Voice AI startup Vernacular.ai has brought on board Gangadhar Kodandaram and Ankit Jain to its leadership team based out of Bengaluru.

Kodandaram has been appointed as the chief revenue officer and Jain as vice-president for product management. Both of them will work directly with Sourabh Gupta, CEO and co-founder, to grow the business and spearhead global expansion starting with the SouthEast Asian markets.

The company has also strengthened its workforce by 4x in FY2020, while staying on schedule with appraisals, bonuses and promotions. It expects to continue hiring in 2021 to expand its workforce by 2x, closing other key leadership positions and senior roles.

“As we continue to make headway towards becoming the world’s most immersive voice AI platform, we are glad to have Gangadhar and Ankit back this dream, bringing to the table their multifunctional expertise in emerging technologies,” Gupta told ET.

In his previous role, Kodandaram was with Microsoft India building the healthcare vertical and also ran government business for south India driving AI, cloud and digital transformation. With over 17 years of experience in sales and strategic partnerships, he is also an advisor to startups and serves as hon. director at Make-A-Wish foundation. At Vernacular.ai, he will be responsible for building the sales team and executing on the sales and marketing priorities in addition to spearheading global expansion plans into APAC, EMEA and US geographies.

“Voice tech is becoming an important weapon in the CX arsenal for B2C organisations focused on delivering a great customer experience, and we are solving this very critical problem for our customers,” Kodandaram said.

Jain will be leading a team of product managers and specialists to drive concept launches and further fine-tune and enhance the company’s product roadmap, while stimulating innovation within the team. In his previous role, he was the co-founder and CEO of Y Combinator funded AI Startup. An alumnus from Amazon India’s early product team, he joins with 10 years of experience in product management and has also been a part of multiple 0 to 1 enterprise SaaS journeys in Asia and US.

“Our platform strategy will revolve around improving our ability to handle human-like conversations in multiple Indian and global languages, where we are building ground-up datasets and capabilities for better speech to text, text to speech and Intent Capture Engine to offer better CX to end customers,” said Jain.

The speech and voice recognition market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.2% from 2019 to 2025 to reach $26.8 billion by 2025, according to global market opportunity analysis and industry forecasts by Meticulous Research.

As of May 2020, Vernacular.ai secured $5.1 million in Series A funding led by Exfinity Ventures and Kalaari Capital. AngelList, IAN Fund, and LetsVenture also participated in the round.

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