Economics Student Heads Tech Start-Up

Dhrubajyoti “Dhru” Das (B.A., economics, ’18)
Dhrubajyoti “Dhru” Das (B.A., economics, ’18)

International student Dhrubajyoti “Dhru” Das (B.A., economics, ’18) is one in a billion.

Dhru Das was only born 21 years ago in India, but has long been a uniquely focused talent. By the time Das was 13, he was running his own business building e-commerce sites, partnering with remote workers in India, Sri Lanka and Austin, Texas. Das took deep dives into researching Silicon Valley and its inner workings, eventually applying to UC Davis, a few hours away from the world-famous technology hub he had been studying for so long.

And despite his lifelong concentration on computer programming, he selected economics as his major with an eye on his future.

“I wanted to better understand how the economy works and how money and markets work. This understanding is very important to being an entrepreneur and building a startup,” he said.

By the time Das reached his junior year, he and classmate Joshua Brown had developed the predecessor that would become Wazlo, an artificial intelligence-powered vetting tool that uses a conversational interface to screen potential job candidates. The partners found the combination of their UC Davis courses on machine learning and artificial intelligence, along with Das’ business know-how, to be essential as they innovated the app.

“Wazlo replaces the resumé and the traditional recruitment process. You cannot hire someone from a résumé; people lie. With Wazlo, we can vet. We can develop an algorithm that measures quality of work, culture fit and personality. If you don’t get along with a person, no matter how smart he is, you can’t work with him,” Das said.