Digital agencies and social media agencies, move over. There’s a new kid on the block, it’s a voice agency. Yes, you read that right, a Voice Agency. Agrahyah Technologies Pvt Ltd, a first-of-its-kind voice agency, is a Mumbai-based software and content company that is building a suite of products and content in Indian vernacular languages on voice platforms.
The company’s game plan is to be a first-mover in the voice space helping brands become first-movers to gain competitive advantage.
Sreeraman Thiagarajan, Co-founder of Agrahyah Technologies, says it is time that “brands should be chalking out a clear voice strategy.” According to him brands need to take voice seriously because “unlike flashy, new, nice to have technologies like VR and AR, voice is a need to have; since consumers are increasingly using voice to interact with computer, home appliances, and even automobiles, it is time for brands to be there to welcome their customers.”
He adds that people born in digital era are impatient; “they can now talk at 150 words per minute to voice assistants in comparison to typing 40 words per minute on a touch screen.” Not just that, around 28 per cent of search on Google is voice and it is growing at north of 200 per cent.
Brands need to start thinking on the lines of how to exploit the potential of voice; where voice can help them win. Among the strategies brands must tap into “sustainable content plans like podcasts, streaming or even regular updates,” he explains.
Thiagarajan’s philosophy for voice is simple, be where the consumer is. “Decades ago, brands had agencies to help them craft communication based on consumer insights. Ten years ago, brands warranted a digital agency to help them be present on web, mobile and social media. Now, it is time to have an agency that will help brands to be on voice assistant platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.”
Thiagarajan says that while technology companies like TCS and Mphasis are also in the business of providing voice solutions, Agrahyah is well-poised to understand the brand’s needs and accordingly craft solutions. “Traditional tech companies offer technology solutions but have low sense of brand; digital agencies offer content but lack technology prowess. We put them all together to create India’s first Voice Agency.” He adds, “Our in-house subject experts strike a perfect balance between product design, voice user interface, technology and sustainable content (audio, podcasts, text) to address brand’s objectives.”
For brands, a voice strategy is broadly of two types – a brand can be made available on voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant or a voice assistant can be integrated within an app, or a connected device (even includes a microwave or washing machine). “Over the next 6 to 12 months, we will see both these types of use cases growing equally. More and more people are using voice as an UI, purchasing smart assistants, getting habituated to getting things done without lifting a finger,” he said.
Voice is category agnostic. “Increasingly, white goods, auto makers, set top boxes, bulbs, and security cameras are all being made voice assistant compatible; they pair with voice assistants just out of the box to give a seamless experience to consumers,” Thiagarajan pointed out.
But there is one impediment to the growth of voice – language. “Though voice assistants are Hinglish compliant and are getting Hindi updates, we are a land of diversity. Audience speaking only Dravidian languages and not English must have to wait for voice assistants to speak their languages,” says Thiagarajan.
Agrahyah is one of Amazon’s preferred partners for Alexa Skills Development. The company has “built Alexa Skills for enterprise brands and have built products it fully owns (Hindi Jokes, Better Heart, etc.)”. The company is also working closely with Google to create simple solutions for otherwise complex interfaces which will be launched very soon.
“Our experience has been an exciting learning curve, we realised how creating a VUI (voice user interface) is more complex than just coding scripts,” Thiagarajan confesses.
Founded in 2017 by Thiagarajan, former VP digital at Publicis India, along with Rushabh Vasa and Uppal Shah. The bootstrapped firm currently has six clients – Abbott Healthcare, Danone, Puranik Builders, Digene, and Appu Series.
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