Hike: Evolving into India’s AI-led unicorn
If you’ve been paying close attention to Hike, you will notice some interesting changes. The company has made a transition from being one of the most successful super-apps to championing multi-apps. The Hike of 2019 has evolved tremendously from when it started in 2012. Today, Hike is an AI-led unicorn that is building Hike Sticker Chat, a platform supercharging expression and leading investment in WinZO, India’s online arcade for the masses.
So, what’s different at Hike? The answer lies in their recently unveiled vision, a vision to build a new social future.
This social future looks dynamically different from what it is today, it urges us to think that despite living in the 4G era, we’re still working on products created in the 2G era. Hike is looking at changing this by building a new social future. This future empowers the user tremendously by creating joyful social products that are built around them and not the other way around. Imagining a future where people celebrate the depths of relationships, being true to themselves and going beyond the limits that hold them back in the real world is powerful.
To know more, check out the principles that drive their thinking here.
Powering this vision: Betting big on AI and ML
So, what’s powering this vision? Putting AI and ML at the core of the company. A classic example of research-led innovation, their areas of work and research includes:
- Natural Language Processing: They are creating contextual experiences by making sense of chat in different Indian languages
- Computer Vision: Reinventing audio and visual communication
- Social Network Analysis: Mining large scale networks for connecting people and driving business growth.
Apart from showcasing at globally renowned platforms, the company is actively working on research partnerships with local academia. One of the most interesting things about Hike is that it's possibly the only player that is using NLP to solve for local languages at such a mass scale. These solutions are positively impacting users who are looking for hyper-local but high-quality solutions with low-end handset and low-bandwidth market areas. You can read more about all the exciting work they’re doing in the space here.
Building the best AI and ML team in the country
What brings all of this together is the company’s continued focus on unique culture and incredible talent. This year alone, Hike announced some interesting developments from bringing on board industry veteran, Dr. Ankur Narang to betting big on young talent through their unique ZeroTo2 program.
Hike believes that magic takes place when you’re working at the intersection of multiple areas of expertise. Some of which include:
- Product - Both insightful data and gut play an important role when product teams are building for the customer
- Engineering - Their engineering teams are constantly pushing the boundaries on what's possible through technology
- Art - Art is an incredibly important part of what they do, and is complementary to the scientific elements of their processes
- AI and ML - They explore how technology wraps itself around people by working on processes with NLP, computer vision and more.
- Design - The design team focuses on creating delightful experiences that users love and would come back to.
Hike believes that with the world evolving at such a rapid pace, it's only natural for social mediums to do so as well. "Social connection is a core human need, important enough to dedicate a mission to. With the advancements in technology, so much more is possible today that wasn't even possible, just a few years ago. We believe the timing couldn't be better. We’re excited to do this with homegrown talent,” says Anshuman Misra, VP Operations, Hike.
The company has been actively hiring with more than 15 hiring drives that saw almost 15,000 applicants. They've held exciting hiring drives across the country for Android, iOS, Server, DS/ML, Product, Design, TA and Content Operations. It aims to hire almost 50 people by the end of the year and with one of the toughest acceptance rates in the industry. With a rating of 4.4 on 5 on Glassdoor, Hike has consistently been one of the best places to work .
If you’re excited to meet the team that’s behind building this exciting social future, here’s your chance! Register your details here and stand a chance to secure an invitation to AI First, an exclusive invite-only AI and ML meetup hosted by Hike on September 21, 2019 at the Hike HQ, New Delhi.