'We Plan to Double Down on Localisation with in Artificial Intelligence' - Says Aakrit Vaish, Haptik
Do not start for the sake of starting up. Start because you are obsessed with your idea. Once you have 110 per cent conviction in what you are doing, then don’t give up, just try and try till you succeed
Haptik is India's largest personal assistant mobile app, powered by a combination of artificial intelligence and human assistance. With close to 3 million downloads, Haptik is India's highest rated mobile app on Google Play, having higher ratings than any other app in India including WhatsApp, Snapchat, etc. Voted as of one of the world's Top 25 mobile companies in 2015, Haptik provides a one stop shop service to set reminders, book flights, trains, cabs, pay bills, find things nearby and a lot more, all through simple text messaging technology.
Haptik is made in India for India, founded by Aakrit Vaish and Swapan Rajdev, who started their careers with mobile startups in San Francisco after completing their engineering from University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. Aakrit is a serial entrepreneur having founded 3 companies, sold 2 and invested in 10. Aakrit Vaish was named as a contender to the BW Disrupt 40 Under 40 list in 2017.
In an interaction with BW Disrupt, Aakrit Vaish talked about his venture.
Success Mantra - Perseverance. Nothing else matters in the journey of entrepreneurship. I quote from the 2016 Hollywood movie The Founder (the story of the McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc): “Nothing in this world can take the place of good old persistence. Talent won’t. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius won’t. Unrecognised genius is practically a cliché. Education won’t. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
The Driving Force Behind Your Journey - I come from a family of entrepreneurs. So, the thought of doing anything other than that was very alien to me. I always knew I would run my own business. Plus, I went to University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, a college that was famous for many technology startups such as YouTube, LinkedIn, Netscape, Paypal, etc.
Business advice - Do not compromise on integrity. Profit and loss may last a quarter, but reputation lasts a lifetime. Do honest hard work, and things will eventually work out.
Tips For Budding Entrepreneurs - Do not start for the sake of starting up. Start because you are obsessed with your idea. Once you have 110 per cent conviction in what you are doing, then don’t give up, just try and try till you succeed.
Government Support - The current government is definitely trying to do a lot. The first step in solving a problem is recognising there exists one. Just asking this question often enough is a good start. The next 2-3 years will determine how many of these discussion points are actually put into action.
The Team - The team that you work with is the only thing that matters. A great idea can lead you to a great product, but a great team is one that will build a great company. I am the chief recruiter at my company and I spend close to half my time on bringing the best talent to work at Haptik.
The inspiration - There is not one but a combination of many. I have learnt the principles of integrity from my father. I am an avid sports fan so people like Sachin Tendulkar and Roger Federer are great examples of extreme hard work. My first boss Simon Khalaf taught me the art of the hustle.
The next step - Haptik, a chat-based personal assistant app, is currently at the inflection point of becoming something special. We will introduce a host of new products and partnerships in the market over the next 12 months. We plan to double down on localisation within artificial intelligence.
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