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BW Businessworld

Breaking The Language Barrier: Ankit Prasad, Founder &CEO, Bobble AI Technologies

Prasad believes “a culture of innovation and the freedom to execute,” is the key to a bright future.

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The world now lives on clouds and almost every known dimension of life on earth is constantly impacted by the internet of things (IoT), big data and artificial intelligence (AI). 

This is a $40 billion industry with ample opportunities, but also one in which competition is the toughest. Basically it is an input method editing software industry, with products like keyboard, voice, camera and languages content. It goes without saying that this business that revolves around computer software is dominated primarily by Google and Microsoft right across the globe. 

BW Businessworld’s 40 under 40 list includes a promising young enterpriser from this realm of business, Ankit Prasad, founder of the cutting-edge artificial intelligence group, Bobble AI Technologies. Bobble AI has been able to successfully sustain itself in the trade, notwithstanding tough competition.

In times of stiff competition, staying ahead depends on strategy and smart and timely decisions. “Well the major decision we took was going from B to C to B to B to C model,” says Prasad. Bobble AI began as a B2C company, with some innovative products which were distributed directly to consumers via the Play Store App. 

The company soon realised though, that it was in a category where the revenue per user was not much because the cost of distributing the application to users was high. “So unique level economics was not working,” recalls Prasad, “We decided to change our strategy from going directly to consumers.”

Bobble AI began partnering with existing consumer brands like OEMs, who were already selling phones to consumers for example and had millions of active devices in India. Bobble AI reloaded their application onto these devices. As an input AI group, Bobble has had a remarkable impact on Indian society, where the prevalence of a myriad languages works as a barrier between people. The company has support for 41 languages, including 37 Indian languages, three Indonesian languages and English. 

Indians experiencing the internet for the first time via smartphones often hit a roadblock because of the language barrier. Bobble AI helps them interact with this large ecosystem through its designs. Keyboard, voice or camera designed by Bobble AI make it easier for the less initiated to choose inputs. Quantum technologies make it easier for users to access and get exposure to the internet in their own native language. 

Prasad believes in learning by doing. Bobble AI, therefore, is not afraid to make mistakes. For a technology platform, matching the pace of rapid transformations is, of course, a great challenge. “Of course,” says Prasad, “in the technology industry, change is the constant. So it’s changing like anything, new technologies come up every day so the company is every day coming up with a very challenging approach. The only way to match up is by creating and innovating culture.”

Prasad believes that “a culture of innovation where every single individual is empowered to innovate and to think out-of-the-box and to have the freedom to execute,” is the key to a bright future. “That’s the strength that we have,” says Prasad, adding, “We are agile and very innovative. We have to move and we have to act fast and we’re not afraid.”

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