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Chennai entrepreneur on ‘Time’ magazine’s list of 10 millennials changing the world

PTI New York | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on June 09, 2016

umesh sachdev

Umesh Sachdev’s Uniphone creates softwares that allow people to use phones in their native language

A 30-year old Chennai-based entrepreneur has been named by Time magazine to its 2016 list of “10 millennials who are changing the world” for helping people to use phones in their native language, and thereby allowing access to critical services.

Umesh Sachdev, along with his college friend Ravi Saraogi, is the founder of Uniphore Software Systems. The Chennai-based start-up creates software that allows people to interact with their phones and access services such as online banking by communicating in their native languages, Time said in its profile on Sachdev.

Uniphore’s products, which include a virtual assistant that is able to process more than 25 global languages and 150 dialects, are being used by over five million people, mostly in India.

Good intentions

“Phones can help increase financial inclusion or help a farmer get weather information,” Sachdev said in the Time profile.

“But you need a way for people to interact with the technology out there,” he said. Time said through the software, Sachdev is building bridges and helping “hundreds of millions of people cross the divide between the digital and the real world by harnessing the power of speech.”

It said Sachdev found the solution to a problem that phones didn’t allow rural Indians to interact using their mother tongues.

Others on the list

The list also includes Simone Biles, an Olympic gymnast, and cave explorer Francesco Sauro, 31. Sauro has become one of the most renowned explorers of this generation after he located caves with vivid violet lakes and minerals crystalised in the shape of eggs hidden within the Auyan-tepui tabletop mountain in the rainforests of Venezuela.

Syrian refugee Firas Alshater, 25, who is helping Germans accept refugees, “one smile at a time” was also on the list. Alshater makes videos on YouTube that invite Germans to take a closer look before passing judgment on the new arrivals, Time said.

Published on June 09, 2016
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