The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 4 months ago

Ep 254: A Career in AI w/ Amarpreet Kalkat


Amarpreet Kalkat, Founder & CEO at Humantic AI

Part of the "Is This A Good Time?" series hosted by Brandon Barton.

Hello everyone, and welcome back to the pavilion podcast. I am your host, Brandon Barton. You're listening to is this a good time to show where I put pavilion members on the hot seat for fifteen and twenty minutes. We hear their stories. Shows are out on Monday's here at new new day Mondays and hit subscribe to you do not miss hearing from our experts. Today we have a wonderful entrepreneur, F our pre cow cat. He is the CEO and founder of humantic Ai, and we talk about having a full career in in AI and and getting to build what you want to eventually. This episode was brought to you by tropic. Tropic makes buying and managing SAS ridiculously easy. Companies of all sizes, from startups of fortune five hundreds, used tropic to buy software, man its contracts and guarantee savings. Customers save an average of furs on their software buying annually. To find out how much you're overpaying for software, visit TROPIC APP DOT IO. All right, let's do this episode one too too. This is a good time. All right, everybody, I'm here with a mark pret calcutt. He is the founder and CEO of humantic Ai uh, coming in from across the world. Thank you so much for being here with us. Well, thank you, Brandon, for having me here. Really, really excited about this conversation today. Awesome. We'll look I'll meet no fellow let's get right into the questions. Tell us a little bit about your role, tell us about the company and then give us a little bit of the path of how you got here. Absolutely so Um, as Brandon introduced, my name is I'm Gona, pretty cult Um. I've been a founder for around a decade now. This is my second start up journey. So let me start. Let me tell you a little bit about humantic. Yeah, what we do? So we are a buyer intelligence platform. We work with revenue teams. What does that mean? It means that when salespeople they walk into a room, we want them to know their buyer. We want them to know not just what's cool they went too.

We want them to know not just where they've had their jobs. That's that's brass tacks, you know, that's hygiene, but we want them to know exactly how those buyers think. We want them to know what makes them tick. You know, what is it that they need to say to win that trust and that confidence? What is it that they have to keep aside so that they don't end up, you know, walking into a landline? So that's what Buyo intelligence means. Buyer intelligence is all about knowing your buyers when you meet them, knowing what makes them think good about you, what makes them think poor about you. Fundamentally, the way we see it it is it's really about doing your homework in many ways, because the starting point for a lot of sales conversations is how well the buyers start trusting you, how well they start trusting what you have to offer. So that's that's a little bit about human tick. I well, we'll talk, you know, more later. And, as I mentioned, being a founder for a while, this is my second start start up. The first one was an AI start up too, but in the consumer insights to man. You know, we used to work with brand teams at that point, not not B two B sales, but BDC brands and before that another ten odd years Um at, you know, usually mostly in product role that companies like trilogy, H P Nokia. So my builder turned entrepreneur, turned, you know, I would say seller. So it's been it's been a fairly exciting right, you know, all these twenty years now, so I've been around for a while. Yeah, congrats, I mean your career is incredible. Now, did you did you get your starting product? I mean how did you? How did you get your start, you know, into software, into stas? Yes, so my start was actually as an engineer, Brendan. So, I started as a you know, I'm a computer science engineer. started as a programmer. Did that for a few years and you post that the product thing was always close to my heart. Let me just say that. And... know, one of those fools, you know, who had very, very clear ideas somehow about what he wanted to do. You know, some people do and some don't. And specifically I wanted to build I wanted to build intelligent products. You know, it's funny, Um, you know, I didn't have any specific problems. Some founders say we saw that problem, we wanted to solve that. I was not, yeah, one of those guys. I wanted to build intelligence software. I wanted to see things work differently. I thought there was just so much that could be better. You know, that was just being done in a super basic way and in a way it was a little bit of a hammer looking for a male yeah, rather than you know, problem out there. So I think it took some time. So I just wanted to work in AI. Think this goes back a long, long time before I was even popular and cool. You know, I'm talking almost twenty years ago when I graduated. And then fast forward ten years. You know, I've been in a bunch of corporate jobs. Usual, usual crap, you know, you do this thing, you do that thing. I wasn't really building what I wanted to build. So that's when my first startup happened. I got a chance to start building the kind of intelligence software that I had always wanted to slowly as thought process involved, I would say a lot of it from being inside out, you know, being I want to build this started changing too. I want to solve this. You know, we started thinking more about, uh, you know, what became humantic ai, or the thought of humantic AI. We started thinking a lot about what happens when people no other people well over the Internet. So we started so we call that humanizing the interaction. That's where our name humantic eye comes from. What if we could build an eye that helps people know others better? How effect they would that be? You know, Internet by default keeps putting distance. But in us, isn't it if you and...

I were having this chat across a coffee table or drinks? You know, we we just get to connect and late so much better? But here it's a two dimensional world. And that that became the thought for humantic K ai, that how can we help people know each other effectively? Sales happen to be an obvious twice because as a B two B says, start up ourselves, we were using our own product, our own dog food, you know, walking into a conversation, looking up brandon's profile, knowing, okay, this is what I need to do, this is what I not need to do, and the results of that Um became, you know, ultimately humantic ai where we started focusing on sellers. We have quite a bit of long term plans, you know that go bejon two, but I think on the selling front that's where we've really really been enjoying how the market takes us, how we see our customers putting humantic to use to fundamentally connect effectively with their with their buyers. I love it. Look, I mean I think a lot of people listening, you know, might have aspirations to start their own company one day. Talk about that, that moment of decision where you said I'm going to start my own thing, and that leave that you took. What you know? Tell us about that time for you. What gave you that final push to to go do it? Did you have co founders that were also there? Is Support? So it was. It was a milestone, Brandon. It was ten years. It was my ten year milestone. So I had graduated from, you know, my Undergrad engineering school in two thousands. As two thousand and ten came about and I was like, holy sh it, it's been ten years, I'm not still not building what I wanted to build. So so that started kind of hurting somewhere and I said no, this is not going to happen. Incorporate life. You know what I want to do. I need to go out. So so, funnily enough, let me tell you an interesting anecdote. Um, my last day...

...incorporate job was thirty, first March, twenty eleven. So I started my first journey on first April and I chose that deliberately. I call that. You know, it's a it's a fool's journey, is what I call it right, being an entrepreneur. It's not a fool, it's not a foolish journey. It's a it's a very meaningful journey, but it's a fool's journey and I just thought, Hey, look, there's no da better than April one to, you know, start a fool's journey and try to change how the world interacts, you know, how the world company gets. So here we are today, any years later, still loving every moment of it. I love it, love it. Well, look along along the way. I know, I'm sure luck, you know, played some parts in getting you to where you are, as well as all the hard work that you put in. Any anecdotes related to kind of, you know, just just some some you know, moments of luck that pushed you along there? Yeah, so now, many times, I think, you know, I'm not a particularly key guy. I think so luck. I tend to get more unlucky than I get lucky, but all in all, luck place apart, you know. So I think I can do things that really I can recall, you know, first one, I would say, for example, the humantic air journey, you know, which is in some ways recent. Right, we've we've, you know, started formally last year, but in some ways it's been in the making right over the decade when I was doing the last startup. A lot of the learning has been coming from there. So last year we put together a little last year, early this year. You know, our our first round, and how that happened was, you know, we we have an investor. His name is Sharrett and you know he's himself the founder of a visi startup called observe Ai, and I would say it really came together with me and Sharrett connecting. But interestingly, Sharrett and I, how we met each other was seven years ago when I was looking...

...for a C R O or a weep sales for my first startup. So we met there and it's somewhat did not come together. And Shurett tells me, you know, he jokes around. He's like a repreat. You're the only guys you know who's all who's ever rejected. You Know Me and uh, I actually did not hire share at you know. So I didn't really come together for whatever reasons. We were like in the final stages, but it didn't happen. But four years later we reconnected. Um, you know, and uh, I think you know. It was really, really a meeting of the minds and ultimately, a couple of years later, that led to, you know, humantic Ai. We've got a fantastic, fantastic set of investors now, you know, some of the top people in the world, and that chance interaction with Sutt seven years ago finally paved away for you know, the part that Humantitya is on today. I love that and I'm sure you up in contact over those years. You know, somewhat, somewhat, so I am. Yeah, I think I'm great in person, like, for example, if I'm in the bay area and you my friend from twenty years ago in the bay area, I'll probably drop your message and saying hey, let's grab a drink. But I'm I've never been great at, you know, the virtual stuff. So not not a lot. You know, we did have a kind of a you know lull in between and then then sort of it happened again. Well, I like I like that, the bravery to always be able to reach out to people, you know, just when you drop into their city and and go meet them in person. I wish you know now that we do so much on zoom. We should, you know, more of that. You know better the world. Ye, sure. Well, I'll give you you know that, given that you're selling into, you know, sales and marketing folks, and I'm sure you have it, you see a ton of best practices and tactics. What's a tactic, you know, besides obviously the very obvious getting to know the buyer,...

...what's a tactic that you think people can kind of deploy right away into into what they're doing today? I mean there's a lot. There's a lot that can be done. You know, takes a village, as they say. But Ah, if I do call one thing, brandon, I would say you have to stand out. So I think that's the most important thing. See, it's it's noisy out there right now. It's incredibly, incredibly noisy, whether you're a seller trying to sell, whether you are a brand you're trying to build, you know, positioning. It's just noisy. So I think how do you stand out? You've got to do the unusual. You can't do the usual. And particularly here, I would say I've always felt that B two B marketing is really, really boring. It is really boring, you know, the way we do marketing in the B two B world. So yeah, so my my one bit, if it has to be, would be, I would say, grilla marketing. You have to do that unusual, you have to do different things. Uh. For example, you know, one of the first things that our users see or learn about us is we have a product intro video. But guess what, it is a rap video. It's a it's a wrapper, you know. So I don't know if you've seen it, but it's a rapper wrapping about, you know, humantic. But really what humantic does? And we've got a bunch of plans, you know. So September is a big month, you know. So we've got a whole lot, you know, going on, you know, right now. So so that will be my one thing, I think one it just makes life exciting, you know. Let's stop the boring white papers and case studies and blog posts. Let's make it more exciting, you know, and bring in some more unusual learn from maybe consumer marketers a little bit. I love that. Um and it positions you're hiring for.

It's another exciting position. We call it sales evangelists. So we are hiring for someone who has our belief, our faith in building that human connection and building what we call authentic personalization. So takes buyer intelligence, as we call it, helps sales people understand it, helps sales people leverage it, helps them learn how to put it to use. How do you use, you know, buyer intelligence, and our core is really around personality Ai, behavior prediction, as I said. So sometimes people don't figure out how to use it. But what if someone could tell you how to use personality AI during objection handling? You know, we're all taught to handle objections, but in the same standard manner. But don't you think it should very with people? You know, should you be doing the same thing now? You should not be. So that's a rule that we hiding for. We call it an evangelist, so someone who's our belief in fostering that connection and building personalization, but has sold from the trenches, sold firsthand and can tell the sellers saying look, when you're handling an objection, this is how you leverage it. When you're doing that cold call, this is what you need to be doing when you get that you know, pricing query. This is, you know, what you need to be saying. So that's we call it an evangelist, someone who evangelizes the concept of buyer intelligence and personality AI and help sales people become more effective with their buyers by knowing their buyers and using, you know what, what technology is able to provide today. I love that, cool man, and give some shout outs. Who are some of the people that kind of inspire you in terms of their tactics and uh, you know, on Linkedin or thereabouts. I think like one person whose content I tend to follow somewhat religiously, you know, actively, I would say,...

...uh, is Josh Brown. I think Josh Brown, you know, says very relevant things, very simple things, but they make a lot of a lot of sense. I really like what he says. Um the other person, I would say, you know, Jeff Kirchick. So, you know, Jeff Really evangelizes the concept of authentic selling, which we sort of relate to in many ways. We talk about authentic personalization and how you have to bring your whole genuine, you know self two anything and everything. So I've found his content to be very, very different, quite enlightening, you know, both technically and strategically. So I think these two people are probably the first two that come to my mind right now. Cool, I love it, man, and Uh and last but not least, I'm a restaurant guy. You gotta give us. You gotta give us an underground or like a spot we don't know about to go eat. It could be in Bangalore. would be called to explore out there. Why are you gonna? Are you gonna make it to Bangalore? I can give you like half a dozen spots, you know, if you ever, whatever you want. You can go berry, can go bangaloa give us, give us one, one spot. We gotta check out. Well, let me give you two. You know. Why? Why? Why don't we do that? You know, so, uh, if we do Berry, you know, this is this is not unusual. That so a little a typical. But if you go to follow Alto, I would say the rens is, you know, is a place that I really like. Have you ever tried the rings? It's uh, but I've heard try it out. Yeah, it's really like for you know, Indian, you know food. I think it's really good. It's I really liked it, although you know, I've been to a dozens of, you know, really great places in India myself. If you if you are in Bangalore, revel, then okay. So I think my advice is I'm giving you an Indian places us, but in India I'll give you a non Indian place like I I really like. There's a breakfast place which is...

...literally called hole in the wall. So it's called hole in the wall, hole in the wall cafe. I think they have two three outlets in Bangalore. Again, it's very it's very unusual but really, really wonderful food. So I'll give you two brandon, about that. That's awesome and that's great. Well, look, I hope, I hope to make it out there and we can go get a coffee and I'll be dropping by and saying we we got to grab a drink or grab a coffee. Um. So so great to hear of your success and and I'm excited to follow along and see all the growth at you're magic man. Absolutely thank you so much for having me on the podcast today. Really really enjoyed it and looking forward. Hopefully we've got a just just to meet soon. Branda, Letsie. Alright, that's our show. Thank you so much for listening. If you love the show, please rate, review, apple podcast, spotify, send me friends, smash let's subscribe button if you'd like. This episode was brought to you by traffic. Friends don't let friends over pay for software. Traffic Helps Companies Produce, burn, extend runway and, in short, compliance. visit the traffic APP DOT I to learn more and get a free savings assessment. I had so much fun today. I hope you did too. Now get out and crushing numbers.

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