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Uber Has A New CEO Dara Khosrowshahi

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Uber, US based cab hailing startup, has elected a new chief executive officer to lead the company. Dara Khosrowshahi, who has been the CEO of online travel business Expedia for the past 12 years has officially been offered the post as the new CEO of Uber.

Dara Khosrowshahi emigrated to the US in 1978 from Iran following the Iranian Revolution and took over the reigns of Expedia in 2005. Expedia, under his leadership, grew to become a $23 billion giant with a presence all across the world. The online travel business is known for their work life balance and diversity. According to company data, 51% of their US employees are female and 33% leadership roles are taken up by women. Khosrowshahi has agreed that the numbers, although compares well with their peers, are still not high enough.

Former CEO and cofounder of the company Travis Kalanick was asked to step down following the various scandals that surrounded the company. One of the allegations the company faced was discrimination against women at the workspace. Although Dara Khosrowshashi will be a step up from the former CEO, the bar set for diversity and inclusion is still very low considering the board was unable to hire a woman for the lead role.

In a press conference last year Khosrowshahi said they need to attract, hire, engage and promote talent of all kinds all around the world. “We believe that by enriching the diversity of our work force across all dimensions, including gender, we achieve the most enriched outcomes,” he added. Before Khosrowshashi, HP CEO Meg Whitman along with former GE CEO Jeffery Immelt were considered for the job. After Kalanick’s resignation, many hoped that the next CEO would be a woman, which would be a symbolic choice for a company that is grappling with its “bro” culture. Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg was also considered for the position as she takes a firm social standing on diversity and has the right leadership experience.

In recent times many women have come forward speaking out against discrimination and harassment in the tech industry with multiple leaders stepping down from their posts. India, which is the third largest startup ecosystem in the world, on the other hand, has been seeing an increase in women lead companies in the startup world such as Richa kar led Zivame, Suchi Mukherjee led Limeroad and Radhika Aggarwal led ShopClues. Anisha Singh who is the founder of MyDala.com will also be seen mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs on an upcoming reality show on MTV called Dropout. Indira Nooyi, born in Madras, is currently ranked as the 13th most powerful women in the world and heads the world’s second largest food and beverage company, Pepsi Co. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is the chairperson and managing director of Biocon Limited, a Bengaluru based biotechnology company and is an independent director of IT giant Infosys.

Khosrowshahi, the soon to be former CEO of Expedia, which does not have a gender pay gap and women in its workforce earn $1 for every $1 paid to men in equivalent roles, will be tasked with turning around Uber’s culture, which has been called hostile to women. More than 20 employees were terminated from Uber as a result of an internal investigation with sexual harassment, bullying and retaliation as reasons for many of the firings. The internal investigation also released a 13 page report with recommendations on how to improve the way Uber treats its employees and police reckless behavior within the company. Khosrowshahi’s job would be to follow the recommendations to avoid any more scandals.

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Meta’s AI Assistant, Meta AI: Friend or Foe for Searching Giants?

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Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook) has introduced Meta AI, an AI assistant, powered by Llama 3 language model, designed to be your one-stop shop for information, chat, and creativity. This means you can get real-time information on Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram without ever leaving the app!  

 

Meta AI’s search strategy is an intriguing twist. While it may appear to be a competitor to Google and Bing, it contends that Meta AI is not a competitor, but rather a collaborator. Here’s why:

 

By relying on established search engines as sources, Meta AI positions itself as a user-friendly tool that combines the best of Google and Bing. Imagine getting results from both Google and Bing in the same search. As you are exposed to different points of view, you may gain a more comprehensive understanding of the subject. They’re calling it the “most intelligent AI assistant that you can freely use,” so it will be interesting to see how it compares to other assistants on the market. 

 

How does Meta AI help you? 

 

Search Powerhouse: Meta AI combines Google Search and Microsoft Bing results to provide you with a more comprehensive view of your queries.

 

Chatty companions: Need answers or simply want to talk? Type “@MetaAI” into Facebook Messenger, Instagram, or WhatsApp and let the conversation begin.

 

Creative Spark: Feeling artistic? Meta AI allows you to create custom stickers and photos based on your text descriptions.

 

Where to Find Your Meta-AI Buddy:

 

  • Look for Meta AI in the search bars on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp.
  • To respond to posts, interact with Meta AI directly in Facebook’s main feed.
  • Explore the new meta.ai website for extended conversations.
  • Type “Imagine” into your WhatsApp chat to generate real-time images.
  • The future may even include access via Meta’s VR headsets and Ray-Ban smart glasses.

 

The Future of AI Assistants

 

Only time will tell how Meta AI integrates into our lives, but it certainly offers a glimpse into an interactive future where AI assistants cater to our search, chat, and creative needs.  Whether Meta AI becomes a true partner to search giants or forges its own path remains to be seen.

 

Meta AI promises a brand new way to search and interact with information.  Do you think this AI assistant will change the way we use social media? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

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Discover Kheyti, The Startup Changing The Lives of Farmers In India

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Farming has been an integral part of India’s history and culture for ages. It’s been the foundation of the Indian economy, supporting millions of people with food and jobs. Crops and agriculture hold immense importance in Indian society, not just in terms of money, but also in terms of culture, community, and spirituality.

Farming is a way of life for many people in India, but it can be a difficult and unpredictable business and farmers face a number of challenges, from erratic weather patterns to low market prices for their crops. Kheyti is a social enterprise founded in 2015 by Saumya, Kaushik Kappagantula, and Sathya Raghu. The organisation provides sustainable solutions to small farmers in India, helping them overcome challenges and improve their lives.

Kheyti’s flagship product is the “Greenhouse-in-a-Box,” a low-cost modular greenhouse that allows farmers to grow high-value crops year-round, even in unfavourable weather conditions. operates on a subscription-based model, where farmers can purchase a “Greenhouse-in-a-Box” kit or sign up for crop advisory services on a monthly or annual basis. Kheyti.com also earns revenue by connecting farmers with markets and buyers, taking a small commission on sales. They work to keep the costs low by partnering with local manufacturers to produce their products and leveraging tech to provide personalised crop advisory services at scale.

They also provide crop advisory services to farmers, offering personalised advice on crop selection, planting, and management. In total, The company has helped over 6,000 small farmers increase their incomes by an average of 300%. You call them small farmers, Kheyti calls them Smart farmers!

While there are other companies in India that offer similar solutions to small farmers, Kheyti stands out for its focus on sustainability, innovation, and community involvement. It works closely with farmers to develop tailored solutions that meet their needs while focusing on sustainable farming practices. Through its efforts, Kheyti has improved soil health, reduced water usage, and increased yields of various crops.

Looking ahead, Kheyti plans to expand its reach to more farmers in India and beyond and aims to continue developing new products and services that can help small farmers overcome the challenges they face. With its commitment to sustainability and innovation, The visionaries at Kheyti claim it has the potential to transform the agricultural sector and contribute to a more equitable future for all.

Imagine the joy and hope Kheyti brings to struggling farmers in India. With Kheyti’s help, over 6,000 small farmers have transformed their lives, becoming Smart farmers who handle challenges and succeed. With sustainable solutions, Kheyti is not only revolutionising agriculture but also spreading hope for a brighter future.

 

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Leher Versus Clubhouse: Which Audio Listening Startup Would You Choose?

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Clubhouse is a new type of social networking platform which is an audio only platform.  This means every conversation takes place through audio where users speak to let their thoughts known.  Users can create and host rooms where speakers will talk about a particular topic.  Originating in the Silicon Valley, Clubhouse attracted some major names onto its platform like Elon Musk, Evan Williams, Reddit co founder Alexis Ohanian, former Y Combinator President Sam Altman, AngelList co founder Naval Ravikant, Ashton Kuthcer, Oprah Winfrey, Drake, Kevin Hart and many others are some of the influential personalities who are on Clubhouse.  There is however a catch as Clubhouse is currently limited to iOS.

Leher is an Indian made alternative to Clubhouse and is a similar audio sharing and listening startup.  Leher also has video support unlike Clubhouse and is also available for both Android and iOS.  However, Leher does not have the biggest names in the world on its platform but it does have significant micro influencers and is growing at a rapid pace.  Within 180 days of its beta version launch, the company claimed to have its users spend about 44 minutes every day and 250,000 minutes per month for live video sessions.

We at Startup Stories are curious to see which among Leher or Clubhouse would our readers choose to take part in a virtual discussion.  Please let us know your answer in the poll below.

Which Audio Listening Startup Would You Choose?

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