Indian companies plan to spend 2.6 per cent of revenues on building voice capability to drive stronger growth in the next five years. They have high expectations for returns as they are aiming to drive 6 per cent of their revenue through voice during the same period.


The Covid-19 pandemic has shifted voice strategies into high gear and that this could be the ‘technology moment’ for voice, says a survey by Cognizant Technology Solutions.

The survey said that 72 per cent of companies view Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a catalyst behind a successful voice strategy. The survey was to learn more about how companies are preparing for a brand landscape dominated by voice.

Tapping AI

Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work surveyed 1,400 top marketing and IT executives at leading companies across ten countries in Asia Pacific and West Asia, including India. With headcounts ranging from 2,500 to 15,000 employees, the respondents represented ten industry sectors: financial services, healthcare, insurance, travel & hospitality, telecom, media & entertainment, transportation & logistics, energy & utilities, manufacturing and retail, says a Cognizant press release.

The survey found that that the top three objectives for Indian companies for building voice capability was responding quickly to customers; enabling personalised experiences and elevating customer service levels.

AI is the catalyst behind a successful voice strategy. The research highlights that 72 per cent of Indian businesses (versus regional average of 75 per cent) are keen to leverage AI (natural language processing, machine learning and other AI technologies) for their voice strategy.

Data privacy poses a big challenge with 91 per cent of the respondents anticipate data privacy to be the biggest roadblock in their voice journey. This is followed by the challenges involved in developing a brand voice personality and shortage of required talent and knowledge.

The road ahead

Manish Bahl, Associate Vice-President, Center for the Future of Work, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, Cognizant, said, future generations will look back on the virus as an important phase in human history, when voice technology witnessed a staggering rise, thereby triggering a lifetime change.

Voice interfaces will expand beyond smart speakers and be embedded in chatbots, applications, products and services. Whether digital or brick-and-mortar, businesses will have to pivot to voice to be heard by their customers in the present and future. Just like companies needed an internet strategy in the ’90s, a search strategy in 2000 and a mobile strategy in 2010, they now need a voice strategy, Bahl said in a release.