Hey, I'm Hemanth. 👋 At the moment, I am dreaming about reimagining/democratizing legal processes and information using the power of large language models. I.e., I'm building India's first AI paralegal, co-founded with Ben Hoffner-Brodsky in Chennai, supported by Emergent Ventures, Z Fellows, Agami OpenNyAI, and WilmerHale Launch. These days, I'm kept up at night by thoughts of programmed inequality and misaligned AI, and so, I'm interested in building ethical AI. I graduated early (or late, after a gap year) with an A.B. in Economics from Harvard in December 2022.
Before switching to startups and AI, I worked in research and government. For 1.5 years, I was a Consultant under Dr. Santhosh Mathew (ex-IAS) at the Delhi office of the Gates Foundation where I led verticals on algorithmic public finance, smart contracts, procurement marketplaces, and digital health. I've coauthored some institutional publications including high-dimensional macro-financial models at the Reserve Bank of India and a chapter in the Economic Survery of India in the 2021 Union Budget. I was the Research Assistant to the Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India and have spent time in a variety of development labs including J-PAL, the Good Business Lab, and the Harvard Kennedy School. Broadly, I'm still passionate about public health, social protection, state capacity, and economic development.
I spend my better days writing short stories and translating fiction, and won the 2022 Charles Edmund Horman Prize for fiction-writing at Harvard. Outside of my work, I care a lot about anti-caste ideas and local politics. I also map tea shops, rank parotta masters, stalk antique street markets, and philosophize about Tamil cinema. In another life, I was a debater and coach—in high school, I was a Grand Finalist at the World Schools Debating Championships and Best Speaker at both the biggest Indian university parliamentary debate tournaments.