We support a global network of over 9,000 technology startups: Vishal Dhupar, Managing Director, South Asia, NVIDIA

In a conversation with YourStory, Vishal talks about NVIDIA's work with startups, its innovations in the AI space and more...
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A company known for introducing the graphics processing unit (GPU) way back in 1999, NVIDIA has gone on to become the world leader in AI Computing now. The GPU is universally acknowledged as the most important for PC Gaming, and today, NVIDIA innovates at the intersection of Graphics, High Performance Computing (HPC) and AI.

Joining YourStory for a conversation on AI and startups is Vishal Dhupar, Managing Director of NVIDIA for South Asia. The son of an Army officer and a schoolteacher, Vishal’s childhood years were spent moving frequently, allowing him to do his schooling across the country. This also helped him learn about change and adaptability from a very early age. 

Those early experiences helped Vishal find order in chaos and taught him to learn quickly. He says when he relates this to the pace at which technology is changing, adapting to newer technologies comes easy. 

Vishal has over 25 years of experience in the IT industry, and has earlier been the  Managing Director – SAARC at Symantec; Managing Director – Autodesk; and Director – Sales at Sun Microsystems India. He has received several awards, including the 2007 IT-People Young Achiever Award, for his excellence and contribution to the IT industry in India.

Vishal Dhupar

Edited excerpts from the conversation - 

YourStory (YS): What are the core changes and developments NVIDIA has made towards the startup ecosystem? 

Vishal Dhupar (VD): NVIDIA is committed towards empowering startups across the world with cutting-edge technology. NVIDIA Inception is a free program for startups, to help them evolve faster with access to cutting-edge technology and NVIDIA experts, connections with venture capitalists, and co-marketing support to heighten their visibility. 

We support a global network of over 9,000 technology startups and work closely with them to provide the best technology solutions and resources.

One of our significant collaborations has been with NVIDIA Inception member - Deepset. This startup bridges the gap between NLP research and industry with their core product – Haystack. 

This is an open-source framework that enables developers to utilise the latest NLP models for semantic search and question answering at scale, this is done in collaboration with AWS. 

We also partnered with DarwinAI, and developed a new AI model to detect COVID-19 in CT scans with 96 percent accuracy across a wide and diverse number of scenarios. The model, COVID-Net CT-2, was built using several large and diverse datasets created over several months with the University of Waterloo and is publicly available on GitHub. 

YS: How does it help the larger ecosystem and how has the NVIDIA technology grown and evolved with time? 

VD: We continue to push the boundaries of AI research and development to create new breakthroughs. These capabilities are converging and unfold an exciting future for interactive AI applications that will change lives. 

We are continuously reinventing ourselves over more than two decades. As a learning machine constantly evolving, we are adapting to new opportunities that are hard to solve. 

NVIDIA has always championed the need to create the next-generation graphics. A strong AI component is what differentiates us from competition. We believe AI is the future of computing and NVIDIA will enable this transition and evolve into a company where AI-enhanced everything would be the next platform.

One factor that pushes NVIDIA ahead in the race is the fact that we are not just helping store or access large amount of data but devising effective ways for companies to use this data via AI and machine learning. As we continue to develop more applications, our partner base will only expand, reaching some of the world’s largest industries. 

NVIDIA is united by a unique culture, which we consider as the operating system of our company. We believe that speed is the key to our success, and craftsmanship a passion. We work in an environment that allows people to do their life’s work.

YS: Tell us about your work journey and your learnings from each of the different places? 

VD: I firmly believe that ‘people make the organisation. It is essential to set the right culture of transparency, fairness, and ethical behaviour in the workplace. The ability to follow processes, to maintain a discipline, the desire to adapt, to evolve, and investing in the right talent have shaped my journey. 

The ability to handle pressure is something that I picked up quite early in my career. As applicable, I constantly seek solutions to complex challenges and look for out-of-the-box solutions. The satisfaction of solving problems gives you the confidence to move ahead, which has kept me motivated in my journey.

What I have learnt over the years can be summarised as follows:

  • The technology landscape is changing at a rapid pace. It is crucial to understand this evolving digital world and display good team dynamics for any business to run smoothly. 
  • Taking customer feedback and acting on it is essential for any successful business. Being close to the market and the customer is vital to achieving success. 
  • Additionally, I have also had an understanding of the business fundamentals, the ability to work across industries and domains, with multiple partners for future growth and development.

YS: What got you to NVIDIA and why did you believe it would help create an impact?

VD: While the initial perspective of the company in India was mostly around engineering talent, we needed to create a recall in the marketplace. We do this by infusing excellence in every aspect - be it technology, people, best practices, or culture. These are some of the qualities that drew me towards NVIDIA. 

NVIDIA innovates at the intersection of Graphics, HPC and AI, and fosters critical partnerships and creates giant ecosystem to support business. We believe that India has the unique opportunity to create a modern and world-class infrastructure and be the AI garage for the world. In this regard, we encourage alliances to grow the adoption of Accelerated Computing and elevate our nation’s tech journey, which is transformational and future ready. 

YS: What was your vision for NVIDIA when you joined, and how has that further translated on ground? 

VD: Our invention of the GPU in 1999 sparked the growth of the PC gaming market, redefined modern computer graphics, and revolutionised parallel computing. More recently, GPU computing ignited the era of AI. NVIDIA is a "Learning Machine" that constantly evolves by adapting to new opportunities that are hard to solve, that we can tackle, and that matter to the world.

As a platform company building on ONE architecture so that a large installed base would form over time, our platform is more valuable for more customers. 

We cover a wide range - from chips to computing platforms; from acceleration stacks for each domain and applications, to deep engagement with the market and ecosystem.

Our developers make applications on top of our unique computing platforms, and our solutions serve diverse markets from gaming to scientific computing, to automotive, and healthcare.

YS: How is NVIDIA helping leading companies identify, build, and scale the AI initiatives that align to and transform their business value?

VD: As companies are increasingly shifting their focus towards being data-driven, the demand for AI technology has grown. From speech recognition and recommender systems to medical imaging and improved supply chain management, AI technology is providing enterprises the compute power, tools, and algorithms their teams need to do their life’s work. 

NVIDIA has built end-to-end AI and data science solutions, and frameworks that enable every enterprise to realise their AI-fueled ambitions.

Accelerated Computing and AI are supercharging the next generation of healthcare. This technology impacts many aspects of healthcare and life sciences ecosystem with software-defined instruments, federated learning, and bio-revolution. 

With one platform for imaging, genomics, patient monitoring, and drug discovery—deployed anywhere, from embedded to edge to data centre whether on-premise, cloud or hybrid—NVIDIA Clara™ is enabling the healthcare industry to innovate and accelerate the journey to precision medicine.

As a part of redefining modern luxury and infusing intelligence into the customer experience, we recently partnered with Jaguar Land Rover to develop its upcoming vehicles on the full-stack NVIDIA DRIVE Hyperion 8 platform, with DRIVE Orin delivering a wide spectrum of active safety, automated driving, and parking systems, as well as driver assistance systems built on DRIVE AV software. 

YS: What are your future plans?

VD: We have witnessed an accelerated journey of digital transformation in our country in the last 18 months, more than what we ever observed in the past 10 years. India has a large developer base, and it is important to skill and upskill these developers with our expertise. We believe that the Indian developer community plays a major role in AI revolution and there will be huge business opportunities in the Indian IT ecosystem at large. 

With #AIforAll, India has taken a leap in making AI accessible to everyone and is on the path of becoming the AI garage of the world. Our upcoming global virtual conference GTC 2022 is a great resource for Indian developers to leverage the leanings and offerings provided by NVIDIA experts. I would like to encourage all Indian developers and data scientists to attend GTC and take the most out of it and enhance their careers.

Edited by Anju Narayanan

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