Rashi Gupta was always fascinated by the sciences. Double master’s from IIT Delhi, Gupta pursued her doctorate from the University of Helsinki, Finland, and holds two decades-long professional experience. She co-founded her conversational startup, an AI-powered platform called Rezo.AI with Manish Gupta in 2017 and has been donning several hats at the company as a chief data scientist and a leader. Rezo’s AI-Powered Contact Center supports multiple languages and enriches human agents by automating repetitive processes, allowing them to focus on high-value tasks and enhancing customer experience. The company which already serves more than 15mn- 45mn customer interactions monthly, is now looking to tap over 260 million users in rural areas.
In an interview with SheThePeople, Rashi Gupta discusses her startup Rezo. AI, the challenges she faced in the field, what sets their brand apart, and the significance of being a woman leader in the field of STEM.
Data Scientist Rashi Gupta discusses her journey
How did you develop an interest in the field of STEM?
I have always had a knack for problem-solving, and STEM as an area attracts a curious mind with the native desire to discover innovative solutions, which piqued my interest in the subject. My interest peaked when I realised that I could live, work and develop cutting-edge technology that can make many lives easier and generate value for people’s lives. Another benefit of knowing STEM is that it is very mouldable, as we can work on different types of projects which are not commonly seen in other fields. All it requires is identifying and solving a problem using technology and creativity.
Rocket Women Aims To Inspire Girls To Consider STEM: Vinita Madill
What led you to create Rezo.AI? What were the primary challenges you faced in starting a company like yours and what are the obstacles in day-to-day operations?
I always had a knack for starting a venture. I was working largely in a data analytics company and Manish was the CTO of a big travel tech firm. We saw the gap between companies and their customers, and we realised a huge potential in the customer experience segment very early on. We took some time to plan things out and then took the plunge, which landed us where we are today.
The primary challenge we faced was building an enterprise-grade product with mass usability and scalability. We took two years to develop the product to be sure of its capabilities. From then on, it has become just about how to custom fit the solution to the unique needs of our clients, something which has enabled us to improve the product over time.
“The underlying challenge that will always be there while working in a market as diverse as India is to make the product flexible and rigorous simultaneously. However, we have always taken this head-on.”
The challenges are monumental because India is a land of more than 21 official languages and an astronomical 19500 dialects as per the latest data. We live in more than 10 languages and are building language models capturing multiple dialects for 20 others.
What differentiates Rezo.AI from its competitors?
We have our in-house curated NLP, ML, and AI models that automate the actions as well as actions with better speed, scale, and efficiency as compared to a live agent. The five significant elements that keep us growing are our powerful NLU and NLP Engine, State-of-the-Art Tech Stack, No-code Unified Platform, Proprietary Number Crunching Methodologies and Centralised Mail and Automated Reporting. These areas and specialities help us stand out in the ever-growing industry.
From when you started in 2017 to now, which factors have impacted your growth as a woman leader in business?
From when I started in 2017 to now, the factor which has assisted me as a women leader is constantly being at the receiving end and interacting with leaders within my network and meeting industry experts, which made me constantly learn new skills, mindset and other good traits which I felt might be necessary to grow.
“Managing large teams always involves a lot of uncertainty and stress, which I continue to maintain throughout my life and has also propelled my growth as a women leader.”
You’ve been successfully donning many hats at the organisation. What drives you when it comes to managing distinctive roles?
I have multiple departments under my belt, as all entrepreneurs have, but I have already managed many people in my previous roles, which has assisted me in managing my team at Rezo. Experience works in my favour. Having leading brands as our clients who are leveraging our AI-Powered CX cloud to deliver the best to their customers and knowing that the work we do at Rezo.ai is disrupting the waves of contact centres and creating a positive impact in the market are some tremendous drivers.
As a leader and mentor, how do you suggest the Indian market can empower more women in leadership positions?
The Indian market can empower women in leadership positions by promoting workplace policies which enable areas like confidence building and leadership training, along with the ability to network with women leaders and create safe as well as comfortable workspaces for women. Acquiring knowledge and skills necessary for advancing are some key elements to expanding women’s leadership.
“The Indian market can empower women in leadership positions by promoting workplace policies which support confidence building and leadership training for women.”
How do you intend to revolutionise the Indian market with your future growth plans digitally?
At Rezo, we’re driven by a single ambition; Harness the potential of AI-powered contact centres to provide customers, employees, and agents with frictionless and delightful experiences. We envision creating an open ecosystem based on the convergence of technological innovation and customer satisfaction through Rezo’s next-generation AI-Powered Contact Center. We plan to digitally revolutionise the Indian market by creating a Saas product which can converse in all the languages and dialects in India. We believe that taking on complex challenges and solving the most difficult problems will help us evolve and create a truly intelligent product suitable for urban as well as rural areas in India.
In an interview with us earlier, a space scientist shared that what she believed is required globally to attract more women towards STEM is a change of mindset. She said, “Girls decide to leave STEM by the age of 11 when they’re in an education system where the choice of subjects severely limits their options for working in other fields later on. We need to change the typical stereotype that someone who works in tech is usually male and nerdy, and encourage more conversations where women are included.” What factors do you suggest education systems can adopt when it comes to inspiring women in STEM?”
Children are missing out on the skills they need throughout their lives to become more effective citizens and change-makers with quality STEM education. Girls, in particular, can cultivate lateral thinking, problem-solving and innovation through STEM. Our education system must give girls exposure to STEM and other fields so that they can identify the space they’re dealing with, and by the time they are done with schooling, they will already be at a certain level which can assist them in their career. We can start workshops and summits at the school level where they can meet and have interactive sessions with women leaders so that children understand the importance of STEM education.
“To inspire change, we need to have more conversations about women leaders in science. At an educational level, we can start workshops and summits at schools where girls can meet and have interactive sessions with women leaders so that they understand the importance of STEM education and have women role models to look up to.”
What advice would you give aspiring women entrepreneurs in the field as yours?
My advice to women on their path to entrepreneurship would be to always look forward and face their challenges head-on. They have to lead by example as their team looks up to them. Knowing what they are capable of and their worth is very crucial. They should always be open to constructive criticism that can assist their growth.