1880 – Shaping the Future of Professional Excellence with Criya’s Deboshree Dutta

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the CEO of Criya, Deboshree Dutta.

Dutta Wide

Personal branding is essential for professional success. Deb explored this topic in-depth, focusing on the importance of a personal website. She discussed how Criya's AI-driven platform simplifies the creation of a compelling online persona.

Deb described Criya as being tailored to meet the specific needs of solopreneurs, consultants, coaches, and others striving to establish their presence in their fields. Criya offers more than just templates; it provides a personalized digital representation of one's professional journey.

The conversation also covered the vital role of first impressions in the digital world. Criya enables users to immediately engage potential employers, clients, or investors with a website that showcases their professional quality. Deb stressed that in a competitive market, distinguishing oneself goes beyond daily tasks and highlights the unique value one offers.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Importance of personal branding
  • Significance of having a personal website
  • How Criya uses AI to create personal brand websites
  • Deb Dutta's personal journey and inspiration behind creating Criya
  • Making personal branding accessible for others
  • Challenges faced by professionals transitioning to independent work
  • Differences between Criya and traditional website builders
  • The need for a personal website in today's professional landscape

About Deboshree Dutta:

Deboshree Dutta, commonly called Deb Dutta, stands at the helm of Criya, an AI tech startup receiving accolades and support from the esteemed Y Combinator and a cohort of top-tier venture capitalists. With over a decade of experience, her journey traverses through pivotal roles at global giants such as PayPal, Microsoft, and Hitachi, underpinned by a Master’s degree in computer science from the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University. Her leadership at Criya is marked by a vision to revolutionize how professionals, executives, and entrepreneurs amplify their Professional Brand using AI technology, enabling the creation of a professional website in mere seconds.

Beyond her entrepreneurial endeavors, Deb Dutta is recognized for her influential voice in technology and entrepreneurship, as evidenced by features in Forbes, TechCrunch, and the New York Times. A sought-after keynote speaker and a contributor for Forbes, she leads the Women in Product chapter, dedicating her efforts to mentoring women in product management, entrepreneurship, and fundraising. Her work exemplifies her commitment to innovation and leadership and her dedication to fostering inclusivity and empowerment in the tech industry.

About Criya:

Criya stands as a beacon in AI-driven innovation, proudly backed by Y Combinator and a coalition of venture capitalists. This cutting-edge startup champions the cause of industry experts, offering them a seamless pathway to sculpt their professional brands with a button click. Through its AI-powered capabilities, Criya enables the creation of dynamic, comprehensive websites that showcase an individual's professional journey in an engaging format and incorporate functionalities like scheduling, video course hosting, and more. This platform is crucial for senior leaders looking to encapsulate their expertise into a compelling, multifaceted online identity.

The vision of Criya transcends the conventional boundaries of brand building; it is a harbinger of a new era in professional distinction. With a commitment to fostering a future where every professional's voice is unique, their narrative is acknowledged, and their career trajectory is celebrated as a legacy, Criya is redefining the essence of professional excellence. This platform is not merely about crafting brands; it is about creating a lasting impact, ensuring that every expert's contribution is recognized and their influence magnified in the digital age.

Tweetable Moments:

01:44 – “It comes from my own personal journey and how personal branding has been important to my career success. It's kind of become my life's mission to make it accessible for others.”

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Criya’s website at

Check out Criya on LinkedIn at

Check out Criya on Facebook at

Check out Criya on Twitter at

Check out Criya on Instagram at

Check out Deboshree Dutta on LinkedIn at

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Josh (00:00:04) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence. Com and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence. Com and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now it's Deb data. Deb, you are the CEO and founder of Criya. You're found on the web at That's Deb, thank you so much for joining us.

Deboshree (00:01:13) - Thank you so much for having me. Josh, it's a pleasure.

Josh (00:01:16) - Well, this is pretty cool because let me just read what it says on your website.

Josh (00:01:21) - Just kind of lay some introduction to what is your personal brand in one click with AI, launch your AI generated free professional website in 20s. as of when we're recording this, you're kind of in a beta right now. but what a cool, compelling offer for you to be able to provide the market. This is exciting.

Deboshree (00:01:44) - Thank you, thank you. I mean, it comes from a lot of, like, my own personal journey and how personal branding has been important to my career success. And it's kind of become my life's mission to make it accessible for others.

Josh (00:01:55) - You know, I'm thinking of folks that I work with in in my world, and we work with a lot of people that maybe were working professionally in an industry, and now they're stepping out and they're maybe serving as a consultant. Right. And, you know, so when someone goes independent like that, you know, it can be kind of a steep curve to get something meaningful. And again, you don't need much, but at least something, right, that, you know, indicates your personal brand and communicates your superpowers.

Josh (00:02:27) - And, and I think historically we've seen some decent website builders out there and, you know, certainly template driven. But would you mind sharing just a little bit about how Korea is different and why this is a little bit of a game changer?

Deboshree (00:02:41) - 100%. Josh, I think if you needed a resume ten years ago, you need to have an online presence today, right? I mean, it's it's not just about going independent. When we started Korea, it was a little bit more focused towards solopreneurs and independent consultants, coaches and so on. And we focused the platform to be a little bit more about making monetization easy and so on. But having been in the business now for some time, what we've come to know is it actually doesn't matter. Like even if you are looking for a job, a hiring manager is going to Google you, right? You're looking for that next leadership position. They're going to Google you. You want to speak at a conference, they're gonna Google you. You're looking for fundraising and investors going to Google you.

Deboshree (00:03:19) - Yeah. So this has gone far beyond just, personal branding for the sake of it. Right. And a lot of this is also gone beyond just posting content on social media, because I think that's become noisy. I think what people are looking for is I'm going to give you maybe 5 or 6 seconds to figure it out. Do you impress me basically that are you going to slap a black and white resume and then hope that they see the beauty and the glory in who you are? Or maybe you present your key accomplishments, your milestones, your metrics, and so on. Right? And you're able to quickly communicate the value that you bring so that they're willing to make that call. They're willing to book that call or invite you to an interview or take that next step with you.

Josh (00:03:59) - So you just talk about the use case of just someone who might be kind of working their way up professionally and, you know, they're going to be applying for promotions in, you know, in the years ahead.

Josh (00:04:11) - You know, if they say, oh, come on, Deb, does me having a personal website really matter? Isn't my LinkedIn profile good enough?

Deboshree (00:04:20) - It's a great question. So as we look into more leadership roles and this is what Korea focuses on, like we even have this whole comparison between what your LinkedIn looks like and what your Korea website will look like, depending on your, persona. Korea develops different types of websites for you, and we create these recommendations. So for example, if you're a sales professional, straight up you'll have content for you to easily fulfill. to fill in talking about whether you overachieve your sales numbers, whether you had you had made Presidents Club. These are some of the some of the case studies from your, you know, big client engagements and so on. That's what a sales leader's website could look like. If you are, let's say an investor, you want to talk about your investment portfolio. what kind of mission driven successes have you driven for the founders you've supported? If you're a student, we're actually in conversations and starting a pilot on Monday with an extremely renowned university.

Deboshree (00:05:12) - That and we're piloting this for the MBA students. So for job seekers this is a completely different content. So the content is generated based on what you should be displaying for your website. LinkedIn is not going to do that for you. LinkedIn has a headline featured logos and you're done.

Josh (00:05:30) - Yeah. And certainly, you know, with your own personally branded website, I mean, it really gives you 100% control on a lot of, you know, kind of the emotional feelings around, you know, the qualifications of a consultant coach or, you know, even someone that might be applying for top position. Certainly, you know, investors, we're all doing our due diligence. And the reason why maybe I mean, this is kind of my background. So but I want to hear your perspective on this. You know, why is it that you feel that consumers and hiring managers and investors and potential customers, why are they doing this extra step of due diligence before their why do they make that now a part of the decision making process?

Deboshree (00:06:19) - I think there's two parts to it.

Deboshree (00:06:21) - One is it's the due diligence, right, to to verify and validate what you claim is true. But the second thing, truthfully, is I think there's just so much competition, Josh, no matter what field we're applying in, you need to stand out. If you have something in a way that makes you stand out, maybe in a LinkedIn, maybe it's one of those featured articles you were published somewhere, or you were invited to a conference. There's that extra to you that makes that convinces the hiring manager, okay, this dude just shows up at work, does this job, and goes home. So there needs to be something that gives them that reason to make an exception for you. You know, like to make that call, give you their time. And I think that's basically why they do it, is can you give me more than, you know, the regular 9 to 5.

Josh (00:07:04) - Yeah. Yeah. And it's absolutely true. So just kind of my background. So I've studied and led on consumer behavior since 2007.

Josh (00:07:12) - I mean, this has just been an area that I've been fascinated with. So you know, all along the way, you know, my big, I'd say point of view is, you know, encouraging consumers to not just reply to an immediate marketing message, but to take a pause for a moment and, and check them out. And, again, a Google search is kind of the default standard way we do that. And again, you know, you had mentioned Deb just a bit about first impressions, right? And so let's maybe just talk about, you know, where Korea fits in terms of displaying or generating that professional impression that might be a little different than a, you know, maybe like a Wix website or a GoDaddy type website. how does Korea perform that in this for this use case?

Deboshree (00:08:05) - Great question. So we've spent a ton of time researching, you know, for our own selves. Like, I wanted to build my own because I applied to a lot of speaking engagements. Right.

Deboshree (00:08:13) - And trying to build out my own website on Lego, Wix or Squarespace. There are great templates. What we've come to realize is a lot of website builders are stellar, and the templates are very much based on service providers. So you are either building a service or you're offering services. That's kind of how the templates are built around, like your Name About Me services you provide, contact me location and things like that. A personal brand website is completely different. I want to highlight, let's say like a big nice banner about myself. We even do AI generated imagery if you are interested in things like that. a nice executive bio that we create based on your, like, couple of keywords of input, right? And then we break it out into things like, I want to showcase my speaking engagements. There's an entire section like it's like one click speaking engagements. It creates a whole section on speaking engagements where you just plug in literally from your phone. You can just drop your YouTube links. It'll fill it out.

Deboshree (00:09:08) - You have articles. Yeah, literally. It'll just fill it out so you don't have to create the sections. We've built it for personal training. So speaking engagements, if you have a book literally click add my book and like regenerate text saying pre-order my book or whatever, drop, drop your link and you're going to be able to order it. So it's it's completely different from a typical website. It has pre-built sections. If it's about me, it'll import your content from LinkedIn and you click one button, it'll have your entire professional resume presented for. You don't even have to edit like you don't have to do anything to edit it. Logos upload. So it is a completely different way to look at building out your resume or your website with, with your, you know, professional content or journey and experience content.

Josh (00:09:53) - Yeah, yeah. And I think most of us, like I said, you know, it's like we have bits and pieces of this maybe already written, I guess. What if someone says, oh yeah, I do have you know, something, you know, like I have been doing some speaking, but I've just really never put together a speaker page or I haven't really written anything about that.

Josh (00:10:14) - Does the platform assist with that? Like if they do need to create something from scratch, literally.

Deboshree (00:10:20) - So hopefully they have maybe like a picture of themselves at some point speaking or like a video of them speaking somewhere. If you have that literally log in to Korea. There's a button called Add Speaking Engagements. It'll throw it up for you with like pre-populated stuff. Add your video link. It'll create the video in your set. If you want, you can edit the content over there saying speaker at Women in Tech conference or whatever, but it's 30s and it's done. And you can hit live when you're done.

Josh (00:10:47) - Yeah. Tell me a little bit about where Korea came from, where you come from. how did Korea come to be?

Deboshree (00:10:55) - It's a very personal story for me. I grew up in India and I came from a very middle class family. So for me, my whole American dream was get a job, pay off my loans, send money back home. To be honest, entrepreneurship was not an option for me.

Deboshree (00:11:08) - it just so happened that I, you know, I was I grew a ton on Instagram. This is back in the day. I have about 170,000 followers on Instagram, and I started coding the first version of Korea. I'm a programmer. I have a master's in computer science from Carnegie Mellon. I started my career as an engineer at Microsoft, and eventually was head of product at PayPal for several years as to lead the whole driven Customer Success agent platform. I coded the first version of Kriya just as a fun thing to be able to offer my own expertise. And then in 100 days, I started offering that to other users just for fun. I had 100 users in 100 days, and then I was like, oh shoot, I should make this a business. I should register this as an entity instead of doing it in my name. And then the guy, the bank was like, Deb, like, you don't have a green card, you cannot do this. And so I had to go to my lawyer and he said, Deb, you have a 15 year wait to get your green card.

Deboshree (00:11:57) - Even though I was already head of product at PayPal, his exact words to me were there. Like, there's a way to get around this, which is when you send your application to that dude sitting in Washington DC at USCIS, he doesn't know you. He's going to spend five seconds on your application. He needs to make that exception for you. What can you do? And this is when personal branding became important to me. So I took a year, started writing for Forbes, starting speaking engagements, blah blah blah. How'd that case together? In one year I reapplied. I got my green card in 14 days and launched career. So my life's mission is basically about how do we get people to make you the exception. And that's true.

Josh (00:12:37) - just because you have a lot of experience with this, and I've heard this before. Right? What is the, Like, if you're applying for, you know, green card and or citizenship, there's a special classification. And what is it, notability or significance?

Deboshree (00:12:51) - There's some extraordinary, it's like the extraordinary something EB one A or O one and things like that.

Deboshree (00:12:58) - Those are the categories.

Josh (00:12:59) - Yeah, yeah. And so you're suggesting that this might be pretty valuable for someone that's similar. Oh tell me more. I, I don't know, I.

Deboshree (00:13:08) - We literally have people on the platform like we've been in beta for some time. We literally have people who've gotten their green cards, like with their career platforms. I'm not kidding. Like, I can list at least more than five people who've actually won green cards within the last one year with their career membership. So yes, 100%.

Josh (00:13:29) - Man, that is incredible. Okay, so the website is cria Co cry. Why a co. How does someone get started.

Deboshree (00:13:40) - Oh we're going to be opening this up tomorrow so people can just come in. They hit. They'll just enter the LinkedIn URL 20s later. It generates a website for them and the website is generated with some of it obviously has your own content, but a lot of it also has recommendations for what you guys should be adding. Because maybe we didn't find on your LinkedIn, you'll hit one button and say claim and it becomes yours.

Deboshree (00:14:00) - And then you can just edit it from your phone. It'll already have all the pre-built sections, just like fill in the blanks kind of stuff, right? Like just add a few details and go live in ten minutes after that.

Josh (00:14:10) - Wow. Okay. And obviously we're recording this in the past to our friend that's listening to the conversation. Guess what? It's live. It's ready for you right now. And again the pricing may change. Is the model just kind of like a monthly recurring or annual type.

Deboshree (00:14:26) - So yes. So we've actually started to see a lot of different use cases. So we have students all the way to investors and so on wanting this. So we wanted to make it accessible. So there's always going to be a free tier where you can come in. You won't get it. You'll get like a, you know a debit or I or Joshua created I and it'll be a nice one pager. You can put in as much detail in that one pager. Think of it as a one pager website.

Deboshree (00:14:48) - You want to slap on your own domain name and add more like multiple pages. Be able to schedule meetings like you have a scheduler built in, like Calendly and all that stuff. Contact manager. That'll be the next year. You can go on further from there and monetize your expertise as well. That's a next year.

Josh (00:15:03) - Very cool. Deb Dutta again founder CEO of Kriya. The website Trico again cry y Very cool. Completely AI enabled. Let it do all the heavy lifting for you. You've already probably put together most of what you need and. And even if you haven't put it together, just go through the interview process and Korea will design your personally branded website for you. I like it very, very cool. Deb, thank you so much for joining us.

Deboshree (00:15:34) - Thank you so much for having me. Josh.

Josh (00:15:41) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence. Comment.

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