Vernacular.ai strengthens workforce by 4x, hires key leadership in preparation for next phase of growth
Leading Voice AI startup, Vernacular.ai, today has announced the appointment of two new members to its leadership team based out of Bangalore, India. Gangadhar Kodandaram has been appointed as the Chief Revenue Officer and Ankit Jain as Vice President for Product Management. Both Gangadhar and Ankit will work directly with Sourabh Gupta, CEO and Co-founder of Vernacular.ai, to grow the business and spearhead global expansion starting with the SouthEast Asian markets.
In a backdrop of retrenchments, pay-cuts and overall economic slowdown, Vernacular.ai has strengthened its workforce by 4x in FY2020, while staying on schedule with appraisals, bonuses and promotions to ensure their employees are taken care of, and stay motivated to succeed. The start-up will continue with this strategy, hiring aggressively in 2021 to expand its workforce by 2x, closing key leadership positions and senior roles.
Speaking on the appointments, Sourabh Gupta, CEO and Co-founder of Vernacular.ai commented, “I am delighted to welcome Gangadhar and Ankit to join Vernacular.ai’s growing team of talented individuals. They are experienced leaders committed to growing the company and delivering value in terms of expanding our customer-base and enhancing our products to suit our clients’ needs. As we continue to make headway towards becoming the world’s most immersive Voice AI platform, we are glad to have new leaders like Gangadhar and Ankit back this dream, bringing to the table their multifunctional expertise in emerging technologies.”
Prior to joining Vernacular.ai, Gangadhar was with Microsoft India building the healthcare vertical and also ran government business for South India driving AI, Cloud and Digital Transformation. With over 17 years of experience in sales and strategic partnerships, he is also an Advisor to start-ups and serves as Hon Director at Make-A-Wish foundation. At Vernacular.ai, he will be responsible for building a world-class sales team and execute on the sales and marketing priorities in addition to spearheading global expansion plans into APAC, EMEA and US geographies.
“I am thrilled to be joining Vernacular.ai at this juncture where we are at an inflection point,” Gangadhar commented. “Voice tech is becoming an important weapon in the CX arsenal for B2C organizations focused on delivering a great customer experience, and we are solving this very critical problem for our customers. I am extremely excited by the traction we are seeing across industries and geographies and looking forward to working with partners and customers to build Vernacular.ai into a global brand and the one to reckon with in the Voice AI space. Opportunities are immense, and we need to ride the wave and execute at great speed,” he added.
Ankit Jain, who joins as VP for Product Management, will be leading a team of product managers and specialists, to drive concept launches and further fine-tune and enhance Vernacular.ai’s product roadmap, while stimulating innovation within the team. Prior to joining Vernacular.ai, Ankit was the Co-founder and CEO of Y Combinator funded AI Startup. An alumnus from Amazon India early Product Team, Ankit joins with 10 years of experience in product management and has also been a part of multiple 0 to 1 Enterprise SaaS journeys in Asia and US.
Commenting on his appointment, Ankit said, “I am thrilled to be coming on board at Vernacular.ai. Cracking voice is 100 times more difficult than cracking chat. The end-user compares their experience of talking to a voice bot with their experience of talking to a human agent, so the bar for CX is very high. Our platform strategy will revolve around improving our ability to handle human-like conversations in multiple Indian and Global languages ,where we are building ground-up datasets and capabilities for better Speech to Text, Text to Speech and Intent Capture Engine to offer world class CX to end-customers. Furthermore, we are going to have vertical centers of excellence with deep solutions around industries like banking and insurance to cater to their unique needs.“
The speech and voice recognition market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.2% from 2019 to 2025 to reach $26.8 billion by 2025. Vernacular.ai provides an AI-based voice automation platform – Vernacular Intelligent Virtual Assistant (VIVA), that helps accelerate engagement strategy and utilises speech recognition and natural language understanding (NLU) technology. As of May 2020, Vernacular.ai secured $5.1 mn in Series A funding led by Exfinity Ventures and Kalaari Capital. AngelList, IAN Fund, and LetsVenture also participated in the round.