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A Day In The Life Of: AK Senthil, A Data Scientist By Profession And A Social Worker By Choice

A Day In The Life Of: AK Senthil, A Data Scientist By Profession And A Social Worker By Choice

Harshajit Sarmah

In our weekly column “A Day In The Life Of”,  we step into the shoes of amazing techies from the industry and try to look at how a day in their life looks like. And for this week, we caught up with AK Senthil, Senior Executive at Cholamandalam.

Senthil’s Routine

Senthil starts his day early in the morning at 6 am during weekdays and reaches office before 9 am. He makes it a point to be at work early so that he can focus on research and try to learn new things and enhance his subject knowledge in the areas related to data science. “This type of daily learning gives a boost to my confidence,” said Senthil.

Further, unlike most of the 9-5 professionals who prefer to sleep for a little longer during the weekend, Senthil spends his weekends at his native village and gets up at 5 am as he loves to go to agricultural work.

As we talk more about his day in the life, we got to know that Senthil is also a fitness enthusiast. His workplace is about 4 km away from where he stays, so instead of commuting via any vehicle, Senthil prefers walking to the office. And on weekends, he works in the agricultural lands and plays cricket. “I don’t do any workouts as all these activities help in keeping me fit. Nowadays, I have also started doing meditation,” said Senthil. Apart from that, we also got to know that Cholamandalam data scientist also love to write Tamil poems, and watch/read literature.

About The Work

When asked about his work process, the data scientist said that currently he is working on text data where data cleansing and data transformation occupy close to 70-80% of his work.

Talking about projects, they are mostly about working on customers’ additional information from the note which has comprehensive details of a customer such as the exact nature of applicant’s business, experience in this business, co-applicant information etc. “This is a new area and also acts as a feature for credit risk model so that it helps improve the accuracy of the model,” said Senthil.

He also talked about another project which is called Text summarization. In this project, the company analyzes reports or observations made by officials and try to summarize the issue and create a database. Based on the report, it finds the repeated issues and trigger each branch and also rate the branches. Another area of focus is the repayment model where it predicts customer — who will pay and not pay the EMI amount for the upcoming month.

As Senthil walked us through his “a day at work”, we also asked him about the best part of his workday, and this is what he said, “the best part of the day is the project discussion session with my seniors and co-workers which help and encourage me in learning in-depth about the subject, sector and the nuances.”

More Than Just Work-life Balance

When it comes to striking a perfect work-life balance, Senthil initially faced a bit of a hassle because of the commute from his home to work. But now he is managing well to maintain a good work-life balance as he has shifted close to his workplace.

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“At times one might need to put in some additional hours when it comes to work and career, and I feel that’s ok. There are times when I have to skip family functions, staying away from home. That’s the price you have to pay sometimes when you want to excel in your career,” said Senthil.

When asked about his social life, he told he is very active in his social life. He is also active on social media, especially on LinkedIn as he uses the platform to help new people in the domain of data science by mentoring and guiding them. He believes that it not only helps them but also helps him to stay updated and strengthen his skill set as well.

Apart from being a data scientist that solves some of the complex problems of a business, Senthil is also trying to solve the problems of other people and the environment. Being a person with a blood group O-negative (which is rare), he donates blood every six months. And apart from that, the Cholamandalam data scientist also manages a local cricket team in his village and as a team, they plant trees in their surroundings. 

Senthil’s 5-Year Plan

When asked about his future plans, Senthil said he wants to keep abreast with the subject, technology and domain specializations and become a complete Data Scientist. Also, he sees a lot of problem statements in several areas and he would like to pursue a doctorate at some point of time and contribute to society.

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