Our AI-enabled conversational engagement platform helps brands design rich customer journeys: Gupshup CTO

New Delhi, Aug 17: When edtech firm Doubtnut found that students with limited access to fast mobile internet had problems uploading pictures of their queries to its website or mobile app, it turned to conversational engagement platform Gupshup.
It was a gamechanger. Gupshup, says Chief Technology Officer Krishna Tammana, helped Doubtnut build a smart chatbot that enabled students to simply send their doubts via WhatsApp and get back links to videos with answers to their questions in a language of their choice. All under 10 seconds.
“Doubtnut registered a 95 per cent user satisfaction rate. The number of daily users rose by 224 per cent. And Doubtnut’s tutor-student engagement rate jumped by 260 per cent,” Tammana told PTI.
As tech-based solutions replace tedious processes, Doubtnut is one of the more than 45,000 brands that rely on Gupshup to reach and engage with millions of consumers globally. Besides, the platform powers nine billion-plus messages every month, Tammana said.
“As a leading global conversational engagement platform, the company helps businesses reach and connect better with consumers anytime, anywhere. Brands use our AI-enabled conversational engagement platform to design rich, personalized conversational experience journeys across marketing, commerce, and support workflows,” he explained.
With people spending more and more time on smartphones and other digital devices, using popular social media and messaging channels such as WhatsApp, Instagram and SMS extensively, brands are working overtime to align more closely with consumer needs and preferences.
“To support the scale, we need a cloud platform that offers speed, agility of deployment, high availability, easy scalability, and reliable performance. Also, given our customer base spans 40-plus countries, we need a cloud provider with a truly global presence to ensure latency and adherence to regional/local compliance requirements.” Tammana said.
With Amazon Web Services (AWS) as one of its cloud infrastructure providers, the San Francisco-based Gupshup is addressing varied needs of enterprise customers. At the same time, cloud native technologies and managed services are aiding in capacity management and resource optimisation, and improving cost visibility, the Gupshup CTO said.
With digital in the mainstream, rehauling customer experience (CX) strategy has become key to driving richer, more personalised, and truly interactive experiences for consumers across touchpoints.
According to Tammana, businesses realise the need to engage one-on-one via personalised conversations with consumers, and to be accessible around the clock, while keeping cost in check, for better and faster growth. Businesses that do not act swiftly now may be left behind, the seasoned tech veteran added.
Around the world, and increasingly in emerging markets – mobile-first ecosystems like India, Brazil, or Indonesia – messaging is the primary mode of digital engagement for millions.
Acutely aware of this, brands are doubling down on conversational messaging through voice, video, and text to reach consumers on popular messaging and social media channels like WhatsApp and Instagram, Tammana noted.
“With new features and capabilities in these platforms, businesses are setting up a digital storefront within these channels, delivering an end-to-end shopping experience to consumers. Thousands of brands are already engaging with consumers through these channels today.”
Going forward, the speed and scale of such new-age conversational engagement will grow, he said.
“In the next 12-24 months, we expect millions of businesses to jump onto this conversational engagement wave,” Tammana said.
The company — backed by marquee investors such as Fidelity Management and Research, Tiger Global, Think Investments, Malabar Investments and Harbor Spring Capital — has a multi-cloud strategy in place to deploy and maintain carrier-grade network infrastructure. It has invested heavily in information security, automation, observability, and monitoring tools to better support enterprise customers, improve agility, accelerate innovation, and speed up the time-to-market, Tammana said.
“To support our rapid growth, we also leverage technologies like Kubernetes with micro-service architecture and auto-scale. This allows our customers to manage their growing needs without interruption and without any manual intervention.”
Amongst Gupshup’s many success stories, he said, is online realty platform NoBroker.
Gupshup developed a WhatsApp chatbot, which enabled property owners to interact and upload photos directly via the messaging platform, the process as simple as sending pictures to a friend or a family member on WhatApp.
This replaced a time-consuming and cumbersome process that previously required the NoBroker team to reach out to their customers offline, collect photos and upload it for them.
The overall time to upload photos for property listing has been reduced from three days to just six minutes, Tammana said.
“NoBroker saw a 2.8x increase in property sales and rentals, with 20x annualised return on investment.”
The need for such solutions, he said, is set to rise in coming months. In challenging economic environments, businesses are expected to prioritise conversational engagement technologies to manage costs effectively by offloading workloads to intelligent services like conversational AI bots.
In his view, it is imperative for businesses, both old and new age, to improve efficiency and productivity while delivering top-notch experience – enabling them to leapfrog the competition, and stay ahead.
“My key priority is to significantly enhance our AI capabilities in text, voice, and video and dramatically enhance customer experience. In addition, I am also focused on ensuring that the technology and engineering teams are deeply interlinked with the product, sales, and customer success teams to support Gupshup’s product-led growth and market expansion,” Tammana said.
Another key focus area, he elaborated, is seamlessly integrating teams from the companies Gupshup has acquired in the last few months, to unlock deeper synergies and optimize value creation for its enterprise customers.
(This story has been produced by PTI in collaboration with Amazon Web Services). (PTI)