HT Exclusive: Indian-American entrepreneur Pritika Mehta’s vision for aspiring Indian founders harnessing AI - Hindustan Times
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HT Exclusive: Indian-American entrepreneur Pritika Mehta’s vision for aspiring Indian founders harnessing AI

Jun 09, 2024 05:49 PM IST

Pritika Mehta, AI expert, guides Indian entrepreneurs on navigating the AI revolution and tapping into Silicon Valley by the bay.

Where artificial intelligence is reshaping industries and challenging established norms, Indian-American entrepreneur and AI expert Pritika Mehta offers a beacon of insight and inspiration for aspiring Indian founders who are still smashing their keyboards in a corner cubicle in Bangalore, India.

Pritika Mehta gives advice on building network and staying resilient in tech capital, San Francisco(Facebook/SockSoho)
Pritika Mehta gives advice on building network and staying resilient in tech capital, San Francisco(Facebook/SockSoho)

With a Master's in Artificial Intelligence from the State University of New York and a wealth of experience in City by the Bay, San Francisco, Mehta has become an usher in guiding and motivating Indian entrepreneurs through her dynamic social media presence.

While talking with HindustanTimes.com, the Indian-American tech geek delves into GPT-4o's transformative potential, the shifting dynamics of search technology, and the unparalleled opportunities Western Silicon Valley presents.

The Butternut.AI founder shares her invaluable advice for the “aspiring Indian founders who want to build in AI” on leveraging networks, the importance of understanding global tech trends, and the impact AI can have on India's burgeoning startup ecosystem.

For Indian founders eager to carve out a niche in the AI revolution and reach a crescendo-became tycoon, Mehta charts both a roadmap and a call of action, emphasizing the critical need to innovate, “build a strong team and ship things fast”

ALSO READ| Indian-American entrepreneur Pritika Mehta shares tips for immigrant founders in San Francisco

Mehta's roadmap for Indian entrepreneurs

When asked, ‘Founders who are churning the dreams and wanna land in the City by the Bay, what will be your message for them?’

The Chandigarh native replied, “San Francisco is about the same size as my hometown, Chandigarh. But this small city has changed the world. ChatGPT, Uber, Airbnb, Doordash, Stripe, Dropbox, Notion - almost all products that people use everyday, originated from this special place.

The kind of conversations that happen here, the innovation in the air, the investments in bold ideas and unknown founders - no other city offers it. If you drive down Sand Hill Road, you'll find the offices of VC firms. A small office with three employees would be managing $1B+. You’ll meet random doctors here who invested $10k in unknown founders and made $100M from that investment. Where else does it happen?”

“All tech trends originate here. People in the Bay Area knew about bitcoin before anyone else. Tens of thousands of people became bitcoin millionaires, just because they heard about it from friends and bought it early.

On the streets of SF, driverless Waymo cars cruise along and no one bats an eyelid. Every nook and corner of SF is filled with startups. In every coffee shop, people are talking about new tech. The level of ambition and talent here is unparalleled. The ambition is supported with money, guidance and networks.”

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How Mehta continues to inspire aspiring Indian entrepreneurs through social media

Mehta, who holds a Master's in Artificial Intelligence from the State University of New York, leverages her social media platforms to share knowledge and inspire aspiring Indian founders. Whether it's about shifting your mindset or securing an angel investor, she consistently shares her valuable insights through these channels.

While addressing her social role, she briefly explained her very recent post- “SF business trip is the rite of passage for every Bangalore VC-funded founder.”

“Bangalore and Bay Area have a direct connection. All the good founders I know in Bangalore make a trip to the Valley - to raise money, understand tech trends, build networks, or to sell to customers,” the YC alum lauded.

“Many Bangalore startups have one founder in the Bay Area handling sales and fundraising, while other founders and team are in Bangalore. America is the biggest software market in the world and the smartest Bangalore founders know it well (and leverage it). You’d be surprised to see that every Bangalore founder has a B1 visa, and many are in the process of applying for O1/L1/EB1. It’s a normal now.”

“Indian founders have unparalleled access to Silicon Valley, largely because so many Indians work here,” Mehta said.

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The Indian-American AI expert concluded while addressing the question, “Will this lead to job losses, or will it lead to more efficiency in the world?”

She shared, “There will be short term pain and long term gain due to AI. No one is riding horses to deliver mail now, we've high end vehicles that do it. Repetitive jobs are getting eliminated but at the same time, newer jobs are being created. We will not run out of work to do but if we run out of tedious work to do, it's a net positive for humanity.”

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