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Success Stories

The Women Behind the Success of Amazon’s Alexa in India

Saba Rajkotia

5th March 2020

In recent years, Amazon’s Alexa has taken the world by storm. The voice-controlled virtual assistant has been increasingly popular in homes across the globe, and notably in India. After being launched in India in 2017, Amazon notes that Indians have had an increasingly active engagement with Alexa.

The brains behind Alexa in India are a group of vibrant young women who are working to make a voice-enabled world a reality for Indians. They work on everything from marketing and tech to customer experience, editorial and personality. Indu Prasad is the Managing Editor for Alexa, and works on perfecting Alexa’s personality and thought process. “We think of why she says the things she does, how she would form opinions, how she would communicate, her sense of humour, how she would articulate her perception of humans or even her own sense of self”, says Indu, in conversation with YourStory.

Teena Sidana is the Lead of Alexa Voice Services, and works to connect Amazon Alexa to third-party brands. Through expanding Alexa’s reach, Teena says she has had the opportunity to work with countless products and brands. “Alexa has something new to offer every day”, says Teena.

Ramya Poosarla is a software developer, working to build experiences for Alexa. “We shouldn’t overload the customer and provide a sticky experience. Yet, we have to anticipate customer behaviour and handle all the scenarios and provide a seamless experience. With each passing day, this role makes me realise the immense efforts that go in after I say ‘Alexa’”, says Ramya.

Dipa Balakrishnan is Senior Manager for Alexa Experience and Engagement, and works on making sure Alexa’s customers have exceptional experiences that encourage them to return to her again and again. “We do that by ensuring the end-to-end experience work, finding existing and new areas that customers are delighted with that we can create more of. We do this by monitoring how Alexa is performing, taking feedback from customers, and hearing their first-hand stories”, Dipa says.

Snehal Meshram manages the Alexa Natural Understanding team, and is working on refining Alexa’s Hindi skills and understanding of Indian users’ requests. “We wanted to ensure that we launched an experience for our users that would be no different from how we spoke Hindi at home and with friends. This meant ensuring we enable Alexa to understand both Hindi and Hinglish. It was very exciting to work on this launch, and I am proud of what my teams have achieved”, said Snehal speaking to YourStory.

Prachi Mukhija is head of marketing for Alexa Skills and Voice Services. “My team and I build customer engagement, experience, and retention programmes to make Alexa an indispensable part of user journeys”, she says, “there are no set best practices and guidelines because we are the ones building these for the future”. We can rest easy knowing that these formidable women are working tirelessly to help Alexa, help us.

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