The Indian IT sector has done India proud. It has become a world class industry and brought a huge amount of revenue to the economy. As it continues to earn laurels, a new generation of engineers has come of age with a very different outlook. No longer are these engineers content to do the grunt work but aspire to doing truly original and innovative work, like in the Silicon Valley, despite all the odds of not having the infrastructure, the enabling environment or, the universities.
Artoo is a company founded by this new generation of engineers. As our peers do, we believe that Indian engineers must innovate in India and for India. While we deeply admire Elon Musk and Steve Jobs, we are aware that they work on the problems of the milieus in which they operate. So Apple makes expensive iPhones and Elon Musk is concerned with the the environment and renewable energy. Similarly, engineers in India must necessarily solve the most pressing problems in their own environ.
Artoo’s dream, in the short term, is for all field agents and borrowers to learn to use technology, as well as financial services, in a way that even the very wealthy do not, now. This is backed by our core values of creativity, compassion, authenticity and effectiveness; a mission of catalyzing equal opportunity for all; and a vision to become the Google of financial inclusion, democratizing financial services beyond the wildest current imagination.
To that end, we are constantly building the most robust systems and processes. But the core dynamic is Artoo’s missionary zeal to go the extra mile in order to empower the borrower, the field officer and the customer enterprise to leapfrog to success. It is this core dynamic that drives our innovations, systems and processes.
This built-to-last, here-to-stay nature of the company, expressed not so much in words, as in concrete day-to-day actions, stemming from a fierce commitment to the cause, should persuade the most pragmatic customer that we are here for the long haul.
Sameer discovered his passion for inclusive technology during an internship at Ujjivan in 2008. He realized the only meaningful way to impact service quality for borrowers was to empower field agents to do more for them at their doorsteps. He designed a simple software solution so that a task that had taken 15 days could now be done in an instant. Artoo grew from this simple idea. As CEO, Sameer heads Sales, Product and Partnerships at Artoo. He believes firmly that the world’s most intuitive technology should be available to those who need it the most. Sameer holds a BTech from NITK.
Growing up in a poverty stricken town, Ranipet, India, Kavita has always been fascinated by how employment opportunities can transform entire areas. Since then she has aspired to discover transformative solutions to poverty. After earning a BA in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, she joined the then fledgling MFI, Ujjivan where she started their Individual Lending vertical. She then went on to take an MBA from Cornell University, after which she cofounded Artoo with Sameer. She is COO at Artoo and collaborates closely with Sameer to ensure that the product seamlessly blends the best of technology with the best of domain knowledge.
Kannan was curious to pursue disruptive technology that fuels social impact. His zeal to contribute to the Digital India story drove him to join Artoo. Prior to joining Artoo, Kannan worked at iGate-Patni as a key account manager for a Fortune 5 Conglomerate. He has also managed Sales force for APAC with a sharp focus on the IT and Product Engineering services. As a seasoned sales professional, his experience ranges from customer management, key account management, to geographic expansion. He graduated with an Engineering Degree in Computer Science and has an eGMP from IIM-Bangalore.
Pradyumna aka Prady has been tinkering with electronics and code since he was in school. He graduated with an engineering degree from BMS College of Engineering. He has worked as a technical manager at ABB Corporate Research and as an R&D manager at Hitachi India R&D before joining Artoo. He has been a speaker at conferences about open source software and using linux for mission critical systems.He is deeply passionate about using technology to reach out to those that need it the most, which is the reason he landed in Artoo as Engineering Manager.
Shrivatsa has been interested in using technology to bring changes on the ground, especially to benefit those outside the grid. He works on the technology operations at Artoo. As a part of the engineering team, he is working to make the systems intuitive, efficient and reliable. Being part of small team attempting to build and scale a challenging goal of bringing financial access to everyone, he loves the challenge of constantly being on his feet and looking for new vistas to conquer. Previously, he has worked at Nokia and Freecharge and holds a BE in Computer Science from SJCE, Mysore.
Kaushik joined Artoo because he felt it was an opportunity to make an impact rather than simply build technology for technology’s sake. He quickly found that he was deeply passionate about understanding the customer’s needs and doing whatever it takes to make field users happy. He leads the Customer Success team at Artoo and works closely with Geeks and Firefighters to empower users to make the most of Artoo’s technology. He firmly believes technology is pointless unless it impacts people’s lives. Prior to Artoo, Kaushik worked with Infosys’ Products Division building scalable web products. He holds a BE from the University of Mumbai.
Indus shares Sameer’s wish to change the texture of life at the Base of the Pyramid (BoP). She works, at Artoo, to understand the lived realities of people at the BoP, and to imagine how inclusive technology could improve the quality of their lives. Indus earned her BA in the Study of Women & Gender and English Language & Literature from Smith College, and her MFA in Creative Writing from the School of the Arts at Columbia University. She believes we cannot exist or be understood without stories and spends much of her free time reading and writing them.
Shameer is a tech enthusiast who loves solving problems. He was inspired to join Artoo because it solves real world challenges using the strongest resource currently available, technology. As a Platform Engineer at Artoo, he is responsible for backend applications, setting and maintaining the infrastructure needed to run the servers, and developing new features on the server side. He works toward building a stable and optimal system. His passion towards impactful technology inspired him to join Artoo. Shameer has worked previously at Nomura and Amdocs in the telecom and investment banking domain. He holds a BE from the University of Mumbai.
Chetana joined Artoo because she is passionate about creating technology that impacts society. She has always believed that India, as a whole, can be transformed for the better if great ideas reach the masses, not just the economically privileged. As a Client Engineer at Artoo, is involved in everything right from requirement gathering, interacting with the devs, to transforming those logics into the app, deployment, post-deployment queries, and change requests. Chetana received her undergraduate degree in Electronics and Communications engineering from B.M.S. Institute of Technology, Bangalore, and her began her career in iGATE Global Solutions before moving to Artoo.
Basavaraj has always been passionate about social entrepreneurship. He joined Artoo because he felt that it was an opportunity where he could make a difference to society while also carving out a meaningful career for himself. As a Client Engineer at Artoo, he works to understand our clients’ needs and communicate them to our engineering team, constantly learning new things both in terms of domain knowledge and technology.. Basavaraj completed his Bachelors in Engineering from BVBCET, Hubballi, where he co-founded Center for Technology Entrepreneurship, and then completed his Masters in Computer Science and Engineering at R V College of Engineering.
Partha wanted to do something where changing lives mattered more than money did. He believes that money is important but it shouldn’t be a hurdle for someone to improve or move forward in life. As an Android Engineer at Artoo, he works on the mobile side of things. He did his Bachelor’s in Electronics and Communication from Kalyani Governement Engineering College.
Krupanand joined Artoo because he resonated with its vision. He wanted to do impactful work that improves the lives of the underbanked. At Artoo, he works on backend technologies, writing APIs and handling data, and also does devops tasks. He holds a MTech in Engineering from the RV College of Engineering. Prior to his Masters, he was worked with TCS for 2 years.
Mohit joined Artoo because he wishes to help people at the Base of the Pyramid. He believes that inclusive and impactful technology can greatly empower people at the grassroots. He works as a Web Engineer at Artoo. Mohit earned his Bachelors in Computer Science from Manipal Institute of Technology. Before joining Artoo, he interned at Honeywell Labs.
Chiranjeevi joined Artoo has a Firefighter but now works with the Geeks on the web platform. He has enjoyed picking up Ember and is keen to learn and grow constantly. He believes Artoo has a knack for discovering and encouraging people to pursue their talents. Prior to Artoo, Chiranjeevi pursued a technical course at NIIT.
Anubhav loves data and stories. At Artoo, he is using his passion for the two to contribute toward developing India, rather than working with an international corporation. He wants to empower people with access to information (and data), and hopes to see this result in impactful progress. Prior to Artoo, Anubhav worked with Mu Sigma, a leading provider of Big Data solutions, where he interacted with clients in the pharmaceutical industry, shaping his aptitude for data analytics. Anubhav holds a BTech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from BMS Institute of Technology.
Archana is Administrative Executive at Artoo. She looks after Human Resources and Accounts. She is very passionate about her work and feels that each interaction she has with those around her must be an effective one. She has completed her Degree in Bachelor of Arts at B.M.S College for Women and an HR Course at HR House.
Swetha joined Artoo because she resonated deeply with its mission. She leads Quality Assurance and tests everything (down to the ‘T’) that goes out of Artoo to our clients. It’s no secret that developers hate the testers. But, at Artoo, she’s glad to have met developers who want to give out their best and actually encourage her to do what she does to help them do better. And, of course, she feels insanely satisfied when something good happens because she put her foot down. Swetha received her undergraduate degree in Information Technology from Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai, and has worked at Aricent Technologies, Chennai.
Geloth is a FireFighter in the Customer Success team and helps solve queries of users on the field. He feels most delighted when users appreciate Artoo’s support. He joined Artoo because technology interests him deeply. He has previously worked with Jiffstore Software Labs as a co-ordinator.
Mradula is a storyteller at Artoo. She joined because she was moved by how everyone on the team is working toward a larger cause and she felt certain that she could do her bit here too. She communicates Artoo’s stories to the world. She can be found writing the official blog one day and designing the website on another. Mradula earned her Bachelors in Biotechnology from Padmashree Dr. D.Y.Patil University. She has worked as an Academic and Copy Editor at Cactus Communications and Packt Publishing, respectively and has volunteered at Teach India, a spoken English programme for employability.
Aparna joined Artoo because she felt the idea of combining cutting edge technology with the satisfaction of creating social impact was almost too good to be true. She is a part of the engineering team. She is working on our web platform and raving about the thrill of developing exciting new features and actually see it getting used to make a difference. Aparna has worked with Samsung, Applied Communication Sciences and Infosys in the past. She holds a Masters in Computer Science from Rutgers University, New Jersey.
President (India), Villgro
MD, Accion Venture Lab
Chair, IFMR Trust