Umesh Sachdev, a 30-year old Indian entrepreneur has been featured in Time magazine’s 2016 list of “10 millennials who are changing the world” for “building a phone that can understand almost any language.” Umesh is the co-founder and CEO of Uniphore Software Systems Pvt Ltd, a Chennai-based startup that he founded with his friend Ravi Saraogi in 2007.
Uniphore’s software allows people to interact with their phones and access services such as online banking by communicating in their native languages.
The organization has been working with microfinance institutions, banks, primary healthcare centres, etc. Uniphore’s products are being used by over five million people, mostly in India. They include a virtual assistant that processes more than 25 global languages and 150 dialects.
“Phones can help increase financial inclusion or help a farmer get weather information… but you need a way for people to interact with the technology out there,” Umesh said in his Time profile.
In 2009, Umesh was identified as an innovative entrepreneur by the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Technopreneur Promotion Programme (TePP).
“The ability to use speech to communicate is arguably the primary reason for the evolutionary success of the human race. Uniphore’s solutions extend the power of speech to revolutionise human-machine interaction. Our solutions allow any software application to understand and respond to natural human speech, thus enabling humans to use the most natural of communication modes, speech, to engage and instruct machines,” says the brief on Uniphore’s website.