A briefing session with Sriram Vaithiyanathan, the Founder of TAMBROT

In an interview with Mr. Vaithiyanathan, M14 Intelligence dived deep into the fundamentals of data labelling and how TAMBROT is using its capabilities to create a social change in the local community of Tamil Nadu state and eventually the entire country.

What is TAMBROT’s role and what are its fundamentals/principals?
There is no doubt that annotation or data labelling is one of the crucial steps towards the successful implementation of AI and machine learning (ML) algorithms. There are loads of annotation and labelling service providers in the market striving to position themselves and getting good business. TAMBROT is not thriving on the principle of earning money but serving for a social cause.

TAMBROT simply is a short name for Tamil Brothers. Two brilliant and likeminded Tamil souls- Founder Sriram Vaithiyanathan and Co-founder Kelvin embraced the ideology of uplifting the underprivileged class of their community and establishing TAMBROT is a small step towards bringing this social change. Both founders are software engineers with 13+ years of expertise in IT and are leveraging their capabilities to empower the unemployed class and women in the society through data labelling.

The company aims at training the people with data labelling platforms and helping them to grow their career in the field of machine learning which is the future of technology. 

Which industries are highly demanding for data labeling projects and what is the TAMBROT’s focus areas/target market?
Nowadays, many businesses are adopting AI technology to automate their process e.g., agriculture, warehousing, retail, construction, consumer electronics, healthcare, and autonomous vehicles. Annotation being the basis of AI, its is inevitable phase for training the algorithms. TAMBROT is not restricting itself to any particular industry and is open to deliver projects across multiple sectors. 

According to Mr. Vaithiyanathan, Autonomous Vehicles industry holds great potential and foresees lot of demand from this industry. AVs are the future of automotive industry and at this stage there is huge data that needs to be labelled to feed the AI. On every new route, every new object should be known to avoid the collision and labelling is one of the crucial keys to the successful deployment of AVs.

Why are the companies outsourcing data labelling/annotation process according to TAMBROT?

Companies working on AI and ML technologies are definitely seeking for some partners to annotate their data. This is not because they are out of resources, but time. Companies have to operate 24x7 and have loads of data to annotate, and time crunch is the major challenge. For example, the companies working on autonomous driving technology are striving to reach the market quickly, but there are plethora of images and videos of the mapped routes that are required to be labelled or annotated. So, the best timesaver option is to outsource multiple teams or in some case the entire company to do the task. India is not the only region in the radar of such companies, but countries such as Indonesia, Africa, and other South Asian countries are slowly becoming hubs for the annotation start-ups.

How is TAMBROT planning to implement the data privacy policies?

Client data is something that needs to be protected and a strong privacy policy is must. As a start-up TAMBROT is not at all overlooking this aspect, in fact the company is working towards imposing stringent privacy policies along with the ISO certification and software platforms that avoids the data leakage. 

According to Mr. Vaithiyanathan, if any breach happens, TAMBROT will not only loose the client, but the complete business, hence the implementation of data privacy policies is a priority on the roadmap of TAMBROT.

 What annotation technique TAMBROT prefer and why?

Manual labelling is highly time and money consuming and requires very skilled annotators. Hence most of the companies are shifting on semi-automated or fully automated tools. 

Working to enhance the depressed class of the society is the foundation on which TAMBROT stands, it needs to train its educated but unskilled resources to adapt the data labelling environment. And opensource automated tools are the best to get hands on training compared to manual which will take longer training time. Though the company is currently making use of opensource automated platforms, it is also training its resources on the platforms made available by its clients. 

Mr. Vaithiyanathan said- “Two of our partners, we recently engaged with, are ready to provide their platforms for training. It is a win-win model, as they are providing their platform and we are training our resources for them. Also, as we move ahead and our partners will need more resources, we would be able to provide them the trained team in a short time. Also, we have not restricted our capabilities to one or two tools, we are exploring our hands on multiple tools. We are open adaptable and flexible”.

What is TAMBROT’s pricing model? 

The company is flexible and does not have any specific pricing model (fixed price or per image) at present. The customers pay the company depending on the service it has received and the quality of work, post completion of projects. TAMBROT also is flexible working with the start-ups with no or less budget and need help in the field of annotation and data labelling. During the interview Mr. Vaithiyanathan said, “The upliftment what we envision is not only for our resources or local communities, but also the passionate start-ups across the globe having budget crunch.” He also exclaimed that “We are new in the market, and willing to earn the customers more than money.”

 What are TAMBROT’s recent engagements/customers?

TAMBROT is new and started just a few months back; however, the company seems gaining good traction from the customers across the globe. The company is currently engaging with 2 leading AI companies, but could not reveal their names under the NDA signed. 

Mr. Vaithiyanathan said, “Although we are a startup, a few clients already considered us as a long-term partner for their annotation projects and provided us the access to their platforms to give hands-on training to our resources for them.” 

The company believes that it will gain support from many companies to contribute to the societal upliftment.

What amount of funding TAMBROT has received?

Sriram said “We are a bootstrap company and till date, both the founders have collectively poured somewhere around 0.5 million rupees in our small company from our savings and majority of this investment was attributed towards the procurement side and the employee’s salary”.  As the founders are from tech background, they both have managed web development and digital marketing on their own. The company is certainly looking forward and trying to pitch for investments from venture capitalists and angel investors, in coming future.

What societal impact TAMBROT wants to create?

Unemployment is one of the biggest issues that India is currently dealing with. Moreover, the women and the unprivileged section of the society are the once suffering the most. TAMBROT has a mission to uplift the life of these financially underprivileged individuals by helping them grow their career. Also, women empowerment is the one of the prime objectives of the company. 

Data labelling
Artificial intelligence
Machine Learning
Autonomous Vehicles
Training Data
Self-driving Cars

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