Interview with Beerud Sheth, Co-Founder and CEO, Gupshup
On Marketing Technology
MTS: Tell us about your role and how you got here. What inspired you to co-found an intelligent chatbot company?
I am the co-founder and CEO of Gupshup. Many years ago, we saw the emergence of messaging as a platform for advanced services, not just a tool for person-to-person communication. Initially, the only messaging channel available was SMS, but today you have many other IP and voice-based messaging channels. We have developed the most advanced platform to help businesses build conversational experiences. Gupshup has substantial product leadership and customer traction.
MTS: Tell us a bit about Gupshup’s IDE and Flow bot builder?
Gupshup offers different tools for different kinds of bot builders. For technical developers, we offer the IDE bot Builder. It is a cloud-based developer environment that helps developers build advanced bots quickly and easily. For non-technical bot builders, we have the flow bot builder. It is a graphical, WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) tool that enables bot builders to design the flowchart of their conversation, and quickly publish it as a bot.
MTS: How does your training-free NLP platform work?
The training free NLP platform is ideal for building NLP Bots quickly and easily. It is already pre-trained with vast amount of common knowledge. When a developer provides a user query along with possible intents, the NLP platform will automatically classify the query to the right intent. When used in conjunction with an authoring tool – provided by Gupshup – it enables the development of sophisticated NLP bots quickly and easily.
MTS: Chatbot usage is on the rise, how do you see this affecting the omni-channel messaging industry?
The messaging industry continues to evolve from Telecom messaging to IP based messaging. Chatbots enable the development of rich conversation experiences across any messaging channel. The two are very complementary.
MTS: What is your take on the emerging commercial intent engines available today?
There are many tools, but they’re not easy to use. It requires developers to become NLP experts themselves. That’s the reason why we developed the training free NLP platform and the authoring tool.
MTS: What startups are you watching/keen on right now?
It is still early days, so hard to identify a particular breakout at once. We like startups that are focused on enabling incredible advances in technology. That is the approach we are taking ourselves.
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
The marketing stack is going to be completely transformed to now include conversational experiences. We are leading the way by developing chatbot that explain our own products and services to our customers.
MTS: Would you tell us about a standout digital campaign?
A chatbot explaining Bot development and Gupshup products and services to our customers. Customer delight was measured through feedback, which was great.
MTS: As a business leader of an AI-centric firm, how do you see current AI systems evolving over the next five years?
Becoming a lot smarter, autonomous, self-learning, independent, collaborative (with other AI systems), etc.
This is How I Work
MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Smartphones, headsets, and bots.
MTS: What is your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
Podcasts at drive time enable constant learning.
MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
Burn math class (a fresh take on learning and teaching math).
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
The shortest path to success is not a straight line.
MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
Innovating my way out of problems.
MTS: Thank you Beerud! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
I’m a serial tech entrepreneur and investor who likes creating and investing in innovative products thatengage millions of users.
Gupshup is a smart messaging platform that enables developers to build messaging bots and services that work across all channels. It offers bot developers cross-platform APIs, hosting, monitoring, and related services for bot building. Gupshup has delivered over 150 Billion messages and supports over 4 billion messages per month. It is being used by ~30,000 developers worldwide.
TeamChat is a smart messaging app. Unlike plain-text messages, smart messages contain structured fields and interactive elements that enable richer user interactions. It also enables more advanced bots and customizable workflows. Teamchat is available on all mobile and web platforms and is used by 2000+ orgs worldwide.
The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.