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Building Two Capital-Efficient AI Companies: Arijit Sengupta, Founder and CEO of Aible and BeyondCore (Part 7)

Posted on Tuesday, Oct 8th 2019

Sramana Mitra: It’s a very good strategy. Where you can show ROI easily is where the sales cycle is going to be the fastest.

Arijit Sengupta: It’s easier for the champion to go up to the management and say, “I’ve made you this much money.” People are used to years’ payback.

Sramana Mitra: You are selling a product that customers are using directly.

In the way you set up this product, does it make sense to do a platform strategy where you have other value-added resellers or small entrepreneurs build on top of your platform specific applications that they can go sell in specific use cases?

Arijit Sengupta: Aible is both a product and platform already. If you want to build a platform, you first better build a really good app that customers care about and get value from.

Two weeks back, we announced something called Aible Advance. It’s a platform that comes with a marketplace and tools that you can use to create custom blueprints for various use cases. You can also build connectors into Aible from various applications.

If you’re a consulting company, you can go in and say, “I can build a whole business on top of Aible.” If you are a company who has data but do not have AI, guess what? You take Aible, make sure that the use case is exactly what you want for your customers. Overnight, you have AI inside your application custom-created for you.

That is the entire idea. How do we add value to people who have data? How do we add value to the services firms who have tremendous domain knowledge? 

Sramana Mitra: In many cases, the services firms who are trying to go from services to product can do so on top of your platform. We see a lot of bootstrapping with services as a path to entrepreneurship. You will see a lot of that happening.

As you pointed out, there are people with domain knowledge who want to productize but don’t have the hardcore AI expertise to build the platform. If you can give them a great platform, they will build very successful applications on top.

Arijit Sengupta: One of the things I fundamentally believe is, no company becomes transformative until it gets to a hundred thousand people rooting for them. It’s very difficult to build a hundred-thousand-person company, but if you can build a hundred-thousand-person ecosystem, you’re probably going to do fine.

Sramana Mitra: What is your current ecosystem? Have people started building?

Arijit Sengupta: It’s very new, but they have started building on the platform. We launched two weeks back. The other thing we have done already is building connections ourselves to show how that works.

Before launching this, we partnered with Tableau. We also partnered with AWS where if you have data in AWS, we can do this roundtrip from AWS. These are all existing partnerships. For these, the load was a little bit on us. Whereas the new ones, people can do the exact same work without having to have my team involved.

We see ourselves as a layer. AI technology is evolving so quickly. Customers don’t want to get locked to any one platform. Knowing AI technology is going to get better, how do we future-proof our AI investments rather than locking into one.

Sramana Mitra: Excellent company. Congratulations on what you have done. You have a fantastic run ahead. Thank you for your time.

This segment is part 7 in the series : Building Two Capital-Efficient AI Companies: Arijit Sengupta, Founder and CEO of Aible and BeyondCore
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