Umesh Sachdev: Linking Man
WRITTEN BY TEAM ARISE
PUBLISHED MAY 22, 2023
Umesh Sachdev, Founder and CEO of Uniphore, a unicorn based out of Palo Alto, started his early life in India, born to a father who was a CEO of an energy company. “My sister followed in my father’s footsteps and did well in her corporate career,” Sachdev explains. He adopted a similar path, opting to study Computer Science in 2003. “For me, undergraduation was simply a stepping stone to success; do postgraduation, then an MBA, and then corporate jobs. It was the only path I knew,” he says.
Life, though, had other plans for Sachdev. During the first year of his engineering studies, he met Ravi Saraogi, the now Co-Founder and President of Uniphore. After completing the first semester, Saraogi convinced Sachdev and a senior engineering student from the same college to collaborate on a summer project.
In 2007, Umesh and Ravi developed a mobile project that caught the attention of Gemalto, a SIM card manufacturer. They were among the top five teams in a technology competition and received an expensive software development kit to complete their product. Later, they developed a business plan for the project and were selected among the top 10 teams in a business plan competition.
Overnight, they decided to become entrepreneurs. However, like all start-ups, this was no easy journey. They faced numerous challenges on their path and thus sought help from professors at the Indian Institutes of Technology. And it worked. Finally, the idea for Uniphore was taking shape. The idea was to use voice to enable access to the internet for the base of the pyramid population in India. “That was to be our company’s mission,” Sachdev recalls.
By 2016, Uniphore became a full-fledged voice AI contact centre-focused startup. Umesh wanted to combine voice, natural language processing (NLP) and AI to improve human-to-machine communication. Umesh later expanded the AI capability to not only understand words and sentences but also pay attention to what's happening in the video in terms of facial expression and emotion.
Sachdev's perseverance, determination, and innovation have shone throughout his entrepreneurial journey. Going forward, Sachdev has two goals. First, he wants to make Uniphore a $1 billion revenue company. Secondly, he aims to go public to provide liquidity to their investors and employees. Sachdev's journey has been far from smooth, but his unwavering dedication and entrepreneurial spirit have led to the success of Uniphore, a testament to his character and determination. Today, Uniphore is a unicorn, and success is with Umesh and the Uniphore team.