From Silicon Valley to London's Tech City
An interview with Tuhin Chakraborty, co-founder of Mimica
Archimede Mulas London - 10/12/2018
This week CEO has had the pleasure to interview Tuhin Chakraborty, CEO and co-founder of Mimica.
Tuhin was born and raised in Silicon Valley, surrounded by tech founders, start-ups, IPOs and M&As.
He remembers a key event in his past, the day when Sabeer Bhatia, founder of Hotmail, sold his company to Microsoft. His mother, proud of her Indian origins pointed to Sabeer, also of Indian origins, and showed Tuhin what his path could be!
Tuhin went on to study English Literature at university, slowly grew a passion for coding and natural language processing, took some classes at Stanford in machine learning, before being offered a job at LinkedIn.
At LinkedIn Tuhin earned a patent for his work in machine learning, and was then offered by Entrepreneur First (link) to go to London to try and create his own start-up.
A year on, Mimica (link) is an AI powered start-up building the future of work automation. Mimica’s software observes, learns and automates a worker’s most repetitive work.
Our questions to Tuhin:
How is it working for a large organisation?
"Large organisations are a great way to start your career. I paid off my student loans while working 40 hours a week, which left me plenty of free time to take classes and work on side-projects. I built confidence and learned how big businesses are run.
A common narrative in startups is that employees at large companies are just cogs in a wheel. It’s easy to fall into this rhythm if you show up to work every day and do what you’re told. I didn’t realize even as a junior I had a lot of latent power. If I could do it over again, I’d spend my first month just understanding the business and internalizing my unit’s KPIs. Once you do that it becomes easier to get buy-in around projects you propose. If you’re bringing an idea to the table you can position yourself to spearhead the effort. And if your project is cross-functional it’s a great way to quickly and dramatically broaden the scope of your impact. Having an awesome manager and great company culture are prerequisites.
What pushed you to move from LinkedIn to start your own company?
" I still remember when Sabeer Bhatia sold Hotmail to Microsoft in 1998. Sabeer had a lot in common with my Mom: they were both Indian, both immigrants, both living in California, and she was so inspired by his success she made him out to be the paragon of her American dream. Since then I’ve wanted to be a tech entrepreneur. "
" I started my first business when I was 12, and growing up I always had notebooks full of ideas. A few got some traction but most went nowhere. One day I got an email from Entrepreneur First asking me to come to London to try to start a business. For the first time in my adult life I was debt free, so I quit my job at LinkedIn and took the leap. That’s where I met my co-founder, Raphael, and the rest is history."
What are you trying to achieve with Mimica?
" Mimica’s vision is that software can learn to automate work simply by observing it over time. When Raphael first came to me with this ambitious technical idea, I wasn’t sure it was possible. And yet there was something intuitive about it. As a kid my Mom taught me how to unload the dishwasher. She picked up a cup and put it on the shelf and said “the cups go here”. I learned the task by watching her. "
" Today there are about 50 million man-years of manual digital labour that happen every year. Much of it is low-volume, bespoke work, and automating it is going to require a shift in the way that we approach automation. Someday, automation won’t need a developer, or any other specialised skillset, and teams in businesses of all sizes will deploy them at the click of a button. "
" Our first product helps businesses understand their processes by using click and keystroke data to generate process maps. These maps are used for Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Lean and Six-Sigma, and other continuous improvement methodologies. "
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