BYJU’S Ritesh Dhoot and Gupshup’s Gaurav Kachhawa crack the content and tech code at TechSparks 2021

In a conversation at TechSparks 2021 hosted by YourStory, BYJU’S Ritesh Dhoot and Gupshup’s Gaurav Kachhawa discussed why organisations should focus on product innovation and content management.

The value of content has gained prominence over the years. Along with technology, content has become the core game-changer for many organisations.

During the 12th edition of YourStory's flagship event TechSparks 2021, Ritesh Dhoot, Vice President of Engineering, BYJU'S; and Gaurav Kachhawa, Chief Product Officer, Gupshup spoke about how startups can marry content with technology while providing their services.

Significance during the pandemic

“Pandemic has been a silver lining for certain businesses, especially online segments. It has pushed the tech to the forefront,” said Ritesh, who leads the K3, ELA, and Vidyartha (Google + BYJU’S) platforms.

He further added that online education has been having a positive effect on the pandemic. A large number of people were seen embracing online learning. The adaptation/consumption of content also became very relevant because people started to realise that while things cannot be bought at home, they can always search for them online.

“The digital penetration and infrastructure evolution across the country, and the availability of content that is relevant to what they are learning in the school and can be done in the gamification manner has opened up a lot of business opportunities for everybody,” Ritesh said.

It has been a productive time for BYJU’S as well as it managed to launch many key products. It introduced subjects like geography, history etc beyond the regular subjects, as well as introduced multilingual support – Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu etc. According to Ritesh, about 15 million students onboarded BYJU’S during the pandemic.

Gaurav too echoed Ritesh and said that the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation throughout the world and in India. “For a conversational messaging platform like Gupshup, we have seen a lot of demand from people to digitalise all their workflows – whether its contactless purchases, marketing, customer support etc,” he added.

Role of technology

Ritesh opined that one of BYJU’S biggest differentiators is its content, with the decacorn putting a lot of effort behind releasing the right content. He believes that providing a personalised learning journey that served all the sectors of students equally was key in creating an impact. For this, BYJU’S has used tech such as Machine Learning and AI.

The evolution of technology – be it from streaming and gamification to giving the personalised touch – has essentially helped BYJU’S accelerate its content consumption

“If you look at the content, it is all about weaving an art and then the magic of storytelling together, and creating an impact whereby you simplify something with the help of technology like motion graphics, animation etc,” Ritesh added.

Recalling the evolution of technology, Gaurav said that it all started from desktops, then moved on to the web and mobile applications.

“Now, especially in India, people have realised that they can have natural conversations on the messaging applications. Simplicity is what brings them in. Most people are here and it is essential to catch their attention here,” said Gaurav, adding that tech has become very conversational in the last few years.

Thus, Gupshup has been heavily investing in conversational AI. “The key part is the inflection point where you think it is the right time for the people to engage – to bring people back into their learning journey,” Gaurav explained.

At Gupshup, the focus is on providing the right experience at the right time and with the right security with the help of technology.

However, he said that measuring the accuracy and lucidity of the content was challenging as it was critical to not impart wrong knowledge.

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Edited by Kanishk Singh