We talked to Anshul Shrivastava of AxleWeb Technologies about developing chatbots for web interface and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Anshul Shrivastava: Thanks for asking. Everyone is doing great.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded AxleWeb Technologies.
Anshul Shrivastava: In 2013, three years after I joined Mindtree, I had this strong feeling of doing something of my own, as I was good in Technology and have built products and solutions for my company without prior experience of doing any sort of business before. I incorporated a partnership firm with one of my teammates who has good knowledge of programming, and we started building websites for small businesses in the local area in 2013 – 2014. Together we started working on our new idea and even managed to hire a few employees.
It was all going well, but then I got an opportunity for onsite to London, UK, to work for a big media broadcasting company where I learned a lot about website development, mobile app development, AR and VR, and chatbots, Alexa, and more. I started working on freelancing websites and started creating chatbots for small businesses.
The idea took off, and more and more people started contacting me for chatbots and Alexa skill development. So, I decided to resign from my current job and start my chatbot, digital assistant, and Alexa skill development company. In June 2019, I started this company, AxleWeb Technologies focusing specifically on chatbots, Alexa skills, and AI-Powered Digital Assistants.
How does AxleWeb Technologies innovate?
Anshul Shrivastava: We help businesses implement chatbots and voice bots. We keep an eye on the latest digital trends and try to contribute wherever possible. We have a team of very strong and talented people who are experts in the area of AI and chatbots. We work with various clients, and we build solutions as per their requirements.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Anshul Shrivastava: Initially, it was a bit difficult when the corona was just started in Feb – March 2020, but after that, things actually started improving for us. We started seeing more and more enquiries about chatbots, and digital assistants as more and more people try to be less human dependent and more automation dependent, so corona actually helped us grow our business.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Anshul Shrivastava: When I was running my first startup, the decision to leave it midway and pursue the onsite opportunity was a difficult decision that even caused our startup to fail. But learning from that experience was so great that it helped me build my new startup from the ground up with solid foundations. I have learned the basics of how to hire great team members, how to get work done from a team, and how to create a product. I have learned how to create and host websites, mobile apps, and most importantly, how to sell.
This helped me when I started my second startup, which is AxleWeb Technologies. As I knew how to hire the right team members, I prepared for it even before I incorporated this company. I already had clients through my freelancing business and had some experience in managing finances. Therefore, I was sort of prepared for the upcoming challenges and was geared up to tackle them.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Anshul Shrivastava: We use lots of tools such as Clickup, Jira, Trello, Hubspot, SumoPayroll, Slack, Google Workspace, TimenEye, Process Street, etc.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Anshul Shrivastava: Companies like Haptik and YellowMessenger are our competitors. Our focus is on building custom chatbots using the latest tools and tech available. We provide our solutions in a fraction of the cost of what other big players are charging. We work very closely with our customers and make sure our customer achieves what they want to achieve using the technologies like chatbots and Digital assistants.
Your final thoughts?
Anshul Shrivastava: The potential of artificial intelligence and machine learning to enhance the experience of communications between companies and customers is vast, and this will be a massive opportunity for everyone in this space.
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