Why Manu Jain is the right leader to grow G42 in India

Manu Jain speaking as Xiaomi Global VP at the India Mobile Congress
After building the largest smartphone company in India, ex-Xiaomi exec Manu Jain is named CEO of G42, as the Abu Dhabi-based AI powerhouse goes global

G42 has its sights set on India.

The Abu Dhabi-based AI powerhouse has appointed a CEO in India, as it looks to step beyond UAE borders in its next significant step of its growth in going global.

Though well-known in MENA technology circles, in pioneering AI and cloud regionally, G42 is less recognised elsewhere.

That all changed though in July, when G42 unveiled the world’s largest supercomputer for AI training, a collaboration with US-based Cerebras Systems – putting the UAE technology holding company firmly on the global map.

The company also recently announced the open-source release of Jais, the world's most advanced Arabic large language model (LLM) via its subsidiary Inception and expanded its partnership with Microsoft to expand existing data centre infrastructure in the UAE.

Emboldened by such success and tapping the AI movement that is currently changing the world, G42 is now looking to India as the next step in its global growth story – and has brought on board one of the country’s biggest tech names to make it happen.

“We are thrilled to share that we will be soon expanding our operations into India, as we continue our journey towards becoming a global leader in AI,” G42 posted on its social media handles.

Leading G42 into this new chapter of growth is Manu Kumar Jain – a name synonymous with transformative leadership and ground-breaking success in the consumer technology sector.

Meet Manu Jain – the man steering G42's growth in India

Manu, who is based in Dubai, took to LinkedIn to announce his CEO appointment at G42, where he is kickstarting “a new AI business in India”.

This announcement follows Manu’s step-down in January as Global VP and India CEO for Xiaomi, a position he held for nine years – since the Chinese smartphone maker’s entry into the Indian market in 2014.

Put simply, Manu built the largest smartphone company in India – taking Xiaomi – dubbed the Apple of China – to billion-dollar heights in the country. 

In just three short years, Xiaomi became India’s number one smartphone brand, defeating global giants like Samsung and other Chinese phone companies like Vivo and Oppo.

Under his leadership, Xiaomi India clocked over US$1 billion revenues in India in 2016, just two years after launch and phone shipment volumes rose by more than 150% from 2015 to 2016.

No company, whether FMCG, electronic manufacturing or IT, has achieved such numbers in the history of India, Jain said in an interview in 2016.

From McKinsey to e-commerce entrepreneur

Xiaomi is not Manu’s only success, however. Before that, he built one of the largest e-commerce platforms in India.

The IIT Delhi and IIM Calcutta alumnus started his career as a McKinsey consultant, where he worked with brick-and-mortar clients on tailored solutions, before taking an entrepreneurial leap of faith.

“The world around me was changing. I could see it, I could feel it..”, Manu said in an interview at the time.

Tapping into the then nascent online shopping industry in India, Manu co-founded Jabong.com in 2012, a fashion e-commerce platform – which, within several months, was achieving 1,000 transactions daily.

Within less than a year, Jabong had become one of the two largest fashion e-commerce companies in India.

With 60% of orders hailing from mobile phones, Manu realised at that point that mobile would be massive in India – and reached out to Xiaomi co-founder Bin Lin.  

And the rest, as they say, is history.

G42 – from UAE to global stage

G42 has always championed AI and its potential to improve lives. The group, which is led by former Pegasus CEO Peng Xiao, works with both the public and private sectors to deliver innovative solutions via world-class infrastructure.

The company draws inspiration from Douglas Adam's science fiction novel 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' where '42' is the universal answer for the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. 

Formed just five years ago in June 2018, G42 has grown from a team of 30 to more than 22,000 – incredible growth fuelled by the transformative nature of AI technologies rapidly adopted around the world. In that time, the group has forged partnerships with the likes of AstraZeneca, AWS, Cisco, IBM, Illumina, Microsoft, Nvidia, Oracle, and Schlumberger.

In its recent collaboration to create the world's largest AI supercomputer, the first of interconnected AI supercomputers, G42 and Cerebras say they are democratising AI by enabling simple and easy access to the Condor Galaxy and that this should also fast-track AI projects globally.

G42 has recently undergone a transformation, synergising three of its nine companies – G42 Cloud, Inception Institute of AI, and cloud and cyber market leader Injazat – to create Core42, of which Kiril Evitmov will be CEO, while former G42 Cloud, Talal M. Al Kaissi, will head product and global partnerships. 

"Our audacious vision is to establish Core42 as an unparalleled Enterprise AI delivery force with a global footprint," Talal recently stated in a LinkedIn post. "Tapping into our diverse strengths, from public and private cloud to high-performance computing, Applied AI, and top-tier managed and cybersecurity services, we're all set to scale resources and computing prowess to spearhead ambitious projects."

By partnering with global tech giants, Core42 is paving the way for groundbreaking solutions and ensuring swift, harmonised responses to partner needs.

Among G42's other companies are:

AIQ – a joint venture with energy company ADNOC looking to develop AI for the energy industry

Bayanat – geospatial intelligence from below ground to beyond the atmosphere

Hayat Biotech – solving life science challenges

Khazna Data Centers – commercial wholesale data centre solutions

M42 – tech healthcare company that is now the biggest in the Middle East

Presight AI – big data analytics powered by AI that recently enjoyed a successful IPO

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G42 has recently undergone a transformation, synergising three of its nine companies – G42 Cloud, Inception Institute of AI, and cloud and cyber market leader Injazat – to create Core42, of which Kiril Evitmov will be CEO, while former G42 Cloud, Talal M. Al Kaissi, will head product and global partnerships. 

"Our audacious vision is to establish Core42 as an unparalleled Enterprise AI delivery force with a global footprint," Talal recently stated in a LinkedIn post. "Tapping into our diverse strengths, from public and private cloud to high-performance computing, Applied AI, and top-tier managed and cybersecurity services, we're all set to scale resources and computing prowess to spearhead ambitious projects."

By partnering with global tech giants, Core42 is paving the way for groundbreaking solutions and ensuring swift, harmonised responses to partner needs.

Among G42's other companies are:

AIQ – a joint venture with energy company ADNOC looking to develop AI for the energy industry

Bayanat – geospatial intelligence from below ground to beyond the atmosphere

Hayat Biotech – solving life science challenges

Khazna Data Centers – commercial wholesale data centre solutions

M42 – tech healthcare company that is now the biggest in the Middle East

Presight AI – big data analytics powered by AI that recently enjoyed a successful IPO

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