July 23, 2018, by Kathryn McAuley
Turbo AI: Technology powering improvements in customer experience
“Some people call this artificial intelligence, but the reality is this technology will enhance us. So instead of artificial intelligence, I think we’ll augment our intelligence.” — Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM
In today’s blog, we ask Jude Tharakan about his business Turbo AI.
Full name: Jude Tharakan
Company name: Turbo AI™
What did you study at the University of Nottingham, and when did you graduate?
I completed my MBA in 2014 at the University of Nottingham.
What made you want to be an entrepreneur?
I have always been passionate about learning more about the latest technologies, predominantly the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data Analytics, Cloud Computing and Artificial Intelligence. I have been working on the Turbo AI™ idea for the last two years but building the founding team was a little challenging. After many discussions and much research, our co-founders understood and trusted that the idea is unconventional. Getting the right opportunity and time was never easy, but now I believe through Turbo AI™ I have already started the technological disruption in the market.
What is your business concept?
Turbo is an AI Technology Powered booking and payment platform for quality, reliable, trusted and economical private hire vehicles in the United Kingdom. With over 75+ providers and 10,000 cabs in the UK, there is always a cab around the corner. We are up to 45% cheaper than any cabs in the UK. Our dispatch optimisation works on the AI Algorithmic Framework.
What stage are you currently at in setting up your company/business?
We are currently in the growth and establishment stage. Our research and development team is currently working on a variety of reinforcement learning techniques, deep learning, probabilistic modelling, neuro-evolution and natural language processing applications to improve our user and driver partner experience.
What challenges have you faced during the process?
Bringing orders to our sales pipeline: Sales techniques require a combination of product know-how and people skills. Bringing in new re-engineering products in a fast-paced business model has been challenging. Mainly we wanted to make sense of what the customer wants, and quickly match it, to see if the deliverables match their requirements.
Building a brand following: Various tools are required for social media scheduling, managing multiple email marketing tools, content management tools, social media accounts and analytics tools that integrate with our website to keep our customers engaged and understand the analytics of our visitors.
User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Designs: UI/UX is not just about aesthetics, but in the last few years, it has become a complete requirement. According to various studies, coloured visuals can boost the audience’s engagement with the offering by 85%. So we are still researching the designs and continuously updating them according to their suitability and response.
Connecting the dots: We always listen to our customers through their reviews and this helps us understand their needs. Implementing feedback in the next trip becomes challenging. Until and unless we incorporate it ASAP, customer retention becomes complex.
How has being in the Ingenuity Lab helped you?
I had very limited resources in the beginning, when I started the concept of Turbo AI™. The Ingenuity Lab helped me to understand more about the start-up ecosystem in the UK, marketplaces, niche technologies and collaborating with peers. I spent time with people from different backgrounds and experiences, and this gave me a broader view. The Ingenuity Lab Competition created a sense of motivation and focus which encouraged me to look more closely at product innovation. I always had the Turbo AI™ idea but the execution was the most important part. It became a reality only because of the help of mentors, peer groups and Alumni’s from The University of Nottingham, University of Oxford and IIT Bombay.
Please explain your Mission, Vision and Values.
Mission: To build the most trusted, internationally diversified brand; provide hassle-free transportation to millions of ordinary people and contribute back to society.
Vision: To build customer-centric products, enabled by innovative technology. Maintain values and keep a world class standard of corporate governance.
Values: We value our people, support their growth and reward their performance. We will do our best to maintain the trust of our stakeholders.
What are your goals for this year?
Establish and reach our target market
It is hard for the first six months of the business to determine and reach our target market. The Turbo AI™ team is trying to understand customer behavioral analytics and their spending habits, so that we can strategise our operations accordingly.
Currently, we have achieved this process through trial and error, determining what works best for the specific business organisations and the locations in which we operate. Our plan for this year is to increase our customer base by 40% through superior performance, word-of-mouth referrals, loyalty programmes, tie-ups with universities, hotels, travel organisations and corporate companies.
Short and long-term goals
Turbo AI™ short term goals are mainly to increase our visibility through online promotions, and offline through participation in targeted events. Turbo AI™ is in the process of changing the lives of hundreds of drivers in the UK. We are planning to provide more attractive competitive compensatory packages to attract drivers to partner with us.
Turbo AI™ long term goal is to create a service-based technology company whose primary goal is to exceed customer’s expectations and develop and maintain a sustainable technology transportation company serving all main locations in the UK and Europe. Turbo AI™ plan is to provide customers with the finest technology private hire transportation service available. We aim to offer a higher level of customer service than traditional cab companies by giving extensive training to drivers and partners with fully inspected vehicles which are less than four years old. By the end of this year Turbo AI™ will be entering Paris, Milan and Frankfurt.
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