Umesh Sachdev is the CEO and co-founder of Uniphore, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company focused on conversational artificial intelligence (AI) and automation across the enterprise. He is a visionary entrepreneur who has been recognised as one of the ‘Next Generation Leaders’ by Time magazine and one of the ‘Innovators Under 35’ by MIT Technology Review. He is also a Forbes Technology Council member and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.
Umesh Sachdev was born and brought up in Chennai, India. He was always fascinated by technology and innovation. He was inspired by his father, who was an engineer and an entrepreneur. He also credits his mother, who was a homemaker, for instilling in him the values of hard work, integrity and humility. He completed his schooling from DAV Public School in Chennai.
Umesh pursued his BTech in Information Technology from Jaypee Institute of Information Technology (JIIT) in Noida. He met his co-founder, Ravi Saraogi, during his college days and they became good friends. They shared a common interest in speech recognition and natural language processing technologies. They also participated in various competitions and hackathons together.
Education: BTech, Information Technology, Jaypee Institute Of Information Technology.
Umesh and Ravi decided to give entrepreneurship a try after graduating from JIIT. They started their first venture, Singularis Technologies, in 2008, which aimed to provide voice-based solutions for rural India. They developed a speech recognition system that could work with multiple Indian languages and dialects. They also partnered with IIT Madras to set up a rural BPO that employed visually impaired people.
In 2013, they rebranded their company as Uniphore and shifted their focus to conversational AI and automation for enterprises. They leveraged their expertise in speech recognition, natural language understanding, voice biometrics and conversational analytics to create innovative products and solutions that could enhance customer experience, improve employee productivity and reduce operational costs.
Uniphore has grown rapidly since then and has expanded its presence to multiple countries across Asia, Europe and North America. It has raised over $210 million in funding from marquee investors such as John Chambers, March Capital Partners, Sorenson Capital Partners, Cisco Investments, IIFL and Iron Pillar. It has also acquired two companies, Emotion Research Lab and Jacada, to strengthen its capabilities in video AI and intelligent automation.
Umesh leads Uniphore with a vision to make every conversation matter for businesses and consumers. He is responsible for setting the strategic direction, driving innovation and fostering a culture of excellence within the organisation. He is also actively involved in building partnerships with customers, industry bodies and policy makers.
Career turning point: My co-founder, classmate and good friend Ravi Saraogi convinced me to give entrepreneurship a try after graduating from JIIT.
Umesh has received several accolades and recognition for his work and leadership. Some of them are:
- Featured in Time magazine’s list of ‘10 Millennials Who Are Changing the World’ in 2016.
- Named as one of the ‘Innovators Under 35’ by MIT Technology Review India in 2015.
- Awarded as one of the ‘Young Turks’ by CNBC TV18 in 2014.
- Honoured as one of the ‘Young Global Leaders’ by World Economic Forum in 2020.
- Recognised as one of the ‘40 Under 40’ by Fortune India in 2023.
Lifestyle and Hobbies
Umesh is a fitness enthusiast who likes to stay fit and healthy. He enjoys running, cycling and playing badminton. He also loves reading books on technology, business and leadership. He is married and has two children who keep him grounded and motivated. He describes himself as a lifelong learner who is always curious to explore new things.
Umesh defines success as making a positive impact in people’s lives with technology, creating wealth for people who work with him and finding joy every day working alongside a highly talented team of individuals and customers. He also believes that leading with emotional quotient (EQ) is as important as leading with intelligence quotient (IQ). Some of the best advice he ever got are:
- Make yourself dispensable. Once you set a vision, a technology, a team, it enables you to move on to the next challenge and create your next success.
- A career is a marathon, not a 100-metre sprint.
- The best advice I ever got: Leading with EQ (emotional quotient) is as important as leading with IQ (intelligence quotient).
Success to me: Making a positive impact in people’s lives with technology, creating wealth for people who work with me and finding joy every day working alongside a highly talented team of individuals and customers.
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