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Vikram Chalana, Pictory: “new technology has to offer a huge benefit for organizations to change”

At the very beginning of their operations, organizations usually spend an enormous amount of time and money to perfect their workflows, which includes adopting specific tools and training their employees on how to use them. Because of this, companies are often reluctant to give up their old work methods when a new technology hits the market.

In fact, innovative and modern solutions must prove their benefits to be adopted in the first place. Having that said, tools that offer ease of use and effortless implementation within the existing processes are what businesses need in this age of ever-changing technology.

To discuss the importance of innovation and the challenges that might come with change, Cybernews invited Vikram Chalana, who is the CEO of Pictory – a company using artificial intelligence solutions to help people create or edit videos simply using text.

Let’s go back to the very beginning of Pictory. What has the journey been like over the years?

We built an initial prototype of our product at a hackathon in 2019. Once we got the technology and early market validation, we started the company by building the initial team and product. After two years, with multiple iterations to find a product-market fit, we finally hit stride in 2021. Since then, we’ve seen a steady uptick in all our metrics: usage, growth rate, MRR, funding, etc.

The first two years were full of learning, with many iterations of excitement and frustration. No matter how much previous company-building experience you have, every new startup is a new challenge with new markets, new products, and new people.

Can you introduce us to your video creation tool? How is AI incorporated into your product?

Pictory uses AI to allow anyone to create or edit videos in minutes by using text. Here's what you can achieve with our tool:

  • Create videos. You start with a text script and our AI firstly summarizes the text and pulls together an anchor video by searching through numerous libraries of licensed stock images and videos. Then, it automatically adds music and an AI-narrated voiceover. As a result, you get a finished video with minimal need for human intervention. Yet, you can easily customize any component if you desire.
  • Edit videos. Our tool transcribes a video to text while preserving time stamps for every word. Then, you can simply highlight sentences or words that you wish to include/exclude from the final video. Again, any component of the final video is easily customizable.

In your opinion, which types of organizations or users would greatly benefit from implementing your AI-powered solutions?

Any organization that has content that they’d like to repurpose into short videos would benefit from AI. Whether it is text-based content, like blogs or whitepapers, or pre-recorded videos, like webinars, or customer interviews. Instead of recreating new content, our customers can use their existing content and instantly create short and engaging videos.

How did the recent global events affect your field of work? Did you add any new features as a result?

The pandemic has cultivated a huge interest among people in creating & editing video content. We launched our product in the middle of the pandemic. Thus, everything that we've built is a result of a pandemic-driven demand.

Why do you think companies sometimes hesitate to try out new and innovative solutions that would enhance their operations?

It’s often hard for organizations to change the status quo. The common refrain is – if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Likewise, new technology has to offer a huge benefit for organizations to change. Additionally, it has to be very easy to use for the users to adopt it.

In your opinion, where can we expect to see AI-powered solutions be used more often in the near future?

We are seeing a lot of AI-powered solutions being used in marketing and content creation as well as editing. This trend will continue to accelerate as AI gets better and more powerful. We are also seeing AI-powered design and AI-powered data management helping in marketing, sales, and other functions.

In this age of ever-evolving technology, what do you think are the key security practices both businesses and individuals should adopt?

Privacy of data should be a major priority for every business – specifically, customer data and financial data. Patching security gaps and preventing denial-of-service attacks are very important security practices that every business should adopt.

What predictions do you have for the future of content creation?

There will be a lot of use of AI in content creation in the future. AI will help not only create content very fast for anyone, but it will also help in the personalization of content. AI will continue to help in the creation of multimedia content at scale.

Would you like to share what’s next for Pictory?

We have a full roadmap that we are working on. We are continuing to improve our AI and offer more design templates to our users. Some of the other exciting things in our future will be converting podcasts to videos, translating videos to different languages, and helping create personalized videos.

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