He grew up in a town not much bigger than Clarksdale and his dream is to offer children in this community an opportunity to follow their dream and share some of the immense success he has had.
Mihir Shukla, co-founder and CEO of Automation Anywhere, grew up in a town of about 24,000 near Palanpuy, India. His company, Automation Anywhere, announced a major partnership with People Shores and Horne CPA in Clarksdale Friday.
“This facility has the potential to train your young people in cutting-edge technology,” said Shukla. “It really is my dream to see a boy or girl from Clarksdale grasp what we are doing here and become even more successful.”
Shukla said he grew up poor, but studied hard, got to go to college and came to the United States were he founded a small technology start-up. He founded and sold five businesses and founded his latest company in 2003 and rebranded it as Automation Anywhere in 2010.
“We are steadfast in our commitment to provide RPA (Robotic Process Automation) training to help break the generational cycle of poverty in Coahoma County,” said Shukla, “and believe we can change the blueprint for how government and the private sector approaches employment challenges by providing new career paths that align with the kinds of skills companies require today."
Shukla grew up in a community where female literacy is only 78 percent and 13 percent of the population is under the age of six. The province on the west coast of India is largely rural and ag based.
But Shukla’s Automation Anywhere and PeopleShores are part of a movement to bring technology to rural areas.
PeopleShores formally opened its doors in Clarksdale just over a year ago. They have been pleasantly pleased with the quality of the workforce in the Mississippi Delta. Friday’s announcement of the opening of the Robotic Process Automation Center of Excellence proves that.
Shukla said Friday he is “A serial disrupter,” meaning he wants to force positive change on both his industry and his world.
A visionary in the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) category, Shukla pioneered the Digital Workforce—software bots that automate business processes with both cognitive capability and embedded analytics—driving unprecedented human productivity while dramatically reducing processing costs for the world’s largest enterprises.
Under Shukla's leadership, Automation Anywhere has become a global leader in this rapidly growing industry generating more revenue, with more employees, and a greater market share than its top three competitors combined.
Prior to Automation Anywhere, Shukla held leadership roles in internet, e-commerce, and wireless companies at the forefront of innovation such as E2Open, Kiva, ISN, Netscape, Infoseek, and Omnisky.
As of 2018, Automation Anywhere's customers included Google, LinkedIn, and GM.
The Silicon Valley company that uses bots to automate certain tasks previously done by human workers reached a $1.8 billion valuation with a new fundraising push from several companies, including Goldman Sachs in 2018.
In the same year, SoftBank invested over $300 million in Automation Anywhere.
Automation Anywhere's products combine traditional RPA with cognitive elements such as natural language processing and reading unstructured data. These include bots with machine-learning capabilities.
In September 2019, Automation Anywhere was ranked No. 29 on the Forbes Cloud 100.
And Shukla smiled when asked about his company’s future in Clarksdale.
“We have developed good relationships with people in Clarksdale, we have talked to the college (Coahoma Community College) about working with them and we are pleased,” said Shukla. “We are behind the RPA Center of Excellence (CoE) and dedicated to bringing more than 200 jobs to the region by retraining and upskilling workers.
“We are behind this whole-heartedly,” said Shukla. “Our partnerships with PeopleShores and Horne are going to be very successful.”