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Sam Altman's OpenAI hires former Twitter India head to enter the Indian market: Report

Jaya Vishwakarma
New Update
openai in india

Sam Altman-led AI giatn OpenAI, backed by Google rival Microsoft, has reportedly teamed up with Rishi Jaitly, the former head of Twitter India to enter the Indian market. 

According to a TechCrunch report, OpenAI has appointed Jaitly as a senior advisor with a focusing on facilitating dialogues with the Indian government regarding AI policies. The move is seen as a strategic effort to navigate the complex landscape of Indian AI governance.

OpenAI's expansion plans in India

The report comes six months after the visit of Sam Altman to India where he met several notable personalities, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


While the company doesn't have any physical presence in India, Sam Altman had a significant interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi about India’s growing tech landscape and the potential benefits of AI for the country.

The collaboration with Jaitly is part of OpenAI's broader plan to establish a local team in India, indicating a significant push to engage with the country's rapidly growing AI ecosystem. 

What did Altman say about Indian startups working in AI?

During his visit to India in June 2023, Altman responded to a question about building foundational models with a $10 million budget, stating it was “hopeless.”

Altman's response sparked debate on the internet, with several people saying that OpenAI underestimates Indians and their technology. However, he later replied to CP Gurnani's tweet, saying, "This is really taken out of context! The question was about competing with us with $10 million, which I really do think is not going to work. But I still said try! However, I think it’s the wrong question."

Jaitly's experience and role

Rishi Jaitly brings extensive experience to OpenAI, having previously led public-private partnerships for Google in India and serving as Twitter's first employee in the country. The report said that his role at OpenAI involves advising on policy and regulatory matters, leveraging his deep understanding of the Indian tech landscape.

The report added that Anna Makanju, OpenAI's vice president of global affairs, is set to participate in the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence summit in Delhi. The “Collaborative AI for Global Partnership (CAIGP) – Global Cooperation for Equitable AI” event will feature discussions with industry experts and international leaders. 

Regulatory challenges for OpenAI

While OpenAI is making strides in India, regulatory challenges remain a key focus. The company's major investor and strategic partner, Microsoft, already has a strong presence in India, with a significant R&D centre in Bengaluru and a robust investment portfolio in Indian startups.

OpenAI's collaboration with Jaitly and its efforts to understand the regulatory environment are crucial steps in its expansion into the Indian market.

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