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Fireside chat with Chidananda Chida, CEO&Founder of Equbot

Who is Chidananda Chida?

Chida was identified by Business Insider as one of the “Top 10 People Transforming Investing in the world,” and as one of the “Top 100 People Transforming Business in the world.”  Chida recently featured in Forbes as transforming Investments. Chida founded EquBot with the objective of democratizing access to sophisticated Investment technology. Prior to founding EquBot, Chida was Engineering director at Intel.  Chida holds several patents to his credit. Chida holds 2 masters in engineering and a MBA from Haas school of Business, UC Berkeley. Married with a 3-year-old daughter and lives in Sunnyvale, CA.

What’s the story behind EquBot?

Idea of EquBot started in the classroom of Haas school of business. While attending Asset management and Hedge fund strategies class, Professor Sam Olesky invited various industry experts from the asset management industry to talk about their different strategies. We identified, the finance industry is dealing with a huge amount of data and the problem is aggravating with the explosion of all kinds of data. And it is difficult to share learnings from different expertise across the industry. This is already creating a challenge for institutional managers. For average retail investors it is almost an impossible task to assimilate all the information and use it effectively. Chida co-founded EquBot with MBA classmates at Haas Art Amador and Chris Natividad to use the power of AI to analyze the traditional and alternative data and provide a tool to create meaningful insight for investments. Chida came from a Technology background, whereas Art and Chris came from Investment and Finance background. Professor Sam Olesky also helped by providing guidance. EquBot was born.

What was the most difficult part of your experience in the early beginnings?

There is a lot of misconception of AI and use of AI in investment. Being the early adopter and leading the use in the industry, we had to take the challenge of educating our customers, stakeholders, and investors about the technology and what is possible. We also got pushed back from industry that this is too big a challenge for a startup and should be addressed by established companies. Now we are already perceived as industry thought leaders in using AI in Investment, However the challenge remains for us to educate the industry.

What are you most proud of regarding your business?

EquBot became the first in the industry to launch the first AI powered exchange traded fund (ETF) in NYSE. As an investable instrument, ETF is accessible to any investors.  We took the first step in bringing the technology access to average investors and became first in the industry doing so. Also, we build a stellar team with a background in AI technology and finance and are able to build a sophisticated platform with limited resources.

What is your vision for the future of EquBot?

We are at the beginning of a technology revolution in the Financial Industry. We envision EquBot to be the engine inside powering investment solutions for every financial institution to average investors around the world. EquBot can bridge the gap in access by bringing investment technology and delivering value to all types of investors. We are quite fortunate to have our solution deployed not only in the USA, but also in Europe, China, Japan, Malaysia. We would like to serve customers in every geography and stay a leader in AI technology in the financial industry.

What’s your advice for the businesses that are trying to adapt to this economic climate? 

During these pandemic times, businesses can realign to both survive and even to thrive. Businesses can survive better by revisiting operational expenses and improving efficiency in their day-to-day operation. Expect customer behavior to change during these times. So quickly adapt to address new types of customer engagements. Recovery always comes after difficult times, so start preparing for the recovery.  Pandemic impacts both large and small business, as well It can create new unmet market needs. so, use these times as an opportunity to differentiate and explore additional opportunities for your business.

Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business.

Advancement in AI and tools like Natural language processing, quick deep learning models building have helped us. We built our technology using available tools on the cloud. Also having multiple cloud computing solutions helped us to run compute intensive applications in a cost-effective way. Having such ecosystems helped us to develop this sophisticated platform with limited resources and in a cost-effective way.

What books do you have on your nightstand?

Beside learning from what worked and what did not work in Entrepreneurship. I drew a lot of inspiration for technology by learning views on quantum mechanics and Information theory. Listing some of the books.

  • Quantum mechanics by David Griffiths
  • The Hidden universe by Anthony Peake
  • Fabric of Cosmos by Brian Greene
  • Knowledge and Decision by Thomas Sowell

Also, to be a better Entrepreneur and getting inspirations, I liked the following books:

  • The Innovator’s dilemma by Clayton Christensen
  • Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moor
  • Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman
  • Out of my later years by Albert Einstein
  • Wings of fire by APJ Abdul Kalam

Because of the current economic climate our publication has started a series of discussions with professional individuals meant to engage our readers with relevant companies and their representatives in order to discuss their involvement, what challenges they have had in the past and what they are looking forward to in the future. This sequence aims to present a series of experiences, recent developments, changes and downsides in terms of their business areas, as well as their goals, values, career history, the high-impact success outcomes and achievements.

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