10 Most Influential Analytics & Data Science Leaders in India – 2017

It is the leaders at the helm that drive the success of any organization. Adorned with knowledge, experience and expertise, these leaders add value to an organization taking it to newer heights. Rising through the challenges, motivating fellow mates and expanding working opportunities for many more professionals, these leaders are instrumental in all walks of a successful journey of an organization.

Analytics industry too is driven by some of the extraordinary brains, because of whom we see this industry the way it is today.

AIM celebrates 10 such influential leaders from the analytics/ big data/ data science industry every year that have transformed a great deal of how this industry operates. Bringing various ingredients such as impact factor, leadership, analytics evangelism and much more into consideration, we have sorted out the 10 names that have left an impression substantially this year.

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Here goes the list in alphabetical order.

10 Most Influential Analytics Leaders in India – 2016

10 Most Influential Analytics Leaders in India – 2015

10 Most Influential Analytics Leaders in India – 2014


Anshu Sharma

Sr Director at AIG Science

Anshu Sharma Raja is a Senior Director and a part of the India leadership team at AIG. In her role, Anshu is responsible to seed and grow the Data Science function in India.

While she has always been a ‘data person’, having designed in-memory algorithms for large financial transaction calculations at top tier investment banks, her first brush with modern day data science was during her time at Goldman Sachs, be it solving problems, presenting the output or looking under the hood of business with the data science lens. She enjoys the journey that at most times starts with wrangling data, applying the right analysis and to most importantly correlating to the business and rendering the results. She is also passionate about creating high performing teams and believes the mantra to their success is to partner with them from step one, identifying the opportunity. She believes that the one of game changer in this space is the ‘platformization’– from data virtualization to Computer Vision APIs being made available, the field is expanding every day and it keeps one competitive.

Anshu has over 19 years of experience, almost all of it in the financial-tech industry. She started her career programming in C++ and has since then taken on roles for leading and managing large programs and product development distributed across multiple geographies for global financial institutions.

Prior to her role at AIG, Anshu was at Goldman Sachs in Bangalore, and was the regional lead for the market data function. She has also worked at Misys and Thomson Reuters.

Anshu is passionate about guiding women returning to technical careers after a break, and mentors young women and men who aspire to have technical careers. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Computer Science from Bangalore University and has undertaken the Executive General Management Program at Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore.


Atul Jalan

CEO at Manthan

Atul Jalan is currently CEO of Manthan and is permanently, an entrepreneur. It is very unlikely that you would find him not working on something new. His secret sauce however, is imagination coupled with the ability to crank, accelerate and build momentum.

As CEO of Manthan, Atul’s single objective is to keep the spirit of invention and innovation alive at Manthan – a spirit that has seen Manthan go on to become one of the leading contenders in analytics business solutions for consumer industries worldwide. Manthan is Atul’s fourth successful venture after MicroTrack, Cybertrek and Net Kraft. And today, is among the few Indian companies that can boast an analytics portfolio that several Fortune 500 companies rely on.

Atul is a known voice on technology and is sought for his views on analytics and the consumerization of technology by publications and forums worldwide. What is not known though, is that he also dabbles in poetry and takes keen interest in a wide range of subjects from movies to quantum physics. Loquacious and a polymath, Atul can hold forth the camera obscura and Johannes Vermeer as he can on analytics.

Though when he finds the time, he prefers to go skiing with his son. Three-dimensional printing and the uber-personalized era it will drive us into, is his current obsession. And if his maverick, entrepreneurial nature is anything to go by, this could translate into something new. And the bigger and more beautiful it sounds, the more passionate he is likely to be about it.


Debashish Banerjee

Managing Director, Deloitte Consulting India Pvt. Ltd.

Debashish has close to 17 years of experience in variety of actuarial, analytics and data science projects. Most of his contribution is in the advanced analytics, actuarial, risk management, data mining and predictive modeling areas. He started his career with GE and was instrumental in establishing and leading the insurance analytics, pricing and reserving team for GE in India. Arguably one of the first of its kind in India.

He was awarded the most prestigious “Summit Award” by GE. He moved to Deloitte in 2005 with the primary goal to set up the advanced analytics and modeling practice in India. Currently, he is overseeing and providing leadership to the Deloitte Consulting’s Actuarial, Rewards and Analytics practices which focuses on Actuarial and pricing analytics, big data analytics, predictive modeling and data science offerings.

He is a voracious reader and traveler and works closely with the academicians as well as corporates, and because of his publications, he has been invited in many industry and academic conferences across India and USA – the is closely associated with IIM, Ahmedabad and Lucknow, his alma matter at Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, CAS and SOA, USA, IAI, and NASSCOM, India to name a few.

He is a nominated member of Board of Studies, ASIBAS and received a Golden Leadership award this year from Amity University. He is also the chairperson of the Analytics Advisory board of the Institute of Actuaries in India. He looks after a few geographies and his clients are in USA, South Korea, Australia, UK and India.


Deep Thomas

CEO at Tata Insights & Quants

Deep is a passionate Data Analytics evangelist with more than two decades of proven track record in delivering sustained increasing profitability through business transformation leveraging Information and Digital capabilities, Advanced analytics, Novel processes, and Multi-Disciplinary Talent.

Deep is currently the CEO of Tata Insights and Quants (Tata iQ), a Big Data company that is incubated as the Tata Groups’ Analytics and Data powerhouse.

Prior to this; Deep has held various key positions in US and India with multinationals like Citigroup, HSBC and American Express to steer Global agenda and leverage the power of data to its fullest potential. However, his passion and desire to bring his experience to help Indian organizations unleash business value through the application of advanced analytics led him to take over the top seat at Tata iQ. Deep believes that the “time is now” to make intelligent analytics happen in India and under his leadership, Tata iQ is one of the front-runners in spearheading this change.

Deep is also an active speaker and panelist at leading Data science conferences both in India and abroad. He is a Computer Science graduate with an MS in Information Systems and an MBA in Marketing from Arizona State and holds numerous patents in Decision Science and Information Management.


Pradeep Menon

Global Analytics & Data Leader at GE

Pradeep currently leads the global analytics & data COE across the 6 GE Digital Hubs worldwide. The COE handles work across all the GE BUs in the areas of data sciences, BI/data visualization, business/decision analytics, data engineering, machine learning, artificial intelligence and data analytics on GE’s Predix IOT platform. The location footprint is spread across offices in India, Hungary, US and Saudi.

Prior to that, he led the global analytics organization for the Maersk Group based out of Mumbai and having GSC sites across India, Philippines and China. He oversaw analytics strategy, transformation and delivery across multiple business units in the organization across the shipping and energy industries.

Prior to Maersk, Pradeep led an organization at Dell dealing with the analytical aspects of product management, pricing & competitive intelligence based out of Bangalore. The team supported all of Dell’s global product brands. He was a product of Dell’s SPEED executive development program. He has had stints managing data and BI organizations at Honeywell and Oracle Consulting in the initial years of his career.

A mechanical engineer and an MBA from VJTI, Mumbai and SJMSOM, IIT Bombay respectively, he is a keen follower of the block chain space and is a fairly well known and active participant in industry and academia based events.


Prithvijit Roy

CEO at Bridgei2i

Prithvijit Roy is the CEO of BRIDGEi2i Analytics Solutions, one of the fastest growing Analytics solutions firms, featured in Deloitte Technology Fast 50 list for the last two consecutive years and also mentioned in Gartner Market Guide for one of their technology accelerators, Sales Decision Engine.

Prithvijit has a unique experience of playing a leadership role in incubating and building three of the largest and successful analytics centers in India – First at GE / Genpact, then at Hewlett Packard and last but not the least, at BRIDGEi2i. He co-founded BRIDGEi2i in 2011 and has kept a sharp focus on business problem solving and driving value through data based decision-making. This has helped the firm scale up significantly.

Today, it works with over 20 Fortune 1000 global clients in solving their challenges that might range from efficiency and growth initiatives to organizational digital transformation efforts. He led the team in leveraging their strong data engineering capabilities, driving insight generation through their advanced algorithms and machine learning techniques and by bringing the solutions back to the businesses through their technology accelerators or their managed analytics solutions.

He believes that analytics will not only drive business transformation but also solve social problems, enabling people to live better lives. He recently helped launch the community of Humans of Analytics as an initiative to celebrate the people who make this industry what it is today.


Rajendar R B

Senior Vice President – Risk Analytics at HSBC

RB Rajendar is the Senior Vice President & Head of Risk Analytics for Retail Banking & Wealth Management Business of HSBC at the Global Service Centre in Bangalore. Rajendar joined the Bank in 2014 and is a part of HSBC’s Global Analytics Leadership team contributing to Analytics Strategic Direction.

Rajendar has more than 22 years’ experience in the financial services industry and has progressed his career within the Risk Analytics & Management, Strategic Marketing, Market Research and Business Development areas. Rajendar is passionate about building high-performance teams and analytics capabilities and competencies among his employees. Over the course of his career Rajendar has set up Analytics Practices; and has specialised in Data Modelling and Marketing Sciences, Risk Management, Operations Analytics, Digital Analytics, Big Data, Market Research, Qualitative Research and Investment Research.

Prior to HSBC, Rajendar has worked for Fidelity Investments, Genpact, GE Process Solutions (USA), HSBC Credit Cards (USA), HSBC Auto Finance (USA), GE Capital International Services, Standard Chartered Bank and BPL Ltd. Rajendar has a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Mississippi State University, USA and a Bachelor’s in Electronics and Communications Engineering from University of Mysore, India.


Sameer Dhanrajani

Chief Strategy Officer at Fractal Analytics

Sameer Dhanrajani is a distinguished, well-recognized analytics and data sciences leader and visionary known for his deep knowledge, innovation and topical understanding across all genres of analytics and data sciences space. His consistent penchant to spot global analytics trends and relentlessly curate best of breed strategic analytics consulting, services, solutions frameworks, methodologies have been remarkable. Under his able leadership, Cognizant Analytics & Data Sciences today is recognized as a leading player in the marketplace with exemplary broad based offerings in analytics and data sciences consulting, solutions and platforms serving global clients across multiple industries. With 20 years of progressive and well-rounded professional experience, Sameer has donned various leadership roles in his work tenure. Prior to Cognizant, Sameer was the Country Head for Fidelity National Financial. He has been recipient of “Outstanding Leadership Award “ at India Human Capital Summit and “Exemplary Leader Award” at Asia Pacific HRM Congress.

Sameer is core member of NASSCOM Analytics Special Interest Group, ASSOCHAM Digital Council and is also an advisor to Telangana government in setting up data analytics policy and ecosystem in Hyderabad. He is a regular speaker at global conferences and has been quoted across multiple business publications. He is a well-known contributor in the academic space and is a trusted industry advisor to multiple academic universities and institutes. Sameer is a prolific blogger and influencer; his blog post “Demystifying Digital, Data Analytics and Decision Science “ is a trendsetter. He is the first professional in India to deliver TED talk on analytics.


Sandeep Mittal

Managing Director at Cartesian Consulting

Sandeep is the founder and MD of Cartesian Consulting, one of India’s leading analytics services firms with 5 offices spread across India, Singapore and USA. An alumnus of IIM Calcutta, Sandeep and his team are gaining prominence in the market for bringing Data Sciences and Machine Learning to brands who want to leverage their data for customer value, and for their impact obsessed analytics consulting work. With 17 years of experience advising clients across geographies and industries on their analytics and customer needs, Sandeep is considered an exceptional leader in the industry who leads from the front, is closely involved in client engagements, and is the go-to person for new thinking and perspective. His new areas of focus are around building AI tools for marketing, and these efforts have already led to award winning work around AI aided Email Marketing.

Sandeep has worked across multiple industries (Retail, Financial Services, Hospitality, Telecom, Education, Tech) and is a strong proponent of Segment of One thinking. He speaks regularly at industry and academic events, is considered an exceptional leader in the industry and was awarded “Big Data Founder/ Entrepreneur of the Year” at the 2016 Big Data summit.

An entrepreneur and a person who wears many hats, he founded his first firm whilst still in college, founded and ran an underground online magazine on rock music in India, plays and records music, and writes and draws a webcomic series.


Sanjay Srivastava

Analytics leader at American Express

Sanjay is currently Analytics leader at American Express. He leads analytics and reporting teams supporting Merchant business across geographies. He has 18 years of diverse experience in Analytics domain and brings rich cross industry perspective.

Sanjay is passionate about leveraging analytics to solve business problems and deliver tangible value. He believes in democratization and adoption of analytics and has led organization wide initiatives to this effect. He is an invited speaker in academia and industry forums and is a recognized thought leader.

Prior to his current role, Sanjay set up DELL’s Marketing and Sales Analytics Centre of Excellence and scaled it to one of the largest amongst captive setups in the country. He was instrumental in building advance predictive, digital and customer centric analytical capabilities. Sanjay held strategy and analytics positions with Jet Airways where he set up network optimization and fleet management systems to leverage power of analytics. Before that, at Engineers India Limited, Sanjay drove business transformation initiatives using Information management and data modeling.

Sanjay is a founding class alumnus of the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad and holds B- Tech in Mechanical engineering from IIT- Roorkee. Outside of work, Sanjay enjoys running and is a regular on the marathon circuit.

Bhasker Gupta
Bhasker is a techie turned media entrepreneur. Bhasker started AIM in 2012, out of a desire to speak about emerging technologies and their commercial, social and cultural impact. Earlier, Bhasker worked as Vice President at Goldman Sachs. He is a B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow.

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