About the Company
Ubiquitous Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Global Integration. We envision of a world at Dheeyantra Research Labs where, internet is for everyone: irrespective of the language you speak or the purpose of usage. Be it a complaint you want to lodge with your service provider for getting that important banking transaction done, getting info on the best public commute to be taken to compensate for you delays encountered at the moment, or to find the best market rate for the agriculture produce you just reaped.
What was the first moment when you thought to start a Business?
From the early Internet days, me (Vidhu – co-founder & CEO) & Sreekumar (co-founder & CTO) strongly believed that, Internet has the potential to change the way we live. We see that the current growth in mobile internet penetration, together with rising prominence of artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to revolutionize our everyday life. We wanted to see products that act as catalysts for faster internet penetration among the people who use regional language and thereby bridging the digital language divide. This triggered the birth of DHEEYANTRA. DHEEYANTRA is a technology startup focused on building world class products and platforms using our patent pending methods in AI, Computer Vision & Deep Learning. ”DHEE” meaning Intelligence & ”YANTRA” meaning Machine; conveys the core vision & theme of the company – Machine Intelligence. We envision of a world where, internet is for everyone: irrespective of the language you speak or the purpose of usage. Be it a complaint you want to lodge with your service provider for getting that important banking transaction done, getting info on the best public commute to be taken to compensate for you delays encountered at the moment, or to find the best market rate for the agriculture produce you just reaped. We also envision, smart devices & robots, which use our AI brain to go around & communicate to us in our own vernacular & get things done by managing our workloads in more intuitive, productive, and streamlined manner.
Every business has an up/down moment. Do you want to share anything special with us?
We believe success won’t come easy. First of all, the idea needs a strong purpose. The founders should have strong belief on their purpose & build a vision around it. A great team, proper planning, execution strategy together with strong perseverance are key for the success of startups. As the saying goes, “The desire to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed!”. So, if you believe in your idea, no matter what, stay on & work towards your conquering your dream!
What is your core product or service?
Our core product “DHEE” is a cognitive agent, who understands English & Indian regional languages. One may think of DHEE as an intelligent virtual employee of an organization, who is capable of communicating, perceiving, learning, reasoning & getting tasks done. So, next time, when you communicate with your service provider, chances are that, you are communicating with DHEE ☺
What is the most exciting thing related with your business?
One of the exciting thing about our product is to watch DHEE gaining expertise on various subjects / domains. Just like you watch our little ones learns the baby steps and in no time, becoming masters in many things. Building this continuous learning mechanism for DHEE & watching it becoming a genius in selected domains is exciting. But, the most exciting thing to watch is how our product helps to bridge the digital language divide, by providing vernacular support, there by more people are on India’s Internet grid.
What is your Roadmap and Goal for upcoming years?
As we mentioned before, we envision a world where everything is seamless for everyone with the help of DHEE. Easy access of right information at the right time for the right people. We believe, one size doesn’t fit for all. Personalization is the key! Getting personalized services in non-intrusive manner. Automation, productivity enhancement & overall cost optimization for organizations. Smart devices & robots to help us in our daily life – talking, understanding & getting things done in our language using DHEE. In short we see that the cases of DHEE are globally relevant, which calls for a global outreach and presence.
Who is your mentor or role model?
I (Vidhu) admire two great leaders from two different domains, who were brave enough to think they can change the world – Mahatma Gandhi & Steve Jobs. They are the exemplars of determination, perseverance & vision articulation. Both of them have been men of people – bringing together ideas, talent and intellect of people. Sreekumar, who is co-founder & CTO believes in people who build sustainable & impactful technologies that become change agents of the world. Being an ardent fan of Linux, he has great admiration for Linus Torvalds.
What is the definition of success for you? How do you see yourself?
Success for us is about accomplishing the purposes we spoke of (above). From a very high level, when most people benefits from Dhee, making it a household name, and gain benefits of a connected world irrespective of the language differences & literacy levels, we will consider ourselves stand successful. Right now, we are setting the paths for achieving these feat. We have built our cognitive agent DHEE, who can understand-“English, Hindi, Tamil & Bangla“. DHEE is being continuously trained for making it the best in selected domains. We are in talks with various service providers for piloting DHEE, for improving the productivity & cost optimization with regional language support, thereby reaching more people.
What are your views on competitors?
We believe competition promotes growth & innovation. It helps us to be more creative. It helps you to get out of comfort zone & start taking those chances, throws lot of challenges & helps us to be on our toes to face them & make each day a new day. It makes us to define our purpose clearly & carve out our niche. Great competitors also help us to set our benchmark right. We admire IBM Watson for what it is & what it’s not. ☺
Biggest risk you have ever taken?
I am a firm believer of encouraging people to dream and pushing for boundless goals. Being an ardent dreamer & believer of creating stuffs, I think the biggest risk I have ever taken was to stick on to Job for such a long time & delaying the process of working for my dream. But, each chapter of life has been a great experience. Working in Samsung has helped me to build the expertise to build & take product from Research to Market from scratch with focus on quality & time to market. Sreekumar had taken a right move at the right time in his career to follow his passion to research and develop quality AI systems for Indian markets – a move with the kind of conviction essential for a product like Dhee to be formed.
What do you think about your company culture?
Our culture is centered around being sincere & exceptional in our efforts to make sure that our products serve the customers and end-users well. We understand people are the integral part in constantly being successful at this. Our systems, policies and practices foster an open culture, enabling our people to discover their potential by taking risks when needed. Acting fast & being agile are in our genes. We have an appetite for continuous learning – just like the machine counterparts we build ☺.
Do you want to suggest any books to others for reading?
The following are my all-time favorites when it comes to entrepreneurship.
i.) Steve Jobs – by Walter Isaacson : an inspiring biography detailing Steve’s professional & personal life.
ii.) The Hard Thing About Hard Things – by Ben Horowitz : an honest talk on difficulties in running a business.
iii.) Only the Paranoid Survive – by Andrew S. Grove : here Grove reveals his strategy of handling nightmare moments every leader may come across, handling massive changes that might need for the survival of companies.
iv.) High-Performance Entrepreneur – by Subroto Bagchi : talks about his own highly successful experience to offer guidance from the idea stage to the IPO level.
Any other suggestions or tips?
Don’t wait for 100% clarity before you act. Clarity comes with action. I favor experimentation, getting early feedback from customers & iterative design, over an elaborate planning, working on intuitions & upfront detailed designs. The key focus area, according to me, is how the company is creating value for itself & it’s customers. One needs to be flexible in their approach. If you find the idea is not working, be ready to pivot & implement what is required to create value.