In 2011, Abhijit started Graymatics and developed an artificial intelligence platform to leverage video data in various ways.
What’s your story?
I have been a long-time serial high-tech entrepreneur (started my first company over 17 years back) and a tech geek (have a PhD in Computer Engineering). I was studying in India and the United States about the area of artificial intelligence when there was healthy skepticism on its potential as well as negative connotations about it. I eventually started Graymatics in 2011, and in the last year or so, the industry is one of the fastest-growing in the tech world.
What excites you most about your industry?
The amount of video data being generated is growing globally at an exponential rate. We have developed an artificial intelligence platform to leverage this video data in various ways. It is amazing to see how quickly developments happen within this field, and the scope for creation, for innovation, for growth, is what is excites me most about the industry.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I am originally from Mumbai, and I completed my bachelor’s education at the Indian Institute of Technology in my home city before moving to the US. I am now helming Graymatics which has its operational HQ in Singapore, and our business is going particularly strong in the Asian region.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I have to say Singapore! It’s always bustling with life, and it’s becoming a hub for startups. Singapore’s cosmopolitan nature makes it an ideal location to meet all sorts of people who are interested in different types of businesses, especially in the fields of AI and IOT, which is what Graymatics focuses on.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Never stop dreaming about how you can create value and impact society no matter the odds. This was what gave me the courage to take a risk on technology like AI, which until a few years ago wasn’t a very big field. Today, it is one of the fastest-growing industries and Graymatics is a frontrunner in innovation.
Who inspires you?
Steve Jobs. When you think of creation, innovation, and even disruption on a global scale, his name is the first that comes to your mind. He was truly one of the greatest visionaries of our generation.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I recently read a fascinating article about how data affects artificial intelligence. Researchers at MIT created Norman, an algorithm which was trained using dark and graphic imagery about death. When Norman’s responses to inkblots were compared to those of a standard-trained AI, they were much more morbid. This shows that data that is fed to AI significantly affects how the AI learns, and this is very interesting because it demonstrates the responsibility that creators have in training their AI.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have spent more time meditating so I could be so much better in my remaining time!
How do you unwind?
I greatly enjoy reading, or if I’m in the mood for something more physical, then something like trekking, hiking, or squash. Singapore has some amazing nature trails in the middle of its urban jungle and I love exploring them!
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I would have to say Bali! It is an amazing place to relax, but also to do business. It is fast emerging as one of the leading locations in the Southeast Asian region for startups.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight.
Shameless plug for your business:
Graymatics provides a cognitive multimedia analytics platform capable of transforming images and videos into meaningful granular data. The platform extracts subtle differentiating attributes of objects in images and videos which can be leveraged for automated surveillance solutions, in-depth content analysis and business intelligence reporting. Graymatics stands out from its competitors by providing rich and super-deep analytics with niche, unique dashboards to delight our clients and their customers.
How can people connect with you?
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started,
built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.