.
Amara employs cutting-edge technology to enhance the employee experience and assist HR business partners in identifying employees who are dissatisfied and about to leave.
It allows HR teams to focus their efforts on more complex issues while providing employees with faster and more efficient support, in addition to automating repetitive tasks.
TechGraph: How do you prepare for the highly disruptive conversational chatbot space?
Vikas Kakkar: We are ready for the change and the bootstrapped chatbot Amara is based on a Software as a service business model. It charges a subscription fee of approximately INR 100 per employee per month from enterprises.
Currently, the company sells through direct sales channels, while the channel partner model is being tested in a few markets.
The company serves customers in over 15 countries across the globe and is continuing to move on the growth trajectory. The early-stage start-up has a headcount of 30 and expects to reach 50 by the end of 2023. We are ready to change and adapt to new trends.
TechGraph: Going forward, what will be Amara’s major focus areas? What are your expansion plans?
Vikas Kakkar: We are rapidly expanding in a variety of markets. We are developing several modules to fill gaps in the people processes. In the last six months, we have added a large number of customers and grown by more than 350%.
In 2023, we will launch a new module to manage OKRs, as well as voice capabilities and conversational advancements. Amara currently serves customers in over 15 countries and is expanding. The early-stage startup employs 30 people and expects to grow to 50 by the end of 2023.