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Artificial Intelligence Take-Over: Rashid Khan The co-founders are investing in growth in new geographies, product development and scaling operations ahead of the curve

By Saptak Bardhan

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Yellow.ai
Rashid Khan, co-founder and chief product officer, Yellow.AI

Completing his Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and Engineering in 2015 from NIT Warangal, Rashid started working with EdgeVerve Systems where he was working on building IoT based backends. He left within four months to join Raghu and Kishore as the co-founder of Yellow.ai. Being a first-generation founder, Rashid is no longer a majority shareholder in the business.

Khan has a three part core belief system which helps him navigate both his professional and personal life: Persistence, showing up everyday and be curious.

"I've always been interested in entrepreneurship and have been following Y Combinator and Hacker News since college. I met Raghu and Kishore, my other co-founders, in 2015 at a hackathon at NIT Warangal. In fact, Raghu is an alumnus of my college. They were already working on Yellow.ai, then known as Yellow Messenger. One key frustration that led to the birth of Yellow.ai was that they were both fed up with waiting on a call for hours and hours only to not have the query resolved. The app they were working on was built such that customers could interact with enterprises over chat without having to wait in a long queue over phone calls for simple tasks like making an inquiry or registering a complaint," said Rashid Khan, co-founder and chief product officer, Yellow.ai.

Khan stated during the hackathon, Raghu and Kishore gave the participants a problem statement for Yellow.ai and that's how he got acquainted with the other co-founders. He started working with them on the platform and solution as a side venture. By January 2016, just nine months after the soft launch, Yellow.ai had 50,000 customers interacting with the product. The very same year, the company rolled out a model of the application for B2B companies. The model of the software and platform could be leveraged by enterprises for voice and chat interactions.

Yellow.ai is an enterprise-grade conversational AI platform powered by Dynamic AI agents that enables businesses to offer enriching, delightful and personalized interactions with the customers and employees across their preferred choice of channel, language and time. The Dynamic AI agents enable to complete end-to-end transaction by integrating to RPA systems that automate digital (text), conversational (voice) and unstructured (documents) workflows, delivering a connected experience across all human interactions in real time, across channels and at scale. Moreover, the Yellow.ai platform hands over the conversation to the human agent, empowering the agent with the contextual data and interconnected knowledge base to deliver accurate responses, faster when an interaction requires human attention.

"Our solution is simple - elevate customer and employee experience via automation for enterprises across the globe on chat and voice. We've seen customers adding more channels, moving from just chat to both chat and voice etc. Added to this, our customers have solved real business problems - reduction in support agent costs, improvement in CSAT and ESAT, higher upsell/cross-sell rates," added Khan.

According to Khan, the company continues to grow healthy in terms of ARR. Overall, the growth has been two times last year, even in challenging times. India, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Middle East continue to scale up whereas the North America market has started scaling. Khan states that the company has added good enterprise logos across industries. Existing customers have expanded more than 40 per cent of its existing investment on additional channels like Google Business Messages, Instagram, apart from more languages and use-cases. Yellow.ai has strengthened its VoiceAI product that was launched in 2021 and it is now two times more accurate and reliable. The company also launched its proprietary new DynamicNLP™ which is the industry's largest unsupervised learning module - enabling the ML model to learn from its large pool of actual conversations and improve go-live times by 97 per cent.

The company is enjoying healthy gross margins on its core platform offerings like most SaaS companies. The co-founders are investing in growth in new geographies, product development and scaling operations ahead of the curve. Given the company's majority employee base in India, Yellow.ai enjoys cost advantages and has good cost discipline.

The company has a global presence, serving customers in the APAC, EMEA, Latin American, and North American regions. It has a diverse and talented team located in India, Indonesia, Abu Dhabi, London, Brazil, and the United States.

"North America is a key growth market for us, as it is the largest software buying market. We have established a strong customer base and are consistently adding new clients every quarter. Our focus on customer success has allowed us to build a strong foundation of referenceable customers. In addition, we see great potential for growth in the Voice AI market, as phone calls are still the primary mode of customer support. We are actively working on expanding our offerings in this area," added Khan.

Yellow.ai is automating functions ranging from marketing, customer support, conversational commerce to employee experience across HR and ITSM while being uniquely positioned to amplify the efforts toward cost reduction by enabling enterprises to automate its customer support and employee engagement interactions with Dynamic AI agents that work across channels and in languages of the consumer's choice. The company has 1000-plus customers, spread over 85 countries across verticals. Some of its customers are Domino's, Sephora, Hyundai, MG Motors, Sony India, Biogen International, Edelweiss Broking, Siemens Limited, Food Panda, Zalora, Zenyum, JD.ID, Carrefour, Kuwait Food Company (Americana), Choithrams, Amouage Oman, Arabian Radio Network, Bharat Petroleum, and Waste Connections US. Yellow.ai has raised institutional money over three rounds upwards of $100 million.
Saptak Bardhan

Former Trainee Writer

Former Trainee Writer
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