Predominantly, online shopping lacks the in-store experience of salesmen helping customers with guided discovery, contextual product recommendations and dynamic real-time promotions/discounts based on buyers’ intent. SeekNShop aims to bring this experience to online/mobile for e-commerce businesses which will improve sales metrics. The company is aimed at addressing the discovery and decision-making gaps in most shopping and enterprise domains (e.g. e-commerce, automotive, real estate, finance, pharma, and healthcare).
The flagship products of SeeknShop Inc. include DeepSeek which is a natural language-based text/voice search service that is pluggable into any website/app or kiosk for any business domains, SeekChat which is integrated with search and provides a chat-based search and conversational recommendations. The company also provides e-commerce specific services such as inventory insights, search merchandising, the ability to customize search, search experience, and visual search.
Additionally, Sarath who serves as the CEO and Founder of SeeknShop, runs another startup, IntentBI which provides Natural Language Reporting and Voice-based Reporting to enable business users to query data using English or other languages on any flat file or any format of data without the need to rely on complex reporting systems or developers or analysts. This enables them to make business decisions in few days based on the insights from data rather than wait for turn-around time in days for getting a report.
An Experienced Business Pioneer
SSVS Sarath is a seasoned innovator with over 13 years of experience in machine learning, data science, and product management. He comes with a vast experience in consumer experience, and enterprises while working with companies like Microsoft, Amazon, CA technologies and other startups. Sarath currently holds 4 patents and plans to file 20 more for both the companies. He primarily takes care of Product Vision, Strategy, Roadmap, Sales and Customer Engagement apart from defining all the cultural and corporate aspects of the company.
Recreating Better Shopping Experiences
The best in-store experience for a customer is when the personal attention of the salesman is given through guided product discovery, context-based recommendations, and product/customer support. This is a common pattern while shopping but this isn’t possible in e-commerce, just because of the sheer scale to be catered to millions of active users – the cost involved in employing humans for providing similar support as above. SeeknShop aims to recreate this experience by leveraging AI and the power of live conversations of customers with some patent-pending techniques. The benefit the company provides is for medium to enterprise-level e-commerce customers, which is being enabled on online/mobile channels leveraging best in class algorithms giving near-human experience. To provide users with the capability of searching the way they explain in a physical store, SeekNShop came up with a Natural Language Search/Voice Search API (DeepSeek) which is available via chat/text/voice and is pluggable into any interface seamlessly with less than two days of integration. Furthermore, the company’s commitments to customers are to offer more than 98% search relevance/accuracy, 30% improvement in conversions for specific searches, and 80% reduction in ‘NO’ result or ‘Bad’ result pages.
Moreover, at IntentBI, Sarath’s team leverages AI and Natural Language Understanding and delivers a capability for business or non-tech users – a mechanism to converse with their data like people do with another human, and get insights and charts which are highly accurate within 200 milliseconds. This reduces the turn-around time to make business decisions and also reduces the cost of complex reporting systems and skilled tech resources.
Learning Through Accelerating Career Graph
Having worked in enterprises like Microsoft and Amazon for close to a decade and in leadership roles in startups have helped Sarath understand that a leader is someone who has insight and vision into the situations around him, something he sees that others cannot see and can motivate people around him to believe in that vision and work towards making it a reality. Sarath has worked in leadership roles for the past 5-6 years in Product Management, Go-to-Market Strategies and has delivered projects/products that are both innovative and have delivered customer impact.
Strategizing Success Against Challenges
Sarath says, hiring and sales are the challenges that occur in the early stages of any company. However, SeeknShop and IntentBI have cracked both these challenges with some useful industry and university partnerships and this has helped the company get to a stage of the current scale. With digital marketing explosion and various tools around sales and marketing, it is much easier for any company to gain early traction quickly these days. However, in most cases, since generic models don’t always work and as an entrepreneur, one has to figure out the hybrid yet, simple model that would work for their business, which could involve identifying the right customer segment to quickly expand or identifying the right price points or figuring out the customer reach and brand awareness.
Empowering Leadership with Vision and Innovation
Sarath believes, “Innovation is what distinguishes a leader from others. A leader is always able to envision a solution to a problem even though it is unconventional, unique and sometimes even controversial and works towards making it a reality thereby inspiring others to achieve it collectively by learning more and doing more and empowering them to accomplish their goals.”
Commitment to Deliver Consistency
In order to innovate, it is important to find an appropriate business value, product-market fit and be able to market the same with an ample amount of customer reach.
SeekNShop.IO is one of the very few Voice Search and Natural Language Search-as-a-Service companies in the market that can commit for more than 98% accuracy and capable of handling any number of product attributes/specs/descriptions/unstructured text, etc. Sarath explains that the product algorithm is continuously updated based not only on user derived inputs but also through self-learning. This ensures that the product maintains its consistency, performance, and accuracy.
Advancing with Disruptive Technologies
Artificial Intelligence is the new electricity as quoted by several pioneers in the field. Although SeeknShop is just starting to see some intelligent data-oriented solutions, it is still far from true AI. “A child can grasp and learn anything quite quickly whereas to make a machine learn the same it would take a humongous amount of data because the approach for machine learning is still evolving. Evolution, Intuition and a few other capabilities of the mind have to be brought into the field to experience true AI,” said Sarath. SeeknShop and IntentBI, however, have advanced quite well so far in building industrial AI and Big Data Analytics.
Artificial Intelligence: Fundamental of Future Industry
The current outlook for AI is quite promising for commercial applications. These disruptive technologies will become the bread and butter of the technology industry in the next few decades.
Sarath asserts that AI is the new electricity, data is the new fuel and IoT is the new engine. These technologies will become more pervasive and influence digital living in drastic ways. The ease of doing daily chores has simplified drastically within the last 5 years. The world has seen a technology explosion in the last decade like never before and it is only going to grow exponentially every year. From SeekNShop.IO’s point of view, the team would want to be part of this technological wave, keep leveraging its expertise to build innovative solutions to ease the way they make discovery and decision-making across all daily life tasks of people, ranging from shopping and tour planning to financial decisions and buying an apartment, and the company will continue to work towards this vision.
Advice to Seek Balance and Self-Motivation
Sarath advises budding business leaders to measure the market size of the problem, validate their solution is impactful enough for solving the problem and have belief in themselves and their respective teams to deliver value by solving such problems. According to him, “If a leader is not balanced and self-motivated, the team is bound to have difficulties on the path of delivering value.”