Ajeet Singh started his entrepreneurial journey in 2009 with cloud-computing software company Nutanix. Three years later, he left to start artificial intelligence-driven analytics firm ThoughtSpot with six others. ThoughtSpot became a unicorn earlier this year when it raised $145 million in its Series D round.
Singh, a graduate of Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur and Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta, was in Bengaluru recently to announce ThoughtSpot’s local expansion plans. In an interview with TechCircle on the sidelines of the NASSCOM Product Conclave, Singh discussed India’s potential to become a leader in emerging technologies.
Nutanix appears to have been a hotbed for entrepreneurs...
If you look at the team that founded Nutanix, people have come out and done some really big things, which has been evident in the last couple of years.
(Business data startup) Rubrik's founder Bipul Sinha, a friend and early investor in Nutanix, is doing well. Nutanix continues to be an iconic company.
There has been a spate of good companies coming out of Silicon Valley led by Indian-origin entrepreneurs over the last few years. AppDynamics (an app monitoring startup) is another company driven by an Indian-origin entrepreneur (Jyoti Bansal) in the Valley..
What can you tell us about ThoughtSpot’s Bengaluru office?
It is a very strategic R&D centre to build our AI and machine learning-based analytics platform. We are about 50 people now and there will be around 75 by the end of this year. We are planning to double our headcount next year.
We are looking for world-class engineers. Our team in Bengaluru is as good as our team in Palo Alto and Seattle. We are doing some deep technology work in AI, high-performance databases and distributed computing. We are looking for engineers who are interested in building fundamental technologies that will have a huge impact on some of the largest companies in the world.
How do you view India as a market for enterprise-tech companies?
India is becoming bigger than before. Growth should pick up and more digital companies will become successful as we use more technology as a primary way to innovate and disrupt businesses.
If you look at any significantly large enterprise company, they have a presence in India. Also, as Indian corporates spend more money on technology, there will be an opportunity for Indian entrepreneurs who work closely with potential customers right here in India.
In many ways, global companies now have huge technology operations in India and that provides an opportunity — like for our Bengaluru team — to work closely with many customers that are headquartered abroad but have huge technology teams here and collaborate closely.