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IN CONVERSATION

Thursday, 14 March, 2019, 12 : 10 PM [IST]

‘We have to use new technology & be innovative to solve travel-related problems’

Q What is the idea behind launching CoRover? What kind of potential do you foresee for the travel technology space?
The idea behind launching CoRover, a travel technology company, was to create a platform for travellers where they can connect with each other and with the service providers. I see a lot of disconnect between travellers today, so this encouraged me to build a platform to connect them. Technology is a game changer and the only source which is encouraging travellers to undertake holidays. The travel technology space in India is getting enhanced with each passing day. AI ChatBot as a Service (CaaS) is a new offering from CoRover, and has already answered 3 million queries in just 3 months. We have to use new technology (like AI, ML, VR, AR) and be innovative to solve travel-related problems.

Q Elaborate on the CoRover Connect proposition.
CoRover Connect is an award-winning SaaS based platform (mobility & portal) which connects travellers in a particular event, location or trip with service providers. It connects travellers with co-travellers on real time basis, along with digital tourist guide, local authorities and offers services. Right now, we are the only company offering a secure platform where the users’ data is safe and not disclosed even when they are connected with many travellers.

User’s privacy and security is paramount: They have an option to be anonymous; in any case we do not share the mobile number or email ids. They can block other users, enable/disable group message, private message, notifications etc.

We urge all the tourism boards to come onboard the CoRover Connect app, which will help promote their destinations to the right target users. Our platform can also help in cross promotions.

The government can use CoRover Connect to help tourists in case of an emergency. Tourism boards can provide all the latest and official information about their tourist destinations, and we can provide the list of all the amenities like, parking lots, ATMs, public toilets, nearby places, local attractions etc.

Some of the main features are:
  • Compatible on Android & iOS
  • Tourism Promotion
  • Informative
  • Providing information about the local food & local specialists
  • Tourist Safety
  • Panic Button
  • Digital Information & Reception Center
  • ChatBot as a Service (CaaS)
  • Digital Tourist Guide to provide answers to any unanswered queries of the tourists
  • Social Media Integration & Marketing


Q What kind of traction have you received for the AskDisha ChatBot on the IRCTC website? How does this app function?
IRCTC is one of the top visited websites in India. It has 40 lakh website logins and 20 lakhs/2 million daily app logins, and a millions of queries have already been addressed by AskDISHA. The peak of 1,50,000 questions is asked in a day, with 90% accuracy.

The CoRover Chatbot is based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Other portals like SRS Travel, Orange Travels use the similar ChatBot solution from CoRover with the name AskDISHA. Many more are in the pipeline. We have applied for a couple of patents.

Q How do you customise the app for different players?
Both our products are SaaS offerings. Some features are common and some are configurable for each client. We have a complete tourism ERP platform to configure the app and the details from the backend. We have millions of daily active users and we are the right platform to promote any tourist destination. We can integrate our solution on the website and in the app onboard any client’s product in less than one hour.

Q What is the revenue generation model for CoRover in general for the AskDisha ChatBot in particular?
We have multiple revenue generation channels:

For CoRover Connect, tourism boards pay us a subscription fee for being onboard the CoRover Connect app. Also, we have many strategic partners which share revenue to provide very useful and right priced services to our users.

With CaaS, we offer white label solutions – subscription charges (licensing fee) or usage fees (per message/API call). It enables contextual advertisement through partners like Google, Amazon, etc., or directly sourced advertisements.

Q How was CoRover funded?
The Karnataka government in collaboration with KPMG has funded us, and we have also raised funds through a couple of private rounds.

Q What kind of technology enhancements are you undertaking?
The NextGen CaaS with multilingual support, voice support, NLP based, conversational, VR- enabled 3D avatar will be launching soon.

disha.shah@saffronsynergies.in
 
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