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Change the world


Nelson Mandela University’s Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences has been collaborating with Aptagrim, a software company in India, to contribute towards research, learning and teaching. This follows after Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research Professor Azwinndini Muronga signed a Collaborative Agreement with Aptagrim’s CEO, Sreegopal Mandapaka in October 2023.


From left, Professor Paul Poisat, Sreegopal Mandapaka and Prof Grant Freedman

“The adoption of this technology is developing and growing at an unprecedented rate, and it sparks fears of loss of jobs and displacement, and yet AI innovation can – and does – enhance business and has many more applications”, said Professor Paul Poisat, Acting Director of the Mandela University Business School at a Breakfast Conversation.

The event, entitled Using AI for Good was hosted together with Sreegopal Mandapaka in October 2023. It was therefore imperative that the University, and the Faculty in particular, provide education for the numerous new careers that will emerge in the future world of work.

Mandapaka agreed that AI was changing the landscape of work, and at the same time it was also giving developing countries an opportunity to scale innovation. He noted that AI had advanced far beyond relying only on a single language of input, such as English.

In terms of the agreement with Aptagrim, Faculty staff will collaborate on research projects of mutual interest and benefit, at the intersection of AI and digital technology and the fields of Human Resources Management, Industrial and Organisational Psychology, and Business Leadership.

Areas of collaboration may include joint research projects, short-term staff exchange programmes, guest lectures and educational programmes, joint publications, and incubation and Minimal Viable Product (MVP) development, said Prof Grant Freedman from the Business School .

Right, Professors Michelle Mey and Hendrik Lloyd

Research on Aptagrim psychometric product properties

Professors Poisat and Freedman, together with Prof Michelle Mey, Deputy Dean of the Faculty, are researching the psychometric properties of the Aptagrim psychometric products through various studies.

This work will yield crucial information on the accuracy and consistency with which these ground-breaking tools work and the extent to which they accurately describe personality for a wide diversity of populations, especially those from Africa, and how the predictions compare with those of traditional personality assessments.

Groundbreaking applications in learning and teaching

Executive Dean of the Faculty Prof Hendrik Lloyd has articulated the importance of accelerating student learning through technological innovation, and he is working with Aptagrim and various other partners on groundbreaking applications, such as AI tutors trained on Faculty modules within the Mandela University context.

Why the collaboration makes sense

The strategic alignment between Aptagrim and the Faculty is rooted in their shared commitment to innovation, lifelong learning, and societal impact.

The partnership aligns with Faculty’s focus on research innovation, aiming to address societal challenges through impactful, pioneering research. The University’s research capabilities and Aptagrim’s expertise in AI create a powerful synergy for producing socially conscious, responsible global citizens who are equipped to contribute to the public good , said Prof Freedman.

More about Aptagrim

Aptagrim was founded in India in 2012. The name Aptagrim was coined from the Sanskrit words apta (meaning trustworthy) and agrim (meaning leader). Led by CEO Sreegopal Mandapaka, Aptagrim has extensive expertise in artificial intelligence (AI), assisting businesses in various industries to adopt AI to boost efficiency, unravel intricate data, and empower them to make informed decisions.

They specialise in cutting-edge technologies, such as Deep Learning, Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN), Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Chatbot Development, tailoring AI solutions to fit each client's unique needs.

The CEO, Sreegopal Mandapaka, holds a Master’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Pune, India. He is a seasoned leader and entrepreneur with over two decades of experience in the IT sector.

As a visionary product developer deeply rooted in research and analytics, he views challenges as opportunities for growth and he is committed to harnessing the potential of AI to address real-world challenges and transform business operations.

Aptagrim’s recent major innovations

Under Sreegopal leadership, the Aptagrim team has recently engineered several major innovations:

  • Apta-I uses AI to provide the blind and visually-impaired with access to professional training and development, employment opportunities, financial independence, better education, good reading material beyond books in braille, and the ability to navigate around places with confidence. It empowers them to overcome environmental and social challenges, such as navigating unfamiliar spaces and socialising with new people.
  • PsyMetrica is an AI-driven video-based psychometric assessment solution, that evaluates candidates beyond their skills and experience. By analysing facial expressions, body language, and speech patterns, this solution offers a comprehensive insight into a candidate's personality, cognitive abilities, and emotional intelligence. This offering has empowered over 50 companies to make informed hires, earning recognition at the esteemed Future Workplace Awards 2022 in Dubai. 
  • PsyHire is an AI-driven 'applicant tracking system' that utilises video Psychometric assessments, enabling talent acquisition teams to move beyond evaluating solely the skills and experience of a job applicant.

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160