10 Most Influential Analytics Leaders in India – 2016

Knowledge, expertise, perseverance and experience are key ingredients that go in the making of a business leader. Analytics in India, has gradually gained recognition and momentum, owing largely, to visionaries who understood the importance of this field and worked towards shaping it into what it is today.

In fact, time and again, they have proved themselves in the field of data analytics, being at the forefront of the analytics industry in India and leading the domain towards success with effectiveness, confidence and commitment. Proactive in their leadership roles, they have the courage to create an impact. You may find a few repeats from last year, but in each of these cases, they re-qualified with new achievements in the past 12 months.

So here is the list of Top 10 Influencers in the Indian Analytics Industry, presented in alphabetical order.

Atul Jalan

CEO & MD, Manthan Systems

Atul Jalan ManthanAtul Jalan is currently CEO of Manthan and is permanently, an entrepreneur. Manthan is Atul’s fourth successful venture after MicroTrack, Cybertrek and Net Kraft. As CEO of Manthan, Atul’s single objective is to keep the spirit of invention alive at Manthan – a spirit that has seen Manthan create pioneering analytics solutions for consumer connect industries worldwide. Today, several analytics-driven Fortune 500 companies derive their edge from Manthan.

Atul is a well-known and frequently-heard voice on analytics and emerging technologies – leading to his being acknowledged among India’s 10 Most Influential Analytics Leaders in 2015. But a unidimensional analytics mutant, he most definitely is not.

He can be equally loquacious about aero-modelling, astronomy, quantum physics, Richard Feynman, Johannes Vermeer, quadcopters and the movie that released last Friday. And if you have the time and the ear, he’s got a few verses to share as well. Though when he finds the time, he prefers to go skiing with his son.

[pullquote align=”right”]Atul is being featured for second time on this list.[/pullquote]Three-dimensional printing and the uber-personalized era it will drive us into, is his current obsession. And to obsession, he brings a unique ability to crank, accelerate and build momentum. The bigger and more beautiful it sounds, the more passionate he is likely to be about it.

Deep Thomas

CEO at Tata Insights and Quants

deepDeep Thomas, CEO – Tata Insights and Quants (Tata iQ) Division, is a Global business leader and management professional with over two decades of experience in delivering sustained increasing profitability through business transformation leveraging Global processes, Information capabilities, Digital, and Advanced analytics solutions.

Tata iQ; incubated as the Tata Groups’ analytics and data powerhouse and drawn from the best analytics talent in the industry is geared to harness India’s largest conglomerate’s vast and rich data on individuals and institutions to drive superior customer experience and business performance.

Prior to this, Deep led Citigroup’s Global Decision Management Centre of Excellence where his team drove high performance insights and impactful analytic solutions across 36 countries. He has also held various leadership positions with HSBC and American Express in India and US to steer global agenda and business transformation leveraging information management and advanced analytic solutions.

Deep is 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.

Mahesh Kumar

Founder and CEO at Tiger Analytics

mahesh tigerMahesh Kumar is the Founder & CEO of Tiger Analytics. Mahesh started Tiger Analytics in 2011 with a desire to bring his experience in management science to help organizations achieve superior performance through the application of advanced analytics. Tiger Analytics is one of the fastest growing companies in the analytics space, with a team of 100+ data scientists and engineers working out of the US and India solving complex business problems in the areas of marketing and customer analytics, digital advertising, social media insights, sales analytics, forecasting, pricing, risk, and supply chain & operations for its clients in various industries.

Prior to founding Tiger Analytics, Mahesh was on the faculty of Smith School of Business, Rutgers Business School and MIT Sloan School of Management. He has conducted research in the areas of data mining and statistical modeling and has successfully applied it to solve problems related to forecasting, pricing, promotions, and customer segmentation.

Mahesh holds a Ph.D. in Operations Research and Marketing from MIT Sloan School of Management, and a B.Tech. in Computer Science from IIT Bombay.

Mahesh currently lives in Silicon Valley part of California with his wife and son, and visits India frequently to work with his team in Chennai.

Noshin Kagalwalla

Managing Director, SAS Institute (India)

noshin sasNoshin Kagalwalla is the Managing Director of SAS Institute (India) Pvt. Ltd, the Indian subsidiary of SAS Institute Inc – a leader in business analytics and business intelligence software solutions. He is responsible for architecting the long term vision, driving sales and customer strategies and maintaining SAS’ leadership position in the Big Data Analytics and Business Intelligence market in India.

Noshin joined SAS in December 2004 as part of the executive leadership team and took on the responsibility of Managing Director in October 2013. Over this period, he has significantly contributed to SAS India’s growth and established SAS as a strong brand synonymous with Analytics, commanding over 50% of market share in the advanced analytics market in India.

Mr. Noshin Kagalwalla is an MBA from UCLA, an M.S. in Computer Engineering from Wright State University and Bachelors in Engineering from V.J.T.I., Mumbai. He is a veteran in the Analytics industry and has over 22 years of experience across business functions. Prior to SAS, Noshin held executive positions in multinationals such as Microsoft and TCS.

Prithvijit Roy

CEO and Co-founder at BRIDGEi2i Analytics Solutions

jit bridgei2iPrithvijit Roy is the co-founder and CEO of BRIDGEi2i, one of the fastest growing global Analytics Solutions companies. Prithvijit is a reputed analytics expert, thought leader and evangelist of data driven decision-making.

Prithvijit holds a MS in Quantitative Economics from the Indian Statistical Institute, and is no stranger to the analytics domain. He played a key role in setting up the analytics units for GE / Genpact and HP at a time when analytics was still not a well understood space, building both to a 1000 plus strong teams. With Big Data and technology gaining significance in enterprises, he then saw a huge opportunity in providing technology-enabled analytics solutions. That’s how BRIDGEi2i was born in 2011.

Over the last 4 years, Prithvijit has led BRIDGEi2i to significant growth, partnering with over 15 Fortune 500 clients in delivering value leveraging their “Personalization” and “Optimization” algorithm based business solutions. With the belief that sustainable impact comes from embedding analytics in the DNA of the organization, Prithvijit and BRIDGEi2i team are building artificial intelligence based technology applications such as M2 for model risk management, S-Reco for sales recommendation and Extrack for customer experience management. BRIDGEi2i features in the Deloitte Fast 50 list in 2015, comprising of the fastest growing technology companies in India.

Read interview of Prithvijit Roy.

Ravi Vijayaraghavan

Vice President and Head – Analytics at

ravi flipkartDr. Ravi Vijayaraghavan is a Vice President at Flipkart where he leads the Analytics organization. Prior to joining Flipkart, Ravi was the Chief Data Scientist and Global Head of the Analytics and Data Sciences Organization at [24]7 inc. – a silicon valley based company that builds software products for customer service and sales. At [24]7 Ravi and his team were responsible for invention, development, implementation, and optimization of all analytics and machine learning driven solutions that form the core of [24]7’s product offerings.

Before joining [24]7, Ravi held a variety of leadership roles at Ford Motor Company. His contributions were in the applications of computing and analytics to the design and optimization of business and engineering systems. He was the recipient of a Henry Ford Technology Award – the highest technical recognition at Ford. Ravi was also a vice president and part of the executive leadership team of Mu Sigma Inc., a Chicago/Bangalore based pure-play analytical services company.

[pullquote align=”right”]Ravi is being featured for second time on this list.[/pullquote]Ravi has 20+ patent filings, many refereed publications and has presented as invited/ keynote speaker at several international conferences. Ravi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology – Madras, a PhD from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an MBA from the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.

Sameer Dhanrajani

Business Leader, Analytics & Data Science – Cognizant Technology Solutions

sameer cognizantSameer Dhanrajani is a distinguished and recognized analytics & data science thought leader and visionary known for his deep knowledge, innovation & topical approaches in analytics and data science space. His consistent penchant to spot analytics & data science trends and relentlessly curate best of breed analytics and data science consulting, services, solutions frameworks, methodologies have been remarkable.   Under his able leadership, Cognizant Analytics today is recognized as a leading player in the analytics & data science market space with an exemplary broad-based structure and an exhaustive repertoire of services framework, consulting methodologies, solutions and platforms spanning advanced analytics & data science spectrum serving global clients across industries. A fast tracker & well-rounded professional with over 19+ years of industry experience, Sameer has donned various leadership roles. Prior to Cognizant, Sameer was the Country Head for Fidelity National Financial. He also worked as Vice President – Analytics for Genpact.

Sameer is a core member of NASSCOM Analytics Special Interest Group; ASSOCHAM digital council. He was recipient of “Outstanding Leadership Award” at India Human Capital Summit and “Exemplary Leader Award” at Asia Pacific HRM Congress.

[pullquote align=”right”]Sameer is being featured for third time on this list.[/pullquote]Sameer is also a regular keynote speaker & moderator at leading conferences .He has been quoted regularly across multiple business & news publications. Sameer is a prolific blogger and his blog post “Demystifying digital, data analytics and decision science” is a trendsetter; he is a well-known contributor in the academia space; delivered numerous industry guest lectures and mentored several fresh & experienced graduates on making a successful career in Analytics & data science. He is a trusted industry advisor and council member to leading Business & Technology Schools.

Sandeep Mittal

Founder & Managing Director, Cartesian Consulting

sandeep cartesianSandeep is the founder and MD of Cartesian Consulting; one of the country’s leading analytics services firms.

An alumnus of IIM Calcutta, Sandeep has 16 years of experience advising clients across industries on their Analytics, CRM and Data initiatives. He has been a driving force in the development of an analytics practice across over 80 client engagements ranging from large Telecom organizations, retail brands with hundreds of stores, online businesses, financial services companies, luxury hotels and resorts, and restaurant chains. He plays at the intersection of direct marketing thinking, advanced analytics and integrated marketing management technology.

Sandeep is considered amongst the leading practitioners in the country when it comes to analytics and CRM and is a regular speaker and contributor on the topic. He was awarded the “Big Data Founder/ Entrepreneur of the Year” at the 2016 Big Data summit.

Sandeep founded his first startup (a software development and tech consulting firm) in 2000 whilst still in college, and also founded and edited an underground online music magazine. He then worked in the direct and relationship marketing field for a number of years before setting up Cartesian. Cartesian has now expanded its presence with offices in Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, and Singapore, and currently has over 150 employees.

Read interview of Sandeep Mittal.

Ujjyaini Mitra

Head of Analytics, Bharti Airtel Ltd

airtelUjjyaini leads the Data science and Analytics department at Bharti Airtel’s mobility business. In fact, she joined Airtel with the vision to establish Advanced Analytics as a practice and infuse science in business decision-making. She plays the role of Subject Matter Expert in Analytics with a special focus to consumer’s Usage and Retention (UnR) across Airtel’s product family, Customer service Experience and Market Research. She has built a strong team of 6 Analytic brains at various maturity levels who are responsible in creating highly complex marketing models in Big Data space to achieve high revenue growth via right contextual marketing and enhanced customers’ life cycle value, which significantly impact the whole value chain of Airtel.

Prior to joining Airtel, Ujjyaini was leading Marketing & Sales center of competence at McKinsey & Company’s analytics hub – McKinsey knowledge center, India. Her work interest lies in the domain of Game Theory and Pattern Recognition and its application in Marketing Science.

She mentors budding managers of prestigious management institutes of India, including IIM Ahmedabad and IMT Ghaziabad. She has been invited as speaker and panelists at various data science conferences and she is a part of executive council of Data Science Foundation.

Read interview of Ujjyaini Mitra.

Vivek Ratna

Country Manager, Cloudera

vivek clouderaVivek Ratna, an IIT Kharagpur alumnus, is an industry veteran in the Big Data space. He is currently the country manager for Cloudera in India. Cloudera has been one of the leaders in the Big Data space with some of the largest enterprises across verticals using Cloudera’s Apache Hadoop-based, enterprise-ready platform to extract value out of data and create new business possibilities.

Prior to his current role, he had an extremely successful stint at Hewlett Packard Enterprise as the country manager of its Big Data Platform business in India. He worked very closely with few of the large enterprises in the BFSI, telecommunications and e-commerce verticals in helping them unearth the untapped value of data. He has also been an active participant and speaker in the Big Data/Analytics forums that are held by different organisations across India. Prior to getting into the world of Big Data, he worked in various other organisations such as Reliance Communications, Wipro and HCL in several sales and strategy roles.

Outside the world of Big Data, Vivek has the passion to read, especially on subjects related to politics, philosophy and history. He also loves to travel and be close to nature whenever possible.

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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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