We are excited to announce the appointment of Vijay Raman as Koopid's first Chief Product Officer. Vijay is a software industry veteran with over 30 years of experience working in leading high technology and cloud-based companies. Building on early first-hand experience in AI, he has led diverse teams in creating products that deliver digital and voice-based transactions at scale. We recently caught up with Vijay to learn more about his new role and hear his vision for Koopid’s product strategy.
Q. Tell us a little bit about your career and what led you to the Chief Product Officer role at Koopid.
I started my career deeply engaged in technology, and was fascinated by the potential of speech recognition. After a number of years fiddling with the bits, I discovered that the management of product teams was both impactful and interesting, and started growing along that path. AI was becoming an essential ingredient in interactive systems and I really enjoyed the process of learning, teaching and innovating with my teams as we created new automation products using AI.
Today, the massive potential for leveraging cloud services and AI to provide enterprise service and sales channels to mobile customers has attracted a huge number of participants - the big AI platform players, legacy companies and any number of startups. At Koopid, I found a rare combination of brilliance, domain experience and depth in AI which attracted me. My role as Chief Product Officer is to guide our team in seizing a significant chunk of this massive opportunity, and I am very excited indeed.
Q. What are you most looking forward to in this new role?
The company was founded on a vision of AI-powered digital channels extending and complementing the traditional contact center, resulting in a modern and elegant customer service experience. This vision is achieving traction with enterprise customers and I am confident this is due to our unique market perspective. My goal is to anticipate the needs of the new enterprise customer and the new digitally savvy end-user, and meet them there. I am looking forward to listening very closely to our customers, shaping our platform to support their growth, and hearing "Wow!" from them often.
The Koopid team is one of the most satisfying aspects of my role - working with brilliant, skilled and focused people brings a whole new snap to every day, and I hardly need my coffee any more! The challenges of the day are always tackled and resolved quickly, without fanfare. With this team, I am confident in our ability to innovate, scale and deliver outstanding results to our enterprise customers.
Q. In 2020, the digital-first customer experiences accelerated faster than any other year. What's next?
Indeed digital-first has really accelerated in the past year. The enterprise finds it easier to manage digital engagement and the consumer has been receptive, given their familiarity with digital social channels. Digital channel providers (WhatsApp, Twitter, Google, etc.) are now turning their attention to the massive problem of enterprise-consumer communication and transaction. Interestingly voice phone calls are still dominant, while voice input is creeping in through mobile devices, browsers and smart speakers.
We don't know how it will shake out, but it is clear the channel of communication consumers will choose depends on their demographic, the specific task they need to accomplish, the time-sensitivity of the task, whether they are at home, at work or in their car, their preference of channel and modality, and so on - very similar to how they engage today with friends and family. Enterprises are acknowledging this trend, and have been increasing investment internally and through technology partners to stay abreast of this rapid explosion in customer engagement alternatives, while still preserving security and personalization in the conversations. The consumer will certainly be a beneficiary from this trend towards flexible and customer-led engagement.
Q. What is one piece of technology you couldn't live without, and why?
My answer is unfortunately no different from that of every other teenager in the country! That one piece of essential technology for me is my phone aka pocket computer. It allows me such overwhelming access to the universe - to read, write, muse, explore, listen, learn, chat, and talk - that it has become an essential part of my daily life.
Q. Your best tip or trick for managing everyday work and life.
Compartmentalize! At work and home, focus on one thing at a time and give that its fair measure of time and attention. Tuck the rest away, not forgotten but to be addressed at another time or on another day.
Welcome to the team Vijay!