Aayush Srivastava is a law graduate who has extensive expertise working in legal teams of Fortune 100 companies. From contract law to clients and non-lawyers, he has attained much credence under his belt. He is passionate about using data science and technology to solve day-to-day problems in the consumer rights industry.
However, the entrepreneurial bug made him drop out of McGill University’s renowned Masters of Law program to work full-time on Amicus- an online shopping assistant. The idea behind this startup came from a personal experience, which made Aayush realize that there is an endemic problem, which millions of consumers face every day. After giving it a thought, he decided on building a self-learning engine, which can prevent consumer complaints. It solves the problem by entering at both the pre- purchase and post-purchase stage. It is the only startup in the world, which has figured out a way to monetize the huge amount of data languishing all over the web in the form of consumer complaints.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Amicus Technologies™ is a data analytics startup, founded to solve the problem of consumer complaints in the market of High Value Purchases. It solves the problem by entering at both the pre- purchase and post-purchase stage. It is the only startup in the world which has figured out a way to monetize the huge amount of data languishing all over the web in the form of consumer complaints.
Amicus Technologies has built two key products- Amicus Shopping Assistant (AmicShop- Pre-Purchase) and a Complaint Amplification Mobile App- Amicus Consumer Voice (AmicVoice- Post-Purchase).
The Amicus has a stellar team of four, made up of web & mobile developers, marketing & growth expert, legal and risk modeling expert and a data scientist. The founders have known each other for almost 8 years now having worked on several projects together. Startup investment website, Tracxn.com has ranked Amicus 5th out of 1700 startups in India in the Mobile Category, by momentum score and 20th out of 6000 in the Internet Category.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
I have dreamt of building an engine which can predict the future, since the time I saw the movie: Back to the Future. I have always been fascinated by the possibilities of time travel, multiverse theory and dystopian worlds. I realized that the way to do it is to be able to synthesize all the information, which exists in the world, and predict an outcome. Wouldn’t it save many lives, prevent disasters, crime; make our lives so much better?
At the law school I understood the nuances of the society we live in, where I built a startup to automate contract building. We had 6 clients and made good money, but we realized it wasn’t scalable.
What is your life mantra?
My startup, my life and my career has been defined by the motto written on my first school’s report card: “As you sow, so shall you reap.”
I am strong believer of Karma and the Just-world hypothesis, and this belief permeates all aspect of my life. Karma is fair, it is just and it is the right way to live life.
The only way we can ensure that we get what we deserve is by removing information asymmetry. Data is the key to everything.
Mantra: “Data is Daata”. We swear by this mantra at Amicus, where everything is data and ROI driven.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Team-Building and setting the Right Culture.
We are solving a difficult problem, in a market which hasn’t been explored by anyone till now. In an atmosphere where me-too startups and clones are coming up every day the biggest challenge is to remain true to our vision while convincing investors and hires about the viability of this model. This problem is further worsened when VC funded startups are spoiling the market with insane salaries driven by unsustainable valuations.
How did you overcome those challenges?
We made a difficult choice to not be a “dhanda” type me-too startup, but a technology and innovation driven startups. We are building a patent-pending technology, which will change the way people shop online. We are the first consumer facing data analytics startups solving the problem of consumer complaints.
We communicate these visions clearly to people we meet, and show our dedication of doing this even if it has not been done before. Quite often it works, and when it does not we have not found the right candidate.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We have raised Rs. 5 lakh from Startup Tunnel, our incubator. We are raising our second round from 4-5 angels from the Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
One of the key requirements to work in Amicus is to show dedication to the cause. We want to build a culture of transparency and honesty. We think attitude and the right culture defines a startup. So, we have very frank conversations with team members and potentials. Sometimes a very talented code has to move on, because we no longer have synergies. If someone is attracted by more money, or a bigger brand we don’t think that’s brain drain. It is actually Brain Gain, because we can now look for someone who actually has the right incentives to work with us.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
1. Being nimble- learning fast.
2. Being data-driven – Keeping eyes and ears open.
3. Being ambitious and driven.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
I am most productive when I am working in a team setup. If I work and get immediate feedback, it drives me to do more and improve.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
Need to sleep. If only, I could have 4 extra hours in a day.
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Not pursuing their dreams.
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Time is the most valuable asset.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
Making Amicus a global company.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
Learn how to code from Kindergarten.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“As you sow, so shall you reap”.