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Rana Gujral – Where Emotional Intelligence meets Artifical Intelligence – EP109!

May 09, 2019

Rana Gujral is an entrepreneur, speaker, investor and the CEO of Behavioral Signals, an enterprise software company that delivers a robust and fast evolving emotion AI engine that introduces emotional intelligence into speech recognition technology.

Rana has been awarded the ‘Entrepreneur of the Month’ by CIO Magazine and the ‘US China Pioneer’ Award by IEIE, he has been listed among Top 10 Entrepreneurs to follow in 2017 by Huffington Post.

He has been a featured speaker at the World Government Summit in Dubai, the Silicon Valley Smart Future Summit, and IEIE in New York.  He is a contributing columnist for TechCrunch and Forbes. 

In 2014, Rana founded TiZE, a cloud software for specialty chemicals, and held the role of CEO until his exit in 2016. Prior to TiZE, He was recruited to be a part of the core turnaround team for Cricut Inc. At Cricut, Rana led the initiative to build a first of its kind, innovative product for the DIY community and prompted the turnaround of Cricut’s EBITDA position from bankruptcy to profitability within a span of 2 years. Previously, Rana held leadership positions at Logitech S.A. and Kronos Inc., where he was responsible for the development of best-in-class products generating billions in revenue and contributed towards several award-winning engineering innovations.

Gujral said it is a privilege to take on the role of CEO. “It is an exciting time for us,” he said in a statement. “There is no doubt that Artificial Intelligence is the topic that is going to dominate the next few years. I think we can all agree on that. While it’s great to see predictions about the future of AI, little is said about the reality that AI is already here, it is all around us, and early adopters are already winning the race to integrate AI technologies into their technology stacks.

We have a fascinating discussion.

A summary is outlined below:

  • What is the most recent thing you’ve learned?
  • The power of self-reflection
  • How our perspective change over time
  • The learnings from some of the tough times can be very powerful
  • The process of continuous reflection
  • Reviewing Goals – are they still valid?
  • Growing up and moving around a lot
  • How AI is working on Voice interactions
  • 5-7 Years ago – voice interactions was not accurate
  • Now, AI has made this much more accurate, more accurate than humans
  • What alluded AI? The concept of not understanding emotions – this was the missing link
  • Voice v Body Language and Emotions?
  • Conveying emotion is multifaceted area of research
  • At Behavioural signals they focus just on Voice
  • Research at Yale shows that voice is the most accurate, more so than facial expressions
  • Why? We as humans are adept at masking our emotions in the face but not so much in the tone of voice
  • The Entrepreneurial Journey for Rana?
  • Not always having the insights and drive to be an entrepreneur
  • Doing mini-startups in the corporate set up
  • Having a more ‘safety net’ in the corporate environment
  • Learning to test test test, learn and move to the next step
  • Failure is part of it – adapt the mindset to this as tests fail!
  • It’s all about the mindset – it has to come from inside!
  • Values growing that helped – work ethic, doing your best, and having a high expectation of yourself and those around you!
  • Climbing the corporate ladder and was successful in this space – but has lost the excitement
  • Getting bored in corporate life
  • The goals were just out of his control
  • Freedom and Control?
  • Going out on his own was the only way to keep things exciting
  • The Freedom Mindset?
  • A growing realization to do something else – it wasn’t a single day!
  • Seeking Chaos as an asset
  • Ask the question – where can you grow the most?
  • Look for the environments that are challenging and look for this!
  • Wanted to be in a space that disrupts
  • When joining an organization, what is your approach?
  • What is the company trying to solve
    • Is it a goal that you can connect with? Do you buy into it 100%
    • Who are the people behind it? Do I relate to the team?
  • Dealing with & effectively manage Feedback?
    • Ask people and build trust!
    • Reading between the lines as a key leadership skill
    • Often the people are giving you these cues in many ways!
    • How you deal with the interaction
    • Connecting in with your intuition
    • People hold back giving it over freely
  • Learning from other leaders
  • Self-reflection and where it’s come from? Always been there
  • Power of journaling, writing down random thoughts and ideas
  • The life of a CEO – dealing with stress and the situations
  • No such thing of a work-life balance but a belief in seasons!
  • Focus on a task and go all-in instead of juggling many tasks
  • Tools to use?
  • Inbox management & prioritization

Book recommended:

    • The Goal – Eliyahu M. Goldratt – has served in many ways!
    • Ego Is the Enemy – Ryan Holiday

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