How This Pune-Based Startup is Revolutionizing the Future of Work with Its AI Co-Worker Platform

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How This Pune-Based Startup is Revolutionizing the Future of Work with Its AI Co-Worker Platform

Enterprises are facing many challenges in employing AI and intelligent automation. AI is making work faster, smarter, and better, and the robot revolution will create 97 million new jobs. However, due to a lack of cognition in enterprise systems, organizations are experiencing high costs and a compromised user experience. Only those enterprises that can make data-driven decisions are likely to outperform their competitors. Maintaining growth in every aspect of the enterprise is also a challenge for sustaining productivity growth. Enterprises are facing multiple problems such as the vulnerability of data and insights, lack of ability to employ AI, and data in silos being processed in different solutions from different vendors.

E42 Logo

E42, a no-code platform for creating AI co-workers, offers a comprehensive solution to address the challenges faced by organizations. Its unique approach of “All for one and one for all” allows AI workers built on the platform to work together, enabling the enterprise to leverage intelligence like never before. For instance, based on the AI customer care executive’s interaction, the AI marketing analyst can suggest changes in campaign messaging. With E42, enterprises can predict employee attrition and wellness based on the insights from AI HR exec, AI recruiter, and AI IT services manager, all catering to the same employees. Other advantages of E42 include its multifunctional capabilities, omni-channel interface, and no-code platform, which make it easy to manage compared to technology-specific platforms that rely heavily on coding.

E42, founded in 2012, is the world’s leading natural language processing-based AI platform developed by Light Information System Private Limited.

About the founders:

Animesh Samuel, CEO and Co-Founder

Animesh Samuel, CEO and Co-Founder, E42
Animesh Samuel, CEO and Co-Founder, E42

With 23 years of experience in Technology Product & Marketing, Animesh Samuel is driven by a passion for solving enterprise problems with Artificial Intelligence (AI). As the co-founder and CEO of E42, his impactful leadership has helped the organization earn global recognition. An avid reader, swimmer and humanist, Animesh also serves on the board of Adventures Beyond Barriers Foundation (ABBF) a non-profit that promotes inclusivity through adventure and sports initiatives for Persons with Disability (PwD).

Sanjeev Menon, Co-Founder and Head of Tech and Product

Sanjeev Menon, Co-Founder and Head of Tech and Product, E42
Sanjeev Menon, Co-Founder and Head of Tech and Product, E42

Sanjeev Menon also brings 25 years of passion-driven R&D experience in – Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, Big Data Analytics, Telecommunication & VoIP, Augmented Reality, Ecommerce Solutions and Predictive Algorithms. As a co-founder and head of Tech & Product at E42, Sanjeev focuses on building and mentoring teams that strive for innovation and excellence.

The core Team Members, along with their Designated Roles:

  • Animesh Samuel, Co-founder & CEO, E42 – With 23 years of experience in Technology Product & Marketing, Animesh is driven by a passion for solving enterprise problems with Artificial Intelligence (AI). As the co-founder and CEO of E42, his impactful leadership has helped the organization earn global recognition. An avid reader, swimmer and humanist, Animesh also serves on the board of Adventures Beyond Barriers Foundation (ABBF) a non-profit that promotes inclusivity through adventure and sports initiatives for Persons with Disability (PwD).
  • Sanjeev Menon, Co-founder & Head of Tech & Product, E42 – Sanjeev brings 25 years of passion-driven R&D experience in – Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, Big Data Analytics, Telecommunication & VoIP, Augmented Reality, Ecommerce Solutions and Predictive Algorithms. As the co-founder and Head of Tech & Product at E42, Sanjeev focuses on building and mentoring teams that strive for innovation and excellence.
  • Wasim Karani, Head of R&D, E42 – Wasim has been connected with E42 since inception with 12+ yrs of total work experience. You could reach him for help in A.I, NLP, ML related problems. He builds and executes research and development strategies / projects to deliver business results. He constantly enhances productivity, product quality, and cost effectiveness.
  • Vikrant Karande, Head of Operations, E42 – Vikrant is experienced in AI, NLP industry. He has an infectious enthusiasm for leading and managing teams and incomparable fecundity of strong programing ideas. He is closely involved in the core product development of the e42 platform and working closely solving complex business problems. Prior to this role, Vikrant managed to deliver solutions to different customers like retail, banking, operations, etc.
  • Swanand Khaladkar, Senior Data Scientist, E42 – Swanand has seven+ years of experience in AINLP research. He has profound interest in research methodologies in NLP with latest technologies and models to enhance language-processing capabilities of machine human interactions.
  • Jaya Mahajanam, Director – Solutions and Presales, E42 – In her current role, she leads cross-functional unit that’s focused on enabling the effectiveness of the Sales team by supporting Go-To Market Transformation and new solutions. Her team is responsible to expertly steer clients through their digital journey by enabling the enterprise with AI-powered solutions that helps prioritize the execution of change. She leads all initiatives to enable sales team members with the right insights, knowledge, analytics, and resources, to optimize the deal journeys. Over the course of twenty-plus years in the product, technology, and services space, she comes with rich experience working across verticals, segments, and geographies, especially in the BFS sector. At E42 in her capacity, she actively advocates effective team collaborations, “always-on” learning, diversity, and innovation.

We are publishing an interview with Mr. Animesh Samuel, Co-founder and CEO:

Q.: Tell us about the Product / Solution. How did you get your first customer? Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.

E42 is a platform that allows for the building of AI co-workers through cognitive process automation (CPA), streamlining various enterprise processes. The range of AI workers built on E42 includes analysts, recruiters, HR executives, business development executives, and more, that build enterprise cognition. E42 utilizes AI NLP and a powerful UI to empower subject matter experts to easily create an AI workforce that automates processes across enterprise verticals and functions at scale.

These AI workers can automate various employee-centric processes such as leave application, attendance regularization, payslip generation, as well as customer-centric processes such as lead generation, support, ticket generation, and more. One AI worker can contribute to other enterprise functions including customer service, HR, marketing, finance, legal, IT, and more.

One of the major challenges faced by SIs and OEMs is the lack of expertise across various verticals and processes when it comes to bringing cognitive automation to enterprises. E42’s partner ecosystem allows SMEs, OEMs, SIs, and other technically sound organizations to collaborate with the platform as the CPA experts, and bring in automation in their area of expertise, building multifunctional AI agents on a single platform. The partners benefit from accelerated cognitive capabilities, staying relevant in the world of AI, and tapping into uncharted revenue-generation opportunities.

Q.: What is your USP?

Ans: E42’s “All for one and one for all” approach is what sets it apart from other platforms. This approach enables each AI worker built on the platform to collaborate with other AI workers and humans, allowing for unprecedented intelligence leveraging. For instance, based on interactions between the AI customer care exec and the AI marketing analyst, the latter can suggest campaign messaging changes. Furthermore, the AI recruiter, HR exec, and IT services manager can work together to improve attrition prediction and employee wellness. E42’s other unique features include its no-code platform, multifunctional capabilities, omnichannel interface, and ease of management, making it highly scalable and user-friendly. Drag-and-drop APIs, the ability to process both structured and unstructured data, and the option to deploy on-prem or on any cloud add to its flexibility. E42 also partners with SIs and OEMs, providing them with AI capabilities to compete with industry leaders.

Q.: What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have? Who in your mind is your ideal customer? Do you have at least one of them signed up?

Ans: In 2012, we embarked on a seemingly impossible journey to teach machines how to comprehend human language. Despite initial skepticism and lack of support from VCs, we persisted and kept our core team together. Eventually, our hard work paid off when industry giants such as Microsoft, Times Group, and Reliance Industries recognized the value of our platform. Today, E42 serves a diverse range of clients, including Fortune 500 companies, SMEs, and startups across various sectors. Our platform’s ability to work 24/7 and reduce manpower has been instrumental in delivering maximum efficiency and scalability while minimizing complexity and costs. In doing so, E42 is disrupting the enterprise automation space and providing a seamless user experience.

Q.: What has been your biggest failure as an entrepreneur and what did you learn from it??

Ans: : As entrepreneurs in the tech industry, our mistake was solely focusing on the technology, which was evident in our marketing communications, team structure, and other external interactions. We realized that it would have been wiser to pursue the market from the first version and build features and an ecosystem to bring that product to market. While cutting-edge technology becomes commonplace within a few years, having a strong ecosystem of partners and clients can provide a lasting competitive advantage, with product improvements being made on-demand and, sometimes, by design with every iteration.

Q.: How are you pricing the Product? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc.? Explain your thought process.

Ans: We follow a license fee model per AI worker, which allows our partners and customers to add features and functionality to the AI workers without any additional license cost. In case the AI worker becomes slow due to increased usage, they can add more clones to improve performance. This allows the enterprise to benefit from the AI worker’s round-the-clock and weekend availability, equivalent to at least six human workers. As a result, the partner earns more commissions, and the set-up and management costs for AI workers built on E42 are also covered. This arrangement benefits everyone involved, making it a win-win situation.

Q.: Please tell us about the investors (if any)

Ans: E42 has secured a total funding of more than $7.5 million from investors such as Pavestone Ventures, NB Ventures, Bennet and Coleman, and an angel investor.

Q.: Is there any interesting success story of your startup? If yes, please write about it.?

Ans: There are several stories that brought us back from the brink of collapse. But one of the most interesting ones is how we got the data to train the AI models. The thing with AI is that we need 2 aspects – computational power and data. For computational power, we got access to GPUs from the likes of Microsoft, Google, and Oracle as part of their startup programs and Moore’s Law! The challenge was to get the training data. Our competitors (like IBM) hired humans to create this, we, on the other hand, couldn’t afford that, so, we had to set up a hack to get this. We created algorithms and small generative AI models on transformer networks and waited. Then we launched the world’s first answering engine! It was a core version of ChatGPT (that we are all familiar with today) on SMS. This went viral and we managed to get millions of QnA pairs which helped us bootstrap the data we needed to build E42! Of course, even that gained us lots of recognition in the form of awards and being selected in the Jio Gennext Hub as part of their first cohort.

Pune-based startup is paving the way for the future of work with its groundbreaking AI co-worker platform

Q. : Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture? Please explain in detail.

Ans: The AI workers built on the platform are saving millions of hours of human effort by enabling fewer humans to achieve at least 10X productivity!

Q.: What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product/service leading to something bigger? If so, how?

Ans: Making enterprise intelligent, one AI worker at a time. We envisage a future where AI workers will work alongside humans and automate various processes that needed humans to execute. Humans will move up the value chain and become much more productive than they are today. AI workers built on E42 by partners will be available in a marketplace (featured by Gartner) for enterprises as ‘click-to-hire’. They will practically sell themselves and integrate with enterprise systems. This will definitely give a huge tactical advantage to the enterprise. But the best part is when an enterprise employs multiple AI workers, each one automating several tasks, they will enrich data on each of the entities involved. For example, every time a customer interacts with an AI customer care agent, they will get their queries resolved while the enterprise intelligence gets enhanced with more learnings that will be useful to other teams like product or marketing, etc. The whole will be much larger than the sum of its parts!

Q.: Who do You Perceive as Your Competition? How do you differentiate yourself with them?

Ans: E42 is a Cognitive Process Automation (CPA) platform with no direct competitors as such, since the range of solutions that we provide are difficult to find in any other player in the market. However, our competition can be looked at from different standpoints:

E42 CPA vs RPA players:

A first-gen technology, RPA offers choreographed, robotic repetition and generally malfunctions when dealing with inaccurate, unstructured, or blank data and is not cut for decision-making and problem-solving. At the core of E42 is CPA, an evolved technology that enables the platform to create cognitive, intelligent AI workers, capable of accomplishing much more than RPA-programmed bots – automating routine tasks as well as making decisions and handling complex processes involving unstructured data 

E42 vs domain or feature-specific vendors: 

These are vendors providing AI automation for specific functions (HR, customer support) or with expertise in specific features like ICR and conversational AI – this means enterprises will have to engage multiple vendors for end-to-end automation requiring varied AI features. E42 is a one-stop solution for process automation across enterprise functions like HR, sales, customer support, finance, etc. with inbuilt capabilities including NLP/NLU/NLG, ICR, voice, conversational AI, face recognition, intent-based workflows – enabling process-agnostic automation for enterprises.

E42 vs horizontal platforms:

Large horizontal platform players offer an umbrella of AI features that are use-case agnostic. However, many of the players come with challenges like little/no flexibility of deployment on private cloud/on-prem, excessive pricing, and high transaction costs over the course of the projects. E42 provides ready-to-deploy/plug & play solutions built for all enterprise functions, enabling businesses of all sizes to start using the solutions within 48 hours of deployment – this means cost-effective enterprise automation solutions with proven ROI.

Q.: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months? Any other information you would like to share?

Ans: We are prepping for series B funding. We are also working on a new version of our platform to reduce the creation, training, as well as maintenance time for an AI worker, enhance models for better accuracy, and intelligent document processing (IDP) with layout as well as natural language understanding.

We have also partnered with Beetel in India, other large SIs like Beyondsoft in the U.S., and Alpha Data in the Middle East – with an aim to expand our footprint the world over and enable more and more partners with AI possibilities!

Q.: What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs? 

Ans: To succeed in business, it is crucial to remain adaptable and receptive to new knowledge, while prioritizing customer value. Additionally, having a comprehensive understanding of your target market and taking calculated risks are key factors in driving business growth.