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The Silicon Review Asia

‘We Take Stress out of Travel’: CoRover® Private Limited, a Bengaluru-based Travel Tech Startup, Stands Tall Among Competitors

The Silicon Review
May, 2019

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“ChatBot as a Service (CaaS)™, the flagship product of CoRover built on AI & ML, having innovative technology which has helped their clients save millions by auto answering millions of queries of their 50+ million users with concurrent support of more than 50K users; and even make their clients earn millions through their unique business model.”

Chatbots and travel go hand in hand. In fact, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to be a game-changer for this industry, through helping travellers and companies simplifying travel arrangements and streamlining business procedures. AI impact is massive and it has the power to transform the business completely. A bot can assure a traveller’s safety in case of an emergency while informing all the right contacts who are obliged to act swiftly under such circumstances. A quick & an auto reply to the travellers’ queries. All this is available on an app, in other words, a click/tapaway.

In view of the above-mentioned scenario, we’re thrilled to present CoRover® Private Limited.

CoRover is an award-winning platform built on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning concepts to provide safe, convenient and fun-filled travel experiences. The platform connects travellers with each other, with administrative staffs and with verified and curated service providers, in a particular event, location or a trip. CoRover Chat works with and even without Internet!

The company was incorporated in 2016 and is headquartered in Bengaluru.

Ankush Sabharwal, CoRover Private Limited Founder/CEO, spoke exclusively to

The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. How did you conceive your startup idea?

About 10 years ago, I was travelling from Delhi to Bangalore by train. I discovered a huge gap in the way people commute. I realized that there was no way of interaction between the passengers, in case of any need or emergency. Had it been so, there would not have been the need of a fellow passenger requiring urgent medical attention, to wait for the next station to receive medical help. Ironically, there was a doctor on-board, which I got to know when I was looking out for a charger in another coach. This experience made me realize that there should be a way through which the travellers should be able to connect with each other. In case of special need, the passengers should have ways to connect with the service providers, emergency responders, vendors and other staff as well. Though I was still involved with my job as a software product developer, at the back of my mind I always wanted to do something about this. My experience of more than 14 years helped me, but collecting the capital was a challenge. After several efforts, I launched the product in the market to test its Proof of Concept, which was indeed a success. I was so passionate to start my own travel tech product, that I liquidated my personal assets and got a bank loan for my seed capital. This is how I floated my concept in the market, in the name of CoRover®, which has not only attracted the attention of many service providers but also received numerous awards and accolades.

Q. What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can your peers learn from it?

Once I figured out which problem to solve and which solution to implement,the biggest challenge I faced during the initial years was to arrange for capital. Once the capital was arranged it was really important for me to give all my time to my startup and focus on establishing it since I was working then it was getting difficult for me to balance both job and startup work. So all I would suggest my peers is to have capital and dedicate their time completely to their idea, focus on it and work rigorously. I believe just having an idea cannot hold good until and unless you dedicate yourself completely to it. However, we can do POC and test the waters before jumping full time into your startup.

I am grateful to my close friends Manav Gandotra and Kunal Bhakhri, who have joined CoRover as co-founders. They helped with seed funds and in scaling up our start-up significantly in such a short time with more business and effective operations. My ex-colleague, Rahul Ranjan also joined us as Chief Product Officer to envision the right product and features. Our whole team is so skilled, dedicated and hardworking which is the main reason for the success of CoRover and its products, mainly CaaS™.

It is also very important to have very smart and supportive early adapters. IRCTC has been one of them, integrating our product the ChatBot AskDISHA (Digital Interaction to Seek Help Anytime) on their official website (powered by CoRover) is considered as one of the top AI & ML related innovation in India.

Having one Business Advisor, one Technology Advisor, and one Domain/Industry Advisor is very helpful.

Q. If you have to list five factors that have been/are the biggest asset to your organization, what would they be and why?

Following USP helps us to stand out of the crowd:

  • ChatBot as a Service (CaaS): It is a fully managed ChatBot-as-a-Service with no additional operational as well as the technological cost to develop for our clients and we maintain ChatBot (AskDISHA) for the website/App owners. It is currently integrated on IRCTC’s website and a few others which collectively has four million daily active users, more than 3 million queries answered by our Bot with a query response time of less than 0.5 seconds and having the support of 50K concurrent users. CoRover’s ChatBot has been accessed across 186 countries. We have an option for our clients to earn revenue. We have many strategic partners like Google, Amazon, Hungama, etc. which help us monetise through advertisement and transactions.
  • Internet less Chat: CoRover Connect app comes with Internet & Internet Less chat feature. Configurability, Security, Reliability, Scalability are the fundamentals of our platform apart from the innovative functionality. We have applied a couple of patents.
  • Panic Button Feature: Our product CoRover Connect comes with a ‘Panic Button’ When clicked GPS location of the person in need of help is shared with everyone in the chat group along with local officials and assistance can be received at the earliest.
  • First to provide a digital tourist guide, Real-time interaction with a fellow tourist, services providers and administration staff.
  • From a Technology standpoint, our products have the following advantages
  1. Uses AI, ML & VR
  2. Reliable, Secure, Scalable
  3. Light weight widget without any load on clients’ website
  4. Easy to integrate and onboard a customer (less than 10 minutes)
  5. Live Dashboard to monitor the ChatBot usage, like questions answered, responses given, accuracy, feedback etc.
  6. Live Dashboard to monitor the advertisement metrics

Q. Do you have any new products ready to be launched?

We are currently focusing on going global and onboarding as many clients as possible on our scalable platform CaaS™, which will help many businesses reduce their cost by eliminating/reducing resources to reply via email or phone, and even earn revenue through ads & transactions on our ChatBot.

NextGen CaaS, with multilingual support, voice support, NLP based, conversational, VR enabled 3D avatar, launching soon.

Q. Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

We want to be the biggest managed, ChatBot-as-a-Service platform in the world, where we would offer ChatBot to all the websites with revenue making opportunities through non-intruding ads in ChatBot, as implemented in our website (https://www.CoRover.mobi), Indian Railways/IRCTC site (https://irctc.co.in) and many others.

Ankush Sabharwal: An Entrepreneur at Heart

Ankush Sabharwal: Ankush Sabharwal, founder, is the Chief Executive Officer of CoRover® Private Limited.

Ankush has over 15 years of IT experience in various roles – Software Engineer, Technical Leader, Project Manager, Development/Delivery/Engineering Manager, Architect, Agile Coach, Engineering Program Manager, and now an Entrepreneur. He has worked across various countries.

Mr. Sabharwal had led many global engineering and program management teams. He has also got the experience of successfully implementing various Agile Projects in distributed teams across varied verticals.

He has earned various awards and commendations for his technical as well as leadership skills. He’s also engaged as a guest faculty at various reputed institutions/universities.

Mr. Sabharwal has done MS (Software Engineering) from BITS Pilani, MBA, Executive Program from IIM-C, and Entrepreneurship Program from MIT.

"IRCTC’s leadership team has helped us significantly to improve our platform. ChatBot AskDISHA (Digital Interaction to Seek Help Anytime) on IRCTC website (powered by CoRover) is considered as one of the top AI related innovation in India.”

“A fully managed ChatBot, with no load on client’s servers and their operations, can be integrated in less than 10 minutes. ChatBoT AskDISHA powered by CoRover, an AI & ML based Bot is an innovation of 2018. Our ChatBot clients have an option to earn revenue as well through our advertisement module.”

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