Deepti Yennireddy: Making AI My Ally
WRITTEN BY TEAM ARISE
PUBLISHED APRIL 30, 2023
Deepti Yennireddy’s story is one of passion, hard work, and perseverance. Her love for physics and science started early, thanks to her middle-class family, who instilled the importance of education in her. Born in Hyderabad, Deepti’s father was a tennis coach, and her mother was a homemaker. Deepti and her brother played tennis daily and thus sports have played an important role in her life. While Deepti enjoyed playing tennis, her love for the library at NV Stadium was greater, where she developed an early interest in mathematics and sciences.
Deepti was one of the top 10 in a mathematics Olympiad, and in high school, she knew she wanted to do something in mathematics and sciences instead of medicine, which was her mother's dream. Her love for electrical engineering led her to study at the prestigious IIT Madras. She was one of six girls in a class of 120 people, and her experience at IIT Madras changed her life. Deepti learned that people could do a lot with little knowledge, and she began tinkering around with several apps and appliances during her college years.
After graduation, Deepti worked on desalination projects and other small ideas before getting a job at oil field companies like Schlumberger and Shell from 2006 to 2009. She travelled to Bahrain, Egypt, and Scotland during this time, with the idea of starting up her own business always in her mind.
In 2009, Deepti realised she would have better opportunities in the US. She joined the business school at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She interned and worked at early-stage VC firms like Silver Creek Venture Partners and Oppenheimer Funds to gain more management experience. It was here that she got extremely excited about VCs, start-ups, and the greatest companies being created.
Deepti says one of the constants was “I was always one of the few women on the teams”. She was managing teams of people in high-pressure situations with millions of dollars at stake. Being the only woman and one of the youngest on the team meant there was bias, and it took time for clients and her teammates to take her seriously. Despite these challenges, Deepti developed a thicker skin and learned not to take no for an answer, a trait that would serve her well as a founder.
She had her son in 2013, and this pivotal moment led her to start her own business. In 2015, Deepti started My Ally with a friend from IIT Madras. It began as an AI-powered executive assistant that would set up meetings through NLP and ML, which was a personal pain point throughout Deepti's business life. This evolved to recruiting point automation solutions, where they focused on building AI in business scenarios that needed accuracy. Today, My Ally automates millions of conversations and provides over 70% efficiency gains for customers.
“We are here for a reason and should not feel the imposter syndrome where we believe we don’t belong. We deserve our place.” Deepti is now focused on building strong and responsible tech, and she advises all women techies to believe in themselves. She adds that techies must create products that create good for the community.
Deepti's passion for science, entrepreneurship, and innovation has been the driving force behind her success. Her ability to stand up for herself and focus on the user's needs has broken barriers and set an example for women in the tech industry. Deepti Yennireddy's journey serves as an inspiration to anyone who dreams of creating something extraordinary.