Indian founders support Sam Altman who is bullish on country’s AI talent

New Delhi: Several Indian startup founders and CEOs expressed solidarity with ousted OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, who came to India in June this year and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that Boards need to better align with founders.

BharatPe Co-founder and former managing director Ashneer Grover said that he would love to see some day “60-year-old Board members come together as founders to build anything meaningful”.

“Sam, I am going through the same things in India,” said Grover, who was ousted from fintech firm BharatPe in 2022 over allegations of financial irregularities.

Vijay Anand, popularly known as The Startup Guy who has been working to help create a startup ecosystem in the country, said that it is irony that “we have stifling on one side and on the other hand CEOs that are too smart and commit frauds and siphon money out and the board watches helplessly”.

“Perhaps what is needed is a governance AI that monitors and will ensure business is above board and will escalate to the board as required,” Anand posted on ‘X’.

In June, Altman met PM Modi and discussed India’s incredible tech ecosystem with him. Altman, who also addressed students and others at the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi (IIIT-Delhi), said that he had a great conversation with PM Modi.

“Great conversation with @narendramodi discussing India’s incredible tech ecosystem and how the country can benefit from AI,” Altman posted on ‘X’.

“Really enjoyed all my meetings with people in the @PMOIndia,” he added.

Altman also faced controversy during his India visit when his comment was taken out of context.

Altman was heard saying in a video that India’s chances of developing a ChatGPT-like tool were “hopeless”.

He later clarified that his response had been taken out of context, emphasising that he was specifically addressing the question of competing with OpenAI with a mere $10 million investment.

Altman encouraged Indian startups to explore new avenues and contribute innovative ideas to the world.

Last month, Altman invested in an AI startup, founded by two Indian-origin teenagers Aryan Sharma and Ayush Pathak in the Silicon Valley in the US. The startup called Induced AI, founded this year, has raised $2.3 million in its seed-funding round led by Altman and VC firm Peak XV, along with “an incredible set of investors”.

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