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Jesal Mehta

Founder and CEO


1 Rating

MACHINE LEARNING All companies should do their bit to ease the strain of dramatic business changes

Aug 18, 2020

...says Jesal Mehta, Founder and CEO, Aavenir. The start-up has disruptive technologies like Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) at its core for adding value to conventional processes for organisations. In this interview with Juili Eklahare, Mehta discusses the partnerships the start-up has ventured into, how offering a few of its services for free has helped and what goes into raising funds for start-ups. Excerpts...

Aavenir is looking to solve the workflow challenges that businesses face in acquiring vendors or goods, contract management and invoice management & payments. Can you tell us how you are working towards bringing a solution to this dilemma?

Most organisations face challenges in streamlining the work that flows within the source-to-pay cycle resulting in lack of visibility, longer cycle time, inefficient tracking of supplier performance against negotiated terms, overpayments, missed deadlines, and overlooked discount opportunities. Aavenir source-to-pay solutions - RFPflow, Contractflow, Procureflow and Invoiceflow bring together people, process & technology to drive innovative business outcomes for the businesses today and into the future.

Last year, your start-up partnered with ServiceNow, which has enlarged the reach of your products. Do you have any more partnerships in the line to help expand your business?

Yes, we have partnered with consulting firms like Mainspring, to help our clients realise the true potential of Aavenir solutions and help them with the migration from legacy toolsets to Aavenir solutions.

Your start-up recently raised a $2 million funding from Accel to expand the business. Has it become easier for start-ups to raise funds in the current situation, given there are other such examples?

The process for start-ups to raise funds has never been quick and easy. Investors would like to know and vet the company, team and idea over a period of time. Giving them 9-12 months of ‘validation’ cycle with regular checkpoints allows them to see the real progress instead of projections on PowerPoint slides.

Your company has provided a few of its services for free to aid businesses as they work from home. What were the advantages of this step? How can other start-ups, too, be inspired to do their bit to help other businesses?

I believe all companies should do their bit to ease the strain of dramatic business and social change. As the COVID-19 pandemic tests the resiliency of customer bases, start-ups must proactively assess & manage the near-term impact to their top line. Doing so has provided us an opportunity to build customer loyalty & expand the customer base.

What do you have envisioned next for your start-up?

We would like to continue to enhance our existing source-to-pay solution portfolio on ServiceNow. In the next few months, we want to make sure that the Aavenir solution’s data can seamlessly flow between other ServiceNow products and applications to make it fit perfectly within the existing ServiceNow ecosystem.

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