Nina Suri, Founder and CEO of XOPA AI, maximizes objectivity in hiring by uniquely harnessing the power of data science and AI

What’s your story?
I have been involved in two startups, one acquisition, executed one exit, and witnessed one management buyout!

I’ve been an Entrepreneur for 21 years — A geek at heart and an entrepreneur by choice!
As an Electronics Engineering professional, I started my career in Sales and Marketing with ICIM (ICL) in India and then became an entrepreneur in 1997, with the launch of Nastrac Group, a global executive search firm. I founded my current startup, X0PA AI, in 2017, to disrupt our own traditional search business and pivot to a SAAS based AI, ML platform.

I have won multiple awards:
Female Business Personality of the year, Singapore, 2016, The European
Consultancy of the year 2016, Singapore, The European
World Finance – Entrepreneur of the Year 2016
SME of the Year 2014
Asia Pacific Brands Award 2014
Singapore Quality Medallion 2014
Entrepreneur of the Year 2013
Notable SME 2013

What excites you most about your industry?
The transformation that it creates and the radical benefits it offers to society is what gets me so excited. The increase in productivity, efficiencies, removal of biases and prejudices and so many other benefits — just witnessing the impact of my startup on clients and job seekers gives me a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

What’s your connection to Asia?
Our company is headquartered in Singapore and our engineering team is based out of India. Asia is one of our strongest markets.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, undoubtedly. It is an open, business friendly, and easy place to do business. The Government is super supportive of startups and SMEs and gives a tremendous amount of support and benefits.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Cash Is king! This is the best advice I have got: You have control over your expenses but not always over revenues, so be lean and optimised!

Who inspires you?
I am super inspired by self-made or people making huge impacts from nothing. I am a big fan of Microsoft and Amazon. Satya Nadella, for the amazing things he has done with Microsoft, Melinda & Bill Gates, for their philanthropy, and Jeff Bezos for his sheer genius.

What have you just learned recently that blew you away?
The power of AI and technology! The positive impact it can make on humankind, especially in people oriented functions, and medical areas, like diagnosing cancer, is mind blowing.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I don’t think I would change anything.

How do you unwind?
I love music and movies, I am a binge TV series watcher so I have to be careful which series I start!

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Himalayan destinations in India like Shimla, or Nepal are absolutely amazing. Seaside places like Bali are absolutely my favourite.

Everyone in business should read this book:
“The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries

Shameless plug for your business:
X0PA AI is a game changer and a must have for every company!

How can people connect with you?
[email protected] is the best

Twitter handle?
ninasuri

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connects’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private hacked by KIDdenta Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of two best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum on Twitter and LinkedIn
Download free copies of his books at www.callumlaing.com

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