The startup community in India has expressed solidarity with Sam Altman, the ousted CEO of OpenAI, emphasizing the need for better alignment between boards and founders. Several Indian startup founders and CEOs shared their support for Altman, highlighting similar challenges they face in navigating corporate governance.
Ashneer Grover, Co-founder and former managing director of BharatPe, mentioned that he is going through similar experiences in India. Grover himself faced controversy when he was ousted from BharatPe in 2022 over allegations of financial irregularities.
Vijay Anand, popularly known as "The Startup Guy," acknowledged the irony in the current landscape, where there is stifling bureaucracy on one side and, on the other, instances of CEOs committing fraud while boards watch helplessly. He suggested the need for a governance AI that monitors and ensures business integrity, escalating issues to the board as required.
Sam Altman visited India in June 2023, where he met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed the country's thriving tech ecosystem. Altman's visit stirred controversy when a comment he made about India's chances of developing a ChatGPT-like tool was taken out of context. Altman clarified that his response was specific to the challenge of competing with OpenAI on a $10 million investment.
Despite the controversies, Altman has remained engaged with the Indian startup ecosystem. He invested in an AI startup called Induced AI, founded by two Indian-origin teenagers in Silicon Valley. The startup raised $2.3 million in a seed funding round led by Altman and VC firm Peak XV. Altman continues to encourage Indian startups to explore new avenues and contribute innovative ideas to the global tech landscape.
(With Agency Inputs)