Bluebilties – You have been in Europe for almost 10 years now. How do you project the demand in Europe for technologies developed in growing economies?
Rudradeb: Let me share an example to answer this question. I was talking with a guy called Christian who was basically one of the top leaders and organises various events in Germany and he was saying that he is going to India to identify some innovative Fintech companies in India.
Bluebilties – So you would say that the demand is growing. Why do you think this is the case?
Rudradeb: What I think is that Europe and specially Western Europe has stagnated in technology innovation in the last decade. I was Bangalore a month ago and I shared these thoughts at Google and then Accenture. I think that now especially in the machine learning domain they is growth in innovation that is going to happen. A lot of Indian companies will be coming to Germany and actually disrupting the German market. That’s what I see especially in my field of work. I see that the innovation hasn’t moved that fast as like in developing countries.
Bluebilties: Why do you think the hotspots for innovation have changed?
Rudradeb: In Machine Learning, I think that because India has this huge young people especially graphamatic machine learning. I think I see more interesting startups in India than in Germany because the local market demands that. In Germany specifically I feel that the problems are not that big. Startups are by default looking to solve big global problems. In locations where there are bigger problems fosters the creation of some really interesting startups.
Startups grow in places where they have the big problems.
Bluebilities: The number of startups that are successful is very less in India. What is your perspective on that?
Rudradeb: I think that is going to change. This is why- This time I was in India, I was very surprised with the quality of of the problem that people are seeing. What is happening is very interesting. In India till 2014-2015 a lot of this was like Flipkart kind of companies. Localising a successful model from the US. Innovation was in the process. But what has happened in the last few years, that a lot of Indians specially students living in the States or maybe in Europe, have moved back. They are trying to build product companies. They are building machinery products and I was very surprised with that.
I am now currently, collaborating with a company in India who are into rooftop solar and what they are going to build is first of its kind in the world with sunlight imaging and understanding the rooftop capacity for the solar cells. What I experience compared to three years ago a lot of companies building products, which are catering to the global market.
Bluebilities: Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning. Is it getting penetrated into all these startups?
Rudradeb: I think in India, definitely, much more than in Germany, actually. I think in India because the problems are much bigger. If you look at the banking sector Fintech sector, Education sector has a lot more data. Like the solar company. This is also into machine learning.
Bluebilities: Do you think you have equal distribution of talent in Eastern and Western Europe?
Rudradeb: One of the acquaintances I met in Zakov who came to recruit from Zurich said, „Switzerland doesn’t have talent. We have to come here to get talent from Poland.“ I work with developers around the world. I mean, the quality of people here is so high, technically. Even much higher than India, I can tell you. He told me that five years ago I would never think of inviting someone from India to come and work for us and I said, „Then why did you do that?“ He said, „Because we don’t have– We lack understanding in this technology. We lack understanding of IT, computer science. We need people to come and work for us.“ I think that problem has, actually now, increased like five times. Countries like India grew rapidly. Eastern Europe grew rapidly technology. Now, they have to source technology people. Technology from India. This guy is now going to India, China, Singapore to find startups, so that they can solve problems in Germany. They are coming to Poland, they are going to Romania, they are going to Ukraine to get talent because they cannot have people in their country to build these systems.
Bluebilities: Why do you think they can’t find people here?
Rudradeb: Because there are not such people. There are very few people in western Europe. Most of the talent are going to corporate and the corporate are taking them, but innovation happens not in the corporate companies, innovation happens in startups. Startups build innovation. Now, startups don’t have people because startups cannot afford to compete with Google.
He said, what has happened now is startups raising money cannot find people, developers and this is why the Zurich talent gap is also growing. I feel because of the risk adverseness, the talent go to work in a corporation and the startups lack people. When I was building my company in Belgium, it’s the same thing. That we couldn’t find people in Belgium who could build systems.
Bluebilities: What are your thoughts about decentralized workforce? People working form all over the world.
Rudradeb: I think the world is going to be a place, in 5 to 10 years, where you would not know what is German, what is Indian. I mean I really see that and I believe that. I believe in a future which is kind of where a company owned by a German guy opens up an office in India and hires people there and that have sales products in China or whatever. A week ago French Prime Minister said they are going to invest a billion Euros into AI and my comment on that is putting money in your countries, you don’t need it, you need people to come to your country. Make your immigration easy. Improve your startups, improve your taxations. You need that because you cannot, by putting money in your country, you’re not going to drive innovation.
Money is one of the worst things that drives innovation. I’ve seen that. We got half a million Euros of funding and I know that what they need is people from around the world. You need to attract the smartest people from India, from wherever they want to come to your country, set up business and work. I love Berlin because it’s so multicultural. There are American guys sitting here open up a company. There are Indian people, there are Chinese, they are like San Francisco.
If you want innovation to grow, bring the best people in your country, give them things to do and they will drive the innovation and build companies in your country or whichever country they are in.
Bluebilities: How do you see the problem of language barriers?
Rudradeb: With the democratization of computer science and the Internet has made English so easily as many got a good environment whatever you call it that people are now crossing over the barriers of culture and language.
In technology specifically, is a job seekers market. Not anymore job givers market.
Bluebilities: How do zou think hiring is different in India and Europe?
When you come to this part of the world, Eastern, Central Europe. Ask 10 people, „Are you looking for a job?“ Nine of them will say, „No, I’m not looking for a job.“ They would not ask for the salary. In India, you ask 10 people, „Are you looking for a job?“ They’ll say, „Yes, what is your salary?“
Why? Because here, if you want to attract the top talent, you have to do completely different thing. You have to show them that what are you doing is what is going to somehow has a huge value to his beliefs. Talks is one of the way to attract talent. In India is still not that level it hasn’t reached in there’s this kind of market where you can pay more and people come to you, but it will change. People think in terms of learning, I want to learn something. Can I learn something new? Can I do something build my own product? I don’t want to be in the service sector, buildings apps. I want to build my own product. I want to build my own startup. /I think in this respect, India and Vietnam or perhaps Southeast Asia and South Asia including perhaps China is a bit different that we are still driven by a bit more money than the knowledge. I think in Western world or including Europe and US or even South America perhaps people are driven by their knowledge
I think what recruitment would end up being is very human centric driven the business, not anymore keyword says given business. As a company you want to be a better in recruitment, you have to build this relations, understand like human level relations with people, expectations, what they are really looking for, not just your matching based on some- That’s one thing I can provide both sides have benefit both the sides.
Machines can take over a lot of this lower level or search level, but what machines cannot do would be this emotional understanding in what your expectation. Life is not just what is in your CV. Your CV can only write down few things. Machines can do the basic level match and there as a HR company you build those human relations, understanding emotions. That’s why I think any recruitment company should go into and that would benefit both the sides.
What happens is often companies end up just looking at the CV and nothing beyond that. I’m saying that there’s a lot more beyond this CV, which as recruitment company should try to understand the candidate and the candidate will feel that you are trying to better understand me and you are trying the best job for me not just based on my CV but based on my other aspects, which is could be a different thing.
Bluebilities: Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts Rudradeb. See you at EPC18
Rudradeb: See you soon!