Start-up In Spotlight: How the Challenges of One Venture Led To the Establishment of Enthu.ai?

Read a tale of failures, learnings and entrepreneurship experiences of Tushar Jain, Founder of Enthu.ai

A few days back, I received an email from a start-up offering “perfect content to businesses written with the help of AI.” Just imagine- as a content strategist and writer myself, how would I have felt about some technology taking up my place. Surely, I would not like to receive such emails in the future, and perhaps the company needs to work on its marketing strategy because from nowhere, I am an ideal prospect for them.

However, it took me less time to realize that it’s not just the field of content writing that is being haunted by AI.  Many other such jobs are currently in the endangered category and may soon be extinct. For instance, contact centers and support teams. (Why this field flashed through my mind? Well, I myself have worked as technical-support and customer-retention manager at contact-centers in the very initial-stages of my career.)

Through this lens, Artificial Intelligence undeniably seems some monstrous technology.  However, we all know THAT IT’S NOT.

Thankfully, the clouds of uncertainty were cleared by Tushar Jain- a reading buff with an adventurous heart and the Founder of Enthu.ai. 

I had a great time conversing with him and learning about Enthu.ai, his entrepreneurship journey, and some of his personal experiences. Here are few excerpts from our Zoom Call Conversation.

Tushar Jain, Founder of Enthu.ai in conversation with Riya Gaur

Full Interview: https://youtu.be/4W9Vti1jyEg

About Tushar Jain:   An Alumni of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Tushar started his career as an Associate Application Developer. He has also held the positions of Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Marketing for few reputed organizations before finding his first venture, On-page Infotek. Tushar also runs a personal finance blog with the name JainTushar. It was in the year 2020, that he laid the foundation of Enthu.ai  

Books Suggested By Tushar:
Spin Selling by Neil Rackham: To learn consultative selling
Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross: To learn demand generation  

Hobby: Gardening, Reading Books
Dream Vacation: Goa or beachside location to relax and slow down a bit.  

“AI still cannot replace humans… when people start exploring the AI technologies, they feel that now I have the AI technology and now I can replace my humans. That’s not the case. You can cut them down. You can make them better. But you can’t completely put these people out.”, Tushar said, while clarifying my doubts regarding the lack of human interaction in the current trend of extending customer support being adopted by several businesses these days.

He further stated that a lot of people confuse Enthu.ai with AI-based chatbot or VOIP systems. However, that’s not what Enthu.ai does.

So, what exactly Enthu.ai is?

Well, this revolutionary start-up is here to transform how businesses process and analyze conversations with customers. And that’s what makes Enthu.ai our Start-up in Spotlight of the week at Captain’s Tale.

“We are not a replacement for your agents,” tells Tushar. He adds further that it’s a quality monitoring, evaluation, and coaching platform and runs in the background. The task of Enthu is to take the conversations, process them and give actionable insights to improve and highlight opportunity areas for the voice-support teams.

But don’t they say that a movie has more action and drama going on behind the scenes? While discussing what led to the birth of Enthu, Tushar shared that the first brick of the foundation was a failure.

Failure and Challenges Involved of A Previous Hustle Conceived Enthu.ai

Before establishing Enthu, Tushar and his business partner had a SaaS start-up in the search engine optimization field. When Covid struck, he was still working on it, trying to run it by reaching out to people over the phone.

“When Covid hit, naturally our revenue was hit. Times were jittery and we were not sure what to do. And we thought that everyone is at home, so let’s start calling people…. Pitching the software. Let’s start pitching the software ok you can buy this. What is the best way to approach.”

It was exactly this phase that brought forward the issues involved in call-support processes, which most of the time go un-noticed and unserved.

“We hired few people, full time- who were supposed to call our prospects. Now we thought that voice process is about calling and one month in the process and we realized we were stupid to think about that.”

What seemed to be an issue at first turned out to be an opportunity in disguise.

“I knew what was happening before the call. I knew after the call. But to move the needle, which was not moving, I didn’t know what was happening inside the call. That is where the problem started, and we realized that the voice process is not as simple as it sounds. We need to coach our agents that this is the way you need to pitch the product, and this is the way when your competitor objection comes, let’s just say objection around pricing comes… So, I have to get into the conversations. That was the trigger point, and as a founder, I started listening to the conversations and coaching my agents. But very soon I realized, I can’t devote time to this. I hired a full-time person. Put him on coaching, and again the problem was the same.”

The manual and labor-intensive process of evaluation a call made Tushar think about a solution. Another challenge was the gap between the call-sampling and the connection rate. The sampling was low, while the connection rate was high. Tushar also disclosed that typically a contact-center executive makes 1500 calls in an entire month. Out of which, only 5-6 are evaluated. It gives a very vague ratio in terms of analytics and insights.

“..this is not the right…”,mentioned Tushar in the conversation.

“That was the point we started looking for solutions.”

While searching for solutions, they found that most of the tools or apps available were transcription tools. Only a few options were available to quality monitor the calls in bulk. Another problem with the existing tools was that they were not suited for the SMB industry.

“That was the point that we thought that let’s try it out as a project. And what started as a project turned into a full-time opportunity so much that we shut down our previous product, and we thought that to deploy full energy into Enthu.ai, and I think that was a good decision that we took.”

Coming to the sectors that can benefit the most from Enthu, Tushar explained that the best areas of implementation were contact centers, customer-support desks and even the telemarketing sector. In other words, any business that receives a heavy influx of requests through phones can utilize Enthu for bucketing the insights and start coaching their agents.

One of the most fascinating points that Tushar shared with me was how still the sales of complex products and services happened via call. Thus, considering that AI would lead to the death of call centers is quite an exaggeration on the negative line of the graph. AI could be the tool that can evolve this industry and take it to the next level.

When Not Working, Tushar can be found in his garden area, growing organic vegetables and making sure that he is close to nature.

Another significant point made by Tushar was that Artificial Intelligence has already achieved the status of mainstream technology- at least for the mid and high-level socio-economic backgrounds. For businesses, this might be an adoption phase, accelerated by Covid-19. The technology transformations, expected to happen after 10-years, have been achieved in these two years.

As our zoom call progressed, our conversation took few more interesting turns. One of them was learning negotiating- as a life skill.

Biggest learning- Negotiations

When asked what was his most important learning through the journey of the establishment of Enthu, Tushar humbly replied, “I used to consider negotiation as a conflict. Only after getting into entrepreneurship, I realized negotiation is not conflict. There is no personal ego. I have to leave it aside.”

In addition to learning this significant lesson of life, Tushar also shared that while there were several things that they did right with Enthu, one of the major lessons for him to learn was that the perfect time to do anything is now.

“.., it’s not the product that you sell. Focus on your marketing right from day one. The point is that I will make a perfect product, and then I will start selling it. We did the same mistake with the first product. We kept on waiting for the perfect moment, which never came, and Covid happened…There is no right or the wrong thing. Your customers decide what’s wrong what’s right.”

The Future Roadmap

“The vision is we want to help contact centers and improve the quality of their conversations.” says Tushar, who believes that his understanding skills of the consumer base allowed him to make Enthu a success, even during the tough times of Covid.

“Covid was not a good time, but I shouldn’t say this.  It turned out to be a defining moment for Enthu.ai because the seed of Enthu was conceived at the peak of covid…”

He also indicates that in coming times, they may try to introduce CRMs for SMB Contact Centers. On being asked, what is his secret of success even during the tough times of Covid, he humbly mentioned – Survive.

“The biggest thing a business should do is survive. You keep surviving, and one day you become big.”

For Tushar, Enthu is a part of his personal life. While at times he may find himself juggling between his responsibilities, but this is what made Enthu.ai what it is today.

“Take learnings from your first experience and move to the next one and start afresh. To perish is a bad thing.”

Riya
I am a content strategist and writer, and like to post on business, technology, people, places, money---and food!

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