A winner of the ‘Red Hat Innovator of the Year’ award among several others, Sandipan brings over two decades of experience across various technology roles. A statistics graduate from the ISI (Indian Statistical Institute), he earned his MBA from IIM Calcutta.
At his time at the ISI, the institute was one of the few where the work on NLP (Natural Language Processing) was evolving. This got Sandipan interested and sowed the seeds for his future work. He realized that whatever he did, eventually the basic algorithm was all about enabling people to search and to present data in a way that they can comprehend.
Sandipan has had an instrumental role in Web technology at Tata Interactive and led the team which built the first version of Tata.com- the umbrella site for the whole Tata brand back in 1997. One of his early career achievements was when he turned around a project that was almost doomed. The project, named Innovations, by Unilever, aimed at building a system to get the organization’s R&D work in sync across the world to avoid duplication of efforts.
Turning an entrepreneur at an age of 24 with E Dot Solutions, Sandipan went on to build MoneyControl.com, a much-respected financial portal that still is synonymous with ‘money matters for the stock savvy Indian household.’ Sandipan eventually merged E Dot into Geodesic to move fully into Just Dial, a local search engine project he rightly envisioned would revolutionize business for the Indian SMEs and common Indian buyer.
As the CTO at Just Dial, Sandipan built and scaled the technology stack, taking it from a mere number to the technology powerhouse it has become. When he joined Just Dial, the company was clocking about 30,000 calls per day, a number that had rocketed to 4.8 million user queries a day by December 2015 when he exited.
Justdial had a lot of systems under the hood. They wrote an algorithm to make sure that the user receives the mail (with the list of places he inquired about) within 10 seconds of his call with an IRO. For this, they had to integrate 70-80 things, look at the observed moments, and for whichever had a failure path, bypass that and go to a success path. Sandipan told his colleagues, "If someone looks at Justdial and says, ‘Wow! What good tech!’ you've screwed up. But instead, if they say, ‘What's the tech in this? This is how it should be. What do you guys do sitting all day?’ then, you've done your job." In a mass market product, the key aspect of technology is that it shouldn't be visible, perceivable, and over logical.
Over the years, he helped technology development of several startups as well as new initiatives at large enterprises such as Hyundai, Nextenders, Wipro, Tata Teleservices, Tata Motors, CRISIL MarketWire, Business Standard, IDBI Capital Markets, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank, and Edelweiss.
For bigger business groups, the key strength that Sandipan brings in is Solution Orchestration and adding a Marketable Layer over a suite of startups selected by him for addressing key business needs. He acts a bridge between problems and solutions and amalgamates the best features across solution providers.
Sandipan’s faith in the power of solutions weaved to cater to India’s beautifully diverse demography is unwavering.
Brimming with creative energy and passion to mentor and fund Indian startups with an ideology matching his, Sandipan founded Xelp three years back. A strong belief in ‘solutions of empathy’ outshining ‘solutions of sympathy,’ he is currently ensuring that hallmark solutions that benefit the next 500 million Indians achieve the success, recognition and respect they deserve. He is strongly committed to see such Indian startups share their prosperity with the common Indian household.
Apart from startups mentioned as part of Xelp’s profile, some additional startups that have been a part of this journey include Dunzo, Folk and NoDD among others. NoDD has successfully networked 1000+ startups and 500+ mentors and investors. Through NoDD, Sandipan has access to this whole ecosystem, spread across the length and breadth of India. He actively participates in events, like Hackathons, that help startups connect with each other, and acts as a matchmaker with corporates to find perfect fits.
Additionally, Sandipan is connected with several accelerators and incubators as a mentor and advisorAdditionally, Sandipan is connected with several accelerators and incubators as a mentor and advisor, and a TEDx speaker. Some of these include:
- Confederation of Indian industry (CII)
- Brandshoots Ventures
- Sequoia CTO Group
- Microsoft Accelerator
- BCCI Incubator
- Z Nation Lab
- Data Science Foundation
- Kalpana Chawla Foundation focused on space technology startups like SatSure
One of the projects Xelpmoc is working on is 4tigo, which is a capital management system for truck drivers, owners, and the ecosystem. The company has raised funding from Nandan Nilekani and Accel Partners. Kolkata-based Mihup was started with a motive to create voice-based input/output systems for the mobile users who can't confidently read or write.
Xelp also worked on a government project called Maatir Kotha in Bengal, where through an app using satellite and on the ground data, important farming-related information has been made available to the farmers. Information relating to crop problems, natural calamities, government schemes, farmers’ registration with the Department of Agriculture and contact details of block Agriculture Department offices are available in the app. This technology has already increased farmer income by two-fold and drastically reduced farmer suicides.