In our weekly column “A Day In The Life Of”, we step into the shoes of techies from different industries and try to understand how a day in their life looks like. And for this week, we got in touch with Bikram Sengupta, consultant director for research and innovation at iMerit, who is also the chief technology officer at Anudip Foundation.
Sengupta starts his day a 6 in the morning — and even though his office hour starts at 8 AM he reaches work pretty early. This is the part of the day that Sengupta likes the most. “I come in early when it is pretty quiet. The morning part of my day is very peaceful, I get a lot of things done, and it gives me a lot of headspaces to introspect, plan and read papers,” said Sengupta.
Being a morning person who likes to start his day with some alone time, doesn’t mean that he loses his steam during the day. Sengupta believes that the group discussions with teams are another best thing where a lot of exciting work also happens and there is a lot of ideation and positive energy.
While Sengupta walked us through his day at work, we asked him about his work process. Being the CTO of Anudip and consultant director of iMerit, Sengupta’s time is distributed. At Anudip, his job is to define the technology strategy that lets the foundation operate at scale. Further, he also plays a vital role in the domain that deals with data and make sure that the data is utilised at its best by devising a strategy around that.
There is a lot of data that is collected at every step at Anudip foundation. So, there is a lot of opportunities for analysis and gaining insights. “One of the instance of using data is smart counselling. Based on a student’s profile, past student data, we can provide recommendations about what courses a student can take, and how it aligns to job descriptions. The scope for using data to make decisions in each of these phases is tremendous,” said Sengupta.
Talking about his role at iMerit, Sengupta is responsible for transforming L&D through technology. This includes designing the right technology platforms.
Furthermore, when it comes to projects, he is also responsible for defining projects and helps with the execution. At Anudip, Sengupta and his team are working on its next-generation student lifecycle management system and at iMerit, he is a vital part of a project that is focused on developing the next generation of digital content and courseware.
“I think as I gain more experience and understand collaborations more, I’d better be able to serve the needs of the organisation here. I would also gain more insights to understand what skills or expertise I need to contribute more. This is an ongoing process, and this will help me create better impact within the organisation,” Sengupta added.
Life Outside Work
When asked about his work-life balance, this is what Sengupta said, “Work does affect our personal lives and the work-life balance remains a perennial struggle. We want to always stay ahead of time. When we are working on a deadline, there can be late evenings, meetings, a lot of weekend work as well. So all of that certainly comes in the way of spending more time with your family.” And even though Sengupta sometimes fail in striking that perfect work-life balance, he never complains.
Talking about his off-work life, Sengupta said that he before moving to Kolkata he was in Bengaluru and he feels that Kolkata is a nicer city to live in. “Coming from the part of the world where you had to plan way ahead, it is much easier here to make plans and not waste time in traffic,” said Sengupta.
About social media, Sengupta is not very active on social media channels. Though he logs into Facebook once a year to thank people for their birthday wishes. “I like LinkedIn — it is more informative, and you get a lot of interesting articles. I appreciate LinkedIn’s professional network, and I have published a few blogs there in the past,” said Sengupta.
And when asked about hobbies, he said, “Hobbies change with time and age. I used to read a lot when I was young but now, I enjoy spending more time with my family.”
The Roadmap Ahead
Looking into the future, Sengupta wants to see both iMerit and Anudip be globally renowned entities creating impact worldwide — both in terms of serving underserved communities and developing skills. And at a personal level, he says he would love to play an influential role in the technology roadmap that helps both the organisations get to that level.
“More technically, I would love to see AI for social good mature and reach its fulfilment. I would love to be a crucial part of this journey of AI for social good,” Sengupta concluded.