This year Analytics India Magazine is creating a list of the 10 best companies in India which can be the dream company for any data scientist in India to work for. We reached out to close to 25 companies with operations in India before shortlisting 10 best firms based on various parameters such as their work culture, exposure to different projects, internal growth trajectory, employee-friendly initiatives for data scientists such as re-skilling, programs to retain employees, programs to ensure reduced attrition rates, among others.
(The companies are arranged in alphabetical order).
The culture at the “Growth Analytics Center” and AB InBev worldwide is truly unique as they are built on a strong foundation of ownership, informality, transparency and candour. They believe their people to be their greatest strength and work towards motivating them. The data scientists at ABI’s Growth Analytics Center work with some of the world’s top universities and are instrumental in developing in-house capabilities. The company strongly encourages innovation through exploration and collaboration which keeps data scientists highly motivated. As the company says, their people have a genuine entrepreneurial spirit for what they do. It’s with this spirit they take ownership of outcomes — taking results personally.
Support for data scientists: Data Scientists are given personalised attention since day one by getting to know their interests as well as assessing their competencies. ABI provides year-round training programs focused on leadership, compelling communication and domain-specific training through in-house Analytics Academy initiative. The data scientists also have the opportunity to travel to their GHQ office in New York and to some of their zones, to work and learn with business partners quite frequently.
Retention of data scientists: Being a flat organisation, data scientists get to interact with the senior-most leadership to present their work. These touchpoints are incredibly valuable for employees to see the larger picture as well as get recognised for their work. ABI also provides ample opportunities for international short or long term assignments in the markets that they support.
With over 400 employees out of which 280 are data scientists, BRIDGEi2i is nurturing a people-driven, growth-oriented work culture based on skills & capability development, continuous learning, and ascension. Apart from core responsibilities, the employees contribute toward a wide range of initiatives and programs such as innovation, employer branding, employee engagement, and experiential marketing. BRIDGEi2i’s Rewards and recognition program celebrates and rewards high performers both on outcomes and values.
Support for data scientists: At BRIDGEi2i, the new campus inductees are welcomed with an exciting program LeGo (Learn and Grow) to bridge the gap between college and professional lives. Experienced employees take charge of acquainting and moulding the new talent with necessary skill sets, not just in data science, but also soft skills! BRIDGEi2i also emphasises continuous growth and learning with SCaLa (Skills Capabilities Leadership Ascension) centres of excellence, which puts employees through a structured learning program with distinct streams tied to specific career growth paths.
Retention of data scientists: With an attrition rate as per industry standards, BRIDGEi2i imparts one of the best learning and growth curves in comparison to the other players in the market. With specific, role-based learning on niche subjects, employees can upskill and focus on strengthening core fundamentals. Additionally, employees are encouraged to take up new roles and responsibilities that bring out the best in them while allowing them to grow into leadership roles!
With over 200 data scientists in their team, Cartesian ensures that every single person at the company participates in the outcome of his/her client’s business. The impact-oriented mindset ensures that teams not only develop data science skills but are constantly engaging with business to understand the nuances and solve real business problems. Teams are exposed to clients very early on to inculcate a sense of creating business impact.
Support for data scientists: Apart from the emphasis on training, including external courses, there are other aspects that help data scientists grow at Cartesian. Focus on ground-up solutions encourages data scientists to do independent thinking in terms of problem formulation and methodology. Other aspects of cross-domain learning, allows employees to have experience in multiple domains such as retail, BFSI. This encourages them to abstract across domains and come up with robust solutions.
Retention of data scientist: At Cartesian, the attrition at senior levels is extremely low compared to junior folks who mostly leave because of higher studies. Cartesian is able to retain people because of three main reasons — they get exposed to business very early on, employees are encouraged to work across domains, use cases, and geographies, and third is that people are constantly exposed to new techniques, languages and approaches through Cartesian’s Innovations Lab and AI Lab. The employees can see their contributions changing Cartesian and that is a big motivator for a low attrition rate.
The culture at the data analytics CoE at Envestnet Yodlee basically runs on the theme, “No idea is a bad idea”. The analytics team has an opportunity to work cross-functionally with every team within the organisation — right from the conceptualisation stage, to the development process, and projects going live. The company prides on the fact that they have fewer silos, and that all the employees have a sense of belonging and understanding of cross-functional roles and responsibilities. The company strongly encourages open communication among the employees regardless of the designation, a fact which enthuses creativity and confidence among youngsters.
Support for data scientists: Envestnet Yodlee has a strong focus on learning, development and personal growth. They operate as a research lab with commercial deliverables. The company equips the employees with the right training and opportunities to learn within and outside the organisation based on their developmental needs. They do not insist on classroom training, instead have learning champions within the team who understand the training needs of individuals and plan tailor-made learning opportunities.
Retention of data scientists: The company does not believe that keeping a check on attrition alone, is a feasible long-term solution. Instead, they focus on developing individuals in the team from the time they join. The trust that the company puts in the employees with confidential data, and the flexibility to derive insights and innovative models from the data, is something that wins the employees over.
With about 50 data scientists spread across geographies, GOJEK is built on the philosophy of speed, innovation and social impact. To encourage employee-friendliness, the company offers complete freedom to run experiments, challenge conventions and provide the necessary room for the team to feel empowered. Their zero-hierarchy model allows the employees to take quick decisions. GOJEK provides freedom to data scientists to explore and choose the project they like and work with experienced professionals to create unique solutions.
Support for data scientists: GOJEK’s culture imbibes 360-degree assessment and one-on-one feedback, which eliminates hierarchy and gives anybody with a good idea an opportunity to be heard. It rewards independence, entrepreneurship and initiative efforts, encouraging data scientists to work seamlessly with product and business teams to ensure optimum output. Data science professionals get a chance to work with senior leaders across geographies, which is a major boost for employees.
Retention of data scientists: The attrition rate of GOJEK is next to negligible. They don’t stress much on keeping a check on attrition rates or retaining data scientists, instead, they offer challenges that people can solve. The best any employee can ask from an organisation is to keep them challenged, offer great culture and remunerate them handsomely. GOJEK ticks these critical boxes, making it an incredibly hard organisation to join and equally difficult to leave.
The unique differentiator of the Oracle Cloud Solution Hubs in Bangalore is that it has the spirit of a start-up while being part of one of the largest and most successful technology companies ever. Hence, a data scientist can have the best of both worlds, enjoying all the sophisticated tools and technologies that Oracle offers. Data scientists get a chance to work in a well-defined solution engineering environment under the guidance of experienced and best of breed data scientists.
Support for data scientists: Oracle Cloud Solution Hubs encourages an innovative culture. They organise various hackathons and innovative contests throughout the year, along with inculcating a culture of continuous learning and investing in training and growth of their team. Oracle also encourages active participation in various events and conferences, along with the opportunity to present and publish papers in numerous academic and research journals. There is a clear growth path defined for employees along with facilitating mentorship programs to encourage people to interact with other teams.
Check on attrition and retain data scientists: To check on attrition and retain data scientists, the company stresses on hiring the right fit. They look for employees with a strong work ethic, the ability to get along with others and a willingness to learn apart from their core technical skillset. They also focus on familiarizing new employees through orientation and induction to make them comfortable. Oracle also believes in listening to their employees and encouraging them to share continuous feedback, which is used as a two-way communication to improve transparency.
The company has more than 100 analytics people, whereas around 35 AI/ML people in their data science team. Publicis Sapient has the analytics, engineering and science teams under one community, which gives the team enormous visibility and opportunity to work on the end-to-end customer journey- starting from customer identification, experience and engagement, all the way till delivering a service or a product efficiently.
Support for data scientists: The company provides the opportunity to work on both Applied-AI in addition to exploring the new approaches in ML/AI in academia. The team is encouraged to have external connects via conferences, speaker opportunities, book publications etc. Since Data Science is still in nascent stages at Publicis Sapient, this allows data scientists to continue learning and apply the knowledge for Digital Business Transformation across multiple industries.
Retention of data scientists: The company has a very low attrition rate, thanks to the interesting initiatives to keep a check on attrition and retain data scientists. Apart from many interesting data science-friendly initiatives, Sapient focuses on hiring based on learn-ability and attitude and keeping them engaged with interesting work. “Embracing the Future” and “Learning Mindset” is part of Core Values at Publicis Sapient.
Tredence boasts of around 300 members in its data science team, with a work culture that is egalitarian, non-hierarchical and respects the individuality of team members. The company provides a conducive environment where all kinds of learning are encouraged. Tredence encourages its employees to take up courses to upskill themselves and loop them into ongoing projects through several knowledge sessions. With a young workforce, where the average age is 27, Tredence has a collegial environment that allows for extensive growth.
Support for data scientists: Tredence encourages a healthy and fit workplace where a lot of engagement activities are around sports and fitness. They have a tie-up with Cult where one trainer from Cult visits the office every alternate day, whereas healthy dinner from Cult is provided every day. The company also encourages learning habit in employees. The ‘U Learn V Pay’ is a unique learning offering at Tredence that encourages its employees to take any course through online platforms on any topic of their choice. Once the employee successfully completes the course, the course fee is reimbursed by Tredence. Apart from this, employees get to participate in conferences, industry events and given a chance to continue higher education.
Retention of data scientists: The attrition rate at Tredence is at par with the industry average and they are constantly striving to engage continuously with their top performers. The biggest reason they attract and retain people is a combination of learning and working with a high-quality peer group plus an opportunity to solve complex business problems with mastering analytics skills in an environment that makes the entire journey rewarding.
With more than 1000 data scientists, Wipro has a diverse pool of data scientists across various domains. The company focuses on regular thought-leadership meetups at various locations for AI and data science community at multiple locations across the globe. Consulting-driven approach to most customer requirements gives the team an opportunity to a fresh storyboarding towards each problem. The company also provides an opportunity for transforming customers into an intelligent enterprise and lots of other opportunities for employees to cross skill.
Support for data scientists: There are several platforms and initiatives which assist and enable a data scientist to grow within Wipro and keep them engaged throughout their career with Wipro. Some of many such programs are TrendNxt and FutureSkills, which contains extensive courses on all the learning areas, SDS (School of decision sciences) which is a flagship analytics full-stack program, Big Data academy, crowdsourcing programs such as TopCoder (Wipro-acquired entity) and TopGear (Wipro-owned entity), Datathon AI (an annual Wipro AI event), among several others.
Retention of data scientists: There are several awards and recognition for data scientists which creates a positive and encouraging work environment at Wirpo. Hiring and retaining the right data scientists is one of the top priorities for Wipro and they achieve it by providing training, constant upskilling and industry-fit compensation. Wipro prides in constant development of skill sets and recognising the efforts top performers by awarding them in the form of quarterly rewards to annual awards.
ZS’s Capability and Expertise Center in India house more than 4,000 ZSers across three offices in Pune, New Delhi and Bengaluru, many of whom are data scientists. The firm leverages its flagship “ZS Data Science Challenge” initiative to hire the best talent from top engineering schools. This effort has helped grow the team by 50 percent over the course of the past year. ZS culture celebrates innovation and curiosity. The firm seeks out creative thinkers and problem solvers from a variety of backgrounds, blending their unique talents to develop and deliver products that drive better business results.
Support for data scientists: ZS offers a sponsorship program to support data scientists pursue higher education (Masters) at ivy league institutes across the globe. There is a strong internal data science community that encourages sharing, learning and updating knowledge, partnering with external vendors. ZS also provides various internal platforms for the team to strive for grassroot innovations. Other opportunities include real-time challenges such as hackathons, participation in conferences and summits, external competitions such as Kaggle, potential to publish whitepapers and blogs in external publications, among others.
Retention of data scientists: Transparency is key when defining and communicating roles and responsibilities so that people know what to expect. Team members are encouraged to evolve in their current roles by experimenting with new tools, technologies and algorithms. Data scientists are also offered the opportunity to work at other ZS offices as well as client sites, which provide great exposure.
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Srishti currently works as Associate Editor at Analytics India Magazine. When not covering the analytics news, editing and writing articles, she could be found reading or capturing thoughts into pictures.