Animesh & Sanjeev, Co-Founders, E42
Picture a world where you are doing almost every task under the sun, manually. Sounds exhausting, isn’t it? But what if all your repetitive, time-consuming, and resource-intensive processes are AI-driven? Feeling a burden off your shoulder, right? When this thought crossed the minds of two avid business leaders, Animesh Samuel and Sanjeev Menon, they decided to make it a reality through a Cognitive Process Automation (CPA) platform powered by AI and NLP. The idea was to make process-centric and people-centric automation easier across verticals by driving human-like cognition across these processes. So, they put together a small team of handpicked engineers to develop a system that could process and comprehend text inputs semantically and respond to any user query on any topic in a natural language conversation.
And thus, E42, the world’s leading Natural Language Processing-based AI platform came into existence. E42 was developed under its parent company, Light Information Systems Pvt. Ltd (LISPL), a pioneering platform-as-a-service startup established by Animesh and Sanjeev with a vision to transform workplaces and workforce across industries through Natural Language Processing-based AI. Today E42 has grown to 80 members, is still heavily invested in research and development, and has 40+ proprietary algorithms, their own Recurrent Neural Networks, and a platform that can be highly customized to automate conversations across many enterprise functions. Under the insightful leadership of the Indian entrepreneur duo, today E42 is globally making strides in the area of NLP AI.
The Passionate Entrepreneur Duo with a Strong Background
Animesh began his entrepreneurial journey during his engineering days, selling mobile subscriptions. He decided to take up a few jobs so that he could go through the journey of an employee and keep learning. Before founding E42 (LISPL), he also helmed the role of CEO of an IT services company with around 450 employees in a tech park. It was his unwavering passion for solving enterprise problems with Artificial Intelligence (AI) that drove him to start his own venture. Sharing a similar passion as Animesh, Sanjeev had the entrepreneurial DNA in the startup arena with his previous venture that he had set up in Florida, making him a small fortune with his sale of the IP to a telecom major. As the Co-founder and Head of Tech & Product at LISPL, Sanjeev brings to the table, 25 years of passion-driven R&D experience in Natural Language Processing, machine learning, Big Data analytics, telecommunications and augmented reality. It’s their combined experience backed by a vibrant entrepreneurial and cultural spirit and remarkable ability to not only think laterally but also apply their experience and learning to solve the complex new-age problems that have helped the organization earn global recognition.
Conquering Challenges along the Way
Today, E42 is one of the only companies in India to have home-grown technology in NLP AI. However, like every successful venture, its journey to prominence was not without its challenges. While experimenting on Stanford NLP and other open-source components that were available in 2012, the team quickly realized the limitations of the technology. “We were chasing a crazy dream to teach machines how to understand and comprehend human language. It was considered plain impossible in 2012! So, no one took us seriously, many even wondered what the point of it all was. We persisted! We kept the core team close and to this day they are all with us. We had invested everything we owned as initially VCs also didn’t get what we were trying to achieve,” elucidates Animesh. Finally, their persistence paid off when they secured the support of the likes of giants like Microsoft, Times Group, Reliance Industries, etc.
Appreciating One Another’s Strengths
Working together as friends and business partners, Sanjeev and Animesh had their own values and beliefs. But the duo successfully managed to tackle every challenge with an open mind, honest conversation, and a greater appreciation for each other’s strengths, tendencies, and personality traits. “To this day we play our strengths – I open the conversations he closes them, he makes the product and I sell it, I bring in the resources he maintains them and we both are always open to change and new horizons. It was exciting reconnecting with Sanjeev and exploring breakthrough technologies, and building a great friendship at the same time,” asserts Animesh. Delineating on their journey over the years, the college-friends-turned-business-partners describe it as the spirit of adventure, going beyond the ordinary not knowing what lies ahead, taking calculated risks, losing battles to win the war, and a combination of integrity, empathy, passion, vision, being hands-on, and transparency!
Building the Camaraderie and Spirit of Oneness
Besides the insightful leadership of Animesh and Sanjeev, the success of E42 also comes from its empowering culture where everyone is genuinely passionate about the work they do.“We, at E42 work in a remote setup, which means each member of the team has the liberty to work from wherever they wish to. This helps us strike the best work-life balance while the many company-wide online gatherings and our quarterly workstations where the entire E42 team or smaller groups meet at a designated spot anywhere in the country ensure that we all stay connected and don’t miss any chance to build the camaraderie and spirit of oneness,” shares Animesh.
The many internal elevations and promotions are a testimony to the fact that growth is a constant for every deserving member of the E42, something that keeps each and every team member motivated to learn, grow, and be the best version of themselves. “We also incorporated various other smaller niches in our culture – keeping cameras on during meetings, completely owning the tasks we take up, having freedom of expressing even the craziest of ideas, and so much more,” adds Animesh.
Continues Making Enterprises over the World Intelligent
Forging toward the future, the business leaders aim to help create a few Unicorns in the AI era through E42. “Our platform is open to startups and entrepreneurs to come and build solutions in AI catering to consumers and enterprises worldwide. We also have an AI marketplace where entrepreneurs can post their creations and other entrepreneurs can sell them,” affirms Animesh. In the coming years, the entrepreneur duo also sees the company going IPO and bringing on great leaders to drive the enterprise to the next level by making enterprises over the world intelligent. Fueled with an optimistic outlook, the inspirational business leader duo continues to create a benchmark in the industry while building a legacy for the next generation to look up to.