Amit Jain has seen both sides of the tech world. From a bootstrapped startup in India to the bustling halls of Google, he gained invaluable experience he has applied to his newest and most ambitious endeavour, Bridg.
As an early entrepreneur, he worked for his first company, E-Z Data, out of his dorm room in India. The company eventually sold to Ebix, prompting Amit to move stateside and enroll in UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
Once fully emersed in the LA tech scene, Amit helped launch Savings.com and LeadPoint in 2005 before helping rebrand YouMail in 2006. Needless to say, his resume was coming together nicely at a very young age.
Google took notice and upon graduation in 2007, Amit was hired as a Product Lead and spearheaded Google Advisor, a simplified tool for financial comparisons. But after five years with the tech giant, he had developed a new passion for powerful search queries and new ideas on how to mine for consumer data in an underutilized way:
“Its always a hard decision to leave Google, it’s a great company to work for and I’m still one of their best brand ambassadors,” Amit explained. “But when you are aspirational, you feel as though you have something that can change the world. I wanted to change the way society looks at retail forever.”
“A lot of the data about the customers and what they are looking for is so buried that we don’t have the capabilities to understand it on an e-commerce site. The alternative was to go into the retail business to unlock the customer data sitting inside the POS systems that aren’t being utilized.”
Going against the trend towards e-commerce, Amit followed his aspirations and created Bridg in 2012. By connecting to consumer’s purchasing habits in brick-and-mortar stores, he created an intuitive understanding of what drives customers.
“If you think about Sears, Macy's, and McDonalds, they have no data on their customer. Amazon knows every single thing about you and they can cater experiences based on our preferences and how you react. These brick and mortars don’t even know who the customer is. They just swipe the card and walk away. If you look at the macro numbers, 93.5% of the retail purchases today still come from brick and mortar retail. Which means, for companies, they would rather grow their physical business by 1% than their online store by 10%.”
Bridg now has over thirty employees in their Santa Monica office as they continue to expand their services. With a UCLA internship program and plenty of local talent, Amit has seen the benefits of escaping Silicon Valley.
“As an entrepreneur you want to attract talent and keep talent more effectively. In the Bay Area you’re fighting against larger companies that can pay an insane amount of money. I had a very clear choice to start a company in either the Bay Area or LA and I chose LA.”
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