My cofounders and I are of the belief that there is a need to re-look at the way work gets done in organizations today. And that the only way to upend old work structures is by leveraging new technologies such as AI and ML to shape that which is new. With the ubiquity of mobile devices, behavior science becoming mainstream (thanks to Kahneman winning the Nobel Prize) and the advent of the age machine learning, I believed we can add tremendous value, as a firm, using new-age technologies and leveraging our collective experiences in high-performance corporate cultures, to the aid of companies looking to successfully improve employee productivity and performance. This was one of the key reasons to pursue this path.
As part of my series about the women leading the Artificial Intelligence industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sudha Bhamidipati, CoFounder and Director of worxogo, an enterprise tech start-up organized around the idea of improving employee performance using neuroeconomics, predictive analytics, and AI. Prior to worxogo, Sudha was a partner at IBM and led the CRM practice in India. She also worked at PwC, where she led large scale transformation initiatives for large Indian and global organizations. Sudha has more than 25 years of experience after completing her post-graduation from IIM-Ahmedabad, India’s premier B-School.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the ‘backstory” of how you decided to pursue this career path?
My cofounders and I are of the belief that there is a need to re-look at the way work gets done in organizations today. And that the only way to upend old work structures is by leveraging new technologies such as AI and ML to shape that which is new.
With the ubiquity of mobile devices, behavior science becoming mainstream (thanks to Kahneman winning the Nobel Prize) and the advent of the age machine learning, I believed we can add tremendous value, as a firm, using new-age technologies and leveraging our collective experiences in high-performance corporate cultures, to the aid of companies looking to successfully improve employee productivity and performance. This was one of the key reasons to pursue this path.
What lessons can others learn from your story?
That each individual’s journey is unique and that there’s no golden-rule to success. Everyone gets ‘there’ in their own creative ways.
Can you tell our readers about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
Currently, I am working with worxogo, an AI-tech startup that exists to help companies improve their team’s and employee’s performance effectively using behaviour science, neuroeconomics, and predictive analytics.
I come from a management consulting background where I was a part of a team that was involved in working on transformation initiatives of large global organizations. However, we saw the same organizations not getting the full impact of the benefits they were aiming for. We started digging around the principles of behavioral science and neuroeconomics in search of solutions, and our search took us to Stanford University and Baba Shiv, a professor and an expert in these areas.
Together, we discovered that the answers to the questions we are trying to solve lay in incorporating these time-honored scientific principles with smart technologies like AI. At worxogo, we firmly believe that AI, applied right, can be used to improve the productivity and lives of employees in exceptionally creative and rewarding ways.
So our most interesting work at worxogo right now has to do with enhancing and making our AI engine smart by infusing it with learning as derived from scientific principles around behavior and neuroscience. This, to ensure that it gets better at contributing to improving the productivity of employees that use the technology. Since it sits at the intersection of a number of cutting-edge areas, it’s always a challenge to push the boundaries further of what it can do.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?
There are a great many people doing a lot of good in India, at scale. Personally, I have been supporting and contributing towards the primary education of children from the slums. There is a wonderful organization called Aseema which is doing stellar work in the area of educating children from underprivileged parts of our society and I am happy to be associated with them, in my own small way.
As you know, there are not that many women in your industry. Can you share 3 things that you would advise to other women in the AI space to thrive?
Three things I would advise women, regardless of the space they are in
1) Stay current. Read up on your industry and all complementary areas
2) Lean In. Don’t be afraid to ask for advancement in position and salary. Don’t be afraid of rejection or failure, either.
3) Persevere. Because sometimes work-life balance can be challenging.
Can you advise what is needed to engage more women in the AI industry?
AI-enabled technologies are exciting and fascinating, and the engineering behind them is usually the stuff of legends. But there is a lot more to AI than the technology itself. AI, only when complemented by sciences, design thinking, innovative use case building, and ethical marketing, makes the technology appear great and satisfyingly relevant, and ensure that an AI-powered solution truly delivers on its outlandish promises to the customers.
What are the things that most excite you about the AI industry? Why?
– Possibilities for re-engineering organizations and advancing human effectiveness are endless.
– Together with common sense and with respect for the privacy of the individual, AI can become the means to a fruitful end and not an end in itself.
What are the things that concern you about the AI industry? Why?
– Disregard for privacy
– The hype around using AI to replace humans and the advent of an all-learning.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
I can be reached on Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/sudha-bhamidipati-96a5411/ )
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!