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Interview: “AI-based voice applications are still at a nascent stage,” says Ganesh Gopalan of Gnani.ai

Speaking with the TechGraph, Ganesh Gopalan, CEO & Co-founder of Gnani.ai said, “AI-based voice applications are still at a very nascent stage, but we believe we’re heading towards a digital future that’s going to witness an exponential rise.”

Here is full expect:

TechGraph: Before we start the interview. Can you please let our readers know more about Gnani? 

Ganesh Gopalan: Gnani.ai is a Conversational AI company that offers omnichannel customer support automation and analytics solutions. Our solutions range from AI-powered Virtual Assistants for various channels such as Telephony, Email apps, chat, etc. We support 20+ languages globally including multiple dialects of English. 

Our products and solutions can be deployed across industries ranging from Contact Centres to E-commerce for end-to-end automation. Gnani is probably the only start-up in the Conversational AI space to have built in-house Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) engines for multiple languages. 

TechGraph: What was the idea behind the launch of Gnani? And how it all got started? 

Ganesh Gopalan: Even though the industry witnessed an increase in technological advancements there wasn’t much happening on the voice and speech-based NLP. We built speech recognition and voice-based NLP systems which guaranteed a high level of accuracy and ease of use.

We initially started with just voice technologies but today we support automation and analytics in multiple speeches and text channels. We are one of the first four Indian firms to secure an investment from Samsung Ventures and have been growing exponentially. 

Today we are working with some of the best and the leading companies in the banking, insurance, e-commerce, FMCG, and financial services space and are the preferred AI vendor of choice for customers across multiple domains.  

TechGraph: What are the industry challenges you have observed that coerced you to jump into the voice-based service? 

Ganesh Gopalan: AI-based voice applications are still at a very nascent stage, but we believe we’re heading towards a digital future that’s going to witness an exponential rise. AI-enabled voice-based applications and services will be the first medium of human-machine interaction. 

Companies were investing millions to create AI voice assistants but somehow their reach was limited because of the language constraint. That’s when we started building high-quality ASR models for multiple languages, and NLP processing layer that can handle contexts in local languages, and a natural human-sounding TTS. 

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We believe Conversational AI will be the next big growth driver and is expected to witness major implementation in sectors such as BFSI, Telecom, and FMCG, to name a few. Also, with the proliferation of mobile phones (be it a feature phone or a Smartphone) empowering users to interact with voice applications in their native language is much needed and that’s where we started and found a challenge waiting to be addressed.  

TechGraph: Could you shed light on Gnani.ai innovative product portfolio? 

Ganesh Gopalan: We develop core IP, and we have our proprietary stack for all key technologies starting from ASR, NLP to speech engines. Our solutions include AI-Based Enterprise Customer Care Automation, Virtual Assistants (voice and text), and Voice biometrics. All these products help reduce the workload of a Contact Centre while driving up efficiency and customer experience.  

We have recently launched an on-device voice assistant that allows the users to interact with their devices seamlessly without the need for any internet connection. The speech models are installed on the device itself that negates the need for any internet connection. 

TechGraph: The past few months have been challenging for businesses. How did you deal with the pandemic? 

Ganesh Gopalan: COVID did pose some major challenges for the businesses across sectors, however; it did help accelerate the digitization trend as well. We witnessed an increase in interest and projects in AI by sectors like BFSI, Aviation, IT, Defence, and Telecom. 

We have been working with clients to keep their contact centers up and running and to drive efficiency by simplifying the automation process.

TechGraph: What is the kind of growth did Gnani register during this period? Is there any plan to enter new verticals too? 

Ganesh Gopalan: We saw a threefold increase in inquiries for Conversational AI-based solutions in the last few months. With technology becoming a crucial part we believe digital is the future. We are currently focusing on building our strengths in BFSI, FMCG, Media OTT, and E-commerce. 

TechGraph: What is the roadmap for Gnani.ai going forward? 

Ganesh Gopalan: We are focused on delivering value to our customers across the country through our proprietary AI technologies. 

The long-term milestones are in alignment with our corporate mission which is to help the enterprise sector derive the benefits of digitization through AI-based speech and Natural Language Technologies. We are currently expanding to markets like the US, APAC, and the Middle East.