Artificial intelligence (AI) company ThoughtSpot, whose technology enables sophisticated searches of corporate data, will spend $25 million (Rs 174 crore at current exchange rate) on its India engineering headcount to take it to 150 from 100 in the next 12 months, global chief executive Sudheesh Nair told TechCircle. The company is hiring two executives in India for each person it onboards anywhere else in the world, he added. Including the country, ThoughtSpot has employed around 400 people globally.
California-based ThoughtSpot has also entered into an agreement with IT (information technology) firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to reach more mid-sized customer-companies across the globe.
Nair said, "It is difficult for us to reach every customer we want to. TCS has done good work in AI-based analytics and we will work with them to co-create end-solutions for customers."
The firm has also launched its India sales and marketing office, headed by Sunil Mahale, vice-president for the Asia-Pacific and Japan.
Mahale said, "Not only will the investment help ThoughtSpot bring innovations to our customers more quickly than ever before, but for the first time, we will have a dedicated business team to bring search and AI-driven analytics to enterprises throughout India.”
According to ThoughtSpot, the India research and development (R&D) office will soon surpass the US offices as the most important centre. Nair said, "While from a business perspective India might not be huge, all the large customers we work with have their R&D centres here. So it becomes easier to work with these clients."
ThoughtSpot was founded in 2012 by Indian-origin entrepreneurs Ajeet Singh, Abhishek Rai, Priyendra Deshwai, Amit Prakash, Shashank Gupta, Sanjay Agrawal and Vijay Ganesan. The founders have previously worked at consumer technology companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook, while Singh, an IIT-Kanpur and IIM-Calcutta alumnus, has worked in Bengaluru till 2006. He then moved to the US with his then employer Honeywell and later worked at Oracle. Since inception, ThoughtSpot has raised more than $300 million.
Nair said that the company increasingly finds more top-end AI engineers in India rather than in the US, except for design. The firm is developing an enterprise search engine suffused with AI. "While currently the questions being asked are answered, but we are training our algorithms so that it could even suggest the end-users what questions should they be asking with the kind of data they have," Nair said.
In a story published in October last year, ThoughtSpot co-founder Ajeet Singh had told TechCircle that the company was looking to be the Google of enterprise search.