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New Delhi, July 27 – Post-pandemic, life was filled with uncertainty and millions of people were worried about their future, seeking simple solutions to their problems and looking at astrology to get the right direction.
AstroTalk, which made astrology services more accessible via app and is the world’s largest astrology platform, let users chat with trusted and verified astrologers through its app.
Its founder, Puneet Gupta, started AstroTalk in October 2017 and within a span of few years, it became the market leader.
Gupta told IANS that the platform has seen massive traction over the past few years and reached 40 million customers cumulatively, commanding over 80 per cent market share in the Indian online astrology market.
Here are excerpts from an interaction:
Q: Tell us more about AstroTalk and its vision.
A: Astrotalk was set up primarily to help customers seek answers and guidance from trusted and verified astrologers. We at Astrotalk believe in our ancient vedic science and believe that using these sciences, we can create a positive impact on the world and the lives of our millions of customers worldwide.
Astrotalk enables consultations between customers and astrologers through our secured platform across the medium of chat , voice telephony and live streaming. The platform is positioned as a one-stop solution for all astrology and wellness needs.
Q: How has been the response to AstroTalk so far?
A: We have seen massive traction over the past few years and have reached 40 million customers cumulatively. Going forward, we will be expanding a lot internationally so that the benefits of the platform can also accrue to the global Indian diaspora. We are very bullish on the Indian market and growth story and believe that with increasing premiumization, the market for a product like Astrotalk will only expand. We already command an over 80 per cent market share in the Indian online astrology market.
Q. How do you plan to leverage Analytics and AI/ML within Astrotalk?
A. We already leverage AI/ML to create predictive algorithms for fraud detection and astrological research. Improving developer productivity has also been one of the key goals for reducing our time to market and we have recently started exploring Generative AI offerings from AWS such as Amazon CodeWhisperer to plug any code vulnerabilities and accelerate time-consuming coding tasks.
We are also in progress of creating our own chatbot to answer support queries of the customers. With our growing platform demand, a lot of data is crunched on a real-time basis using AWS services such as RDS, S3, AWS DMS and other open-source technologies. However, we still believe that no amount of AI/ML can replace astrologer-user conversations and analysis of a true & verified astrologer.
Q: How has AWS Cloud helped you scale your growth?
A: Cloud telephony and AWS have helped us implement a truly robust scalable solution which has enabled us to scale faster. We have increased our revenues from Rs 5 crore/month in 2020 to Rs 45 crore/month now, while using AWS, hence spending less time on firefighting and optimizing infra and more time on growing the business.
One of the key challenges AstroTalk faced was the resource-intensive nature of their internal Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. AWS provided a robust solution by leveraging Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service) flexibility to spawn multiple slaves, distributing the workload across them.
Additionally, using routing rules in Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), they directed CRM requests to a separate target group specifically designed for handling CRM traffic. This approach resulted in a remarkable improvement in CRM performance and significantly increased the speed of their operations teams. Metrics, such as reduced response times and improved customer satisfaction, demonstrated the effectiveness of these optimizations.
AWS offered cost-saving opportunities for Astrotalk through various services and strategies. By implementing Amazon EC2’s automatic scaling groups (ASG), they were able to adapt their infrastructure dynamically to fluctuating traffic demands, thereby optimizing resource utilization and reducing costs during periods of low activity.
Moreover, they adopted gp3 disks for Amazon RDS, leading to a cost reduction of over 40 per cent compared to their previous storage solution. Additionally, they optimized storage costs by migrating call recordings from standard storage to intelligent tiering on Amazon S3, intelligently adjusting storage classes based on usage patterns.
Time to market is a critical factor in today’s competitive business landscape. AWS provided Astrotalk. with the tools they needed to accelerate their software deployment process. By utilizing AWS CodeDeploy in conjunction with automatic scaling, they established a blue-green deployment pipeline. This approach allowed us to gradually roll out updates and quickly revert to previous versions in case of any bugs or issues, providing greater confidence to the development team during deployments.
Astrotalk capitalised on AWS’s Autoscaling Groups and Savings Plans. Autoscaling Groups allowed them to automatically adjust the number of instances based on workload fluctuations, ensuring optimal performance without over-provisioning resources.
Astrotalk also leveraged AWS’s Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) service, distributing incoming traffic across multiple instances and Availability Zones (AZs) to prevent single points of failure.