Tell us about yourself, your background and what you do currently
Starting from 8th standard, I had a “Science & Tech” magazine subscription and each Sunday morning I woke up with an excitement to explore the unexplored. That’s who I am. A techie at heart who believes in applying tech in everyday life. I am a native of Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh and did my schooling from the same. I topped Bareilly district in my intermediates(10+2). With a good rank in AIEEE, I joined Indian Institute of Technology, Allahabad for graduation. A good chunk of time during graduation studies was focussed on improving my technology skills everyday.
I joined as a research scholar at University of Paderborn to devise a state of art algorithm for recommendation under the mentorship of an ACM fellow. I feel honored to graduate IIITA as university topper with 4 gold medals. I was offered a job as ‘Software Engineer’ via campus placement at Yahoo India. Being with Video Platforms team at Yahoo gave me exposure to video transcoding and encoding technologies. Currently I am building Clorik – AI powered crowd-sourced discovery platform for content in Indian Languages. Recently, I successfully completed “Startup School” by YCombinator with my company Clorik.
Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote
Clorik is an online platform to discover content categorized based on interest. Users choose their interests and preferred languages for getting content ranked based on relevance. Being technologically moderated and crowd-sourced, Clorik brings the most reliable content fastest to you. My uncle Mr. Amit wants to stay updated with latest local news, business updates and loves to consume funny Hindi content. He uses different apps for this. Whatsapp is a primary source of funny content for him. He hates the fact that he has to rely on his connects and also hassle through multiple apps for latest content. And on top of that most of the times the sourced content is stale or in English. Majority of smartphones in India have very low storage space. We have spent time watching our relatives & neighborhood people and it paid off.
We observed that people still use 2G connection & have persistent smartphone performance issues. These are the people who got introduced to internet via Whatsapp and Facebook and no nothing about internet surfing. The de-facto language of internet is English. 10% of Indians are fluent with English i.e. 90% of 1.34 billion Indian population loves to communicate in their native language. I co-founded Clorik keeping these hardware and infrastructure limitations in mind. Clorik is a technology powered app – 2.5 MB in size(lightest in it’s category) app, uses in-house technologies that streams videos on flakiest of
internet connection(where other apps even fail to start) and has an in-app lite mode(rescues when running out of data).
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
Coming from a technology background the switch in role from an engineer to wearing multiple hats during the course of my startup has been nothing short of wonderful. The challenge involved is not just being present in different roles like development, marketing, team management and even fundraising but own each of them. The experience has been overwhelming and I look forward to exciting challenges in my journey with Clorik.
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
It’s yet to come. But certainly the fact that I shed 32 kgs of weight within 1.5 year, changing from size XXXL to M, does bring a smile to my face. The journey was not easy and on top of that I decided to do that all by myself without any dietitian or gym or coach.
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
I believe that this age group(<30 years) is the one for exploring and learning. If not Clorik, I would be using my skills to give back to the community either by technologically solving a social issue or contributing to some open-source projects.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration and support system has to be my dad. Coming from a small town in Bareilly Uttar Pradesh, he was the only one who supported my decision of going to Germany all alone for the research project. He is a self made man, tax-consultant by profession and even more hard-working than me. I have grown up seeing him work day-in and night-out with utter dedication. I know I’ll be bashed when he reads this, but to disclose it to you all he is writing exams of the last semester of LLB as I write this. That’s what I am saying, he just never stops learning.
What does the future hold for you?
I believe future holds what you do in your present. I don’t think much about future.