A Day In The Life Of: Vikash Raj, A Spiritualist & A Self-Professed Workaholic

In our column ‘A Day In The Life Of’, we try to step into the shoes of the awesome techies from various domains in data science. And this week, we caught up with Vikash Raj, Head of Business Analytics and Process Engineering at IDFC, to know how his “day in the life” looks like.

The Onset

Raj kick starts his day early in the morning at 5 AM and has made it a point to do some self-study every day to keep him updated with the latest in the industry. His office hour starts at 9:30 AM but he prefers to start early and begin by 8:30 AM. When asked about whether work timing is strict,  Raj said, “We have a flexible hours work culture in our organization, and we can sometimes work from home as well depending upon our bosses discretion.”

Being a data scientist, it is imperative to have a mind that is focused and calm enough, and Raj seems to be successful in that as he does meditation daily — without fail. He has even joined a Yoga class that happens 4 times a week and he makes sure he actually attend the class at least 3 times every week.

When asked about his hobby, this is what Raj said, “I am afraid, I have not been able to identify a hobby for myself, but I am generally interested in Hindu mythology (Specially related to Goddess Durga) and tend to read whenever I get a book related to the subject. Also, I like spending time with nature alone.”

Work Process

Talking about his work process, Raj’s work consists of maintaining the data information and coming out with use cases for better and productive usage. He has conceived and implemented multiple products on data that has added to the efficiency of the team but has also increased and articulated the accountability.

His job also includes explaining the case to the data scientists, helping them with feature creations and selection of algorithms and measuring the returns from each of the endeavours. “In a sense, I do end to end job from conceiving the idea — putting it through the relevant stakeholders and convincing them of the benefits and ROI, provide ideas with the help of my team of data engineers, data scientists and data custodians, implementing the ideas and then calculate the benefits in terms of ROI,” Raj explained.

When asked about his current project, the IDFC data scientist said he is attempting to automate a data-driven sales planning where they do relationship mapping, forecasting business from each partner across their branches for each product segment, use this information for KRA setting and then track the business along with helping the sales team with regular inputs on patterns who may not be giving the required business and need interventions.

While Raj walked us through his “a day at work”, we asked him how the IDFC is using his talent and skills, and Raj said, “At IDFC, we have a fairly good data-driven culture and lots of strategies and actions revolve around data-based decisions. Though there is always a feeling that my output could go up if more resources are allocated but rational thought is that within the industry constraints and to strike a balance between long term and short term deliverables, my company is making good use of my talent.”

Work-Life Balance

When it comes to having a social life, Raj’s social life is not very active. He feels he is an introvert and he enjoys his own company that of anybody else. “Sometimes, I like to spend some time socially but that too with some very close friends and that too for some limited time,” said Raj. He likes restricting to his conversations to the extent needed and hardly engage in long chitchats.

However, talking about striking that perfect work-life balance, Raj said he never feels that his work affects his personal life as his personal life revolves around his work. Sometimes he does get into stretched meetings, but he always manages to plan his other engagements, keeping buffer for the same. “I enjoy my work and sometimes my team feels that I have some level of addiction to my work which sometimes affects their personal life, but I try to avoid that,” said Raj.

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Harshajit Sarmah
Harshajit is a writer / blogger / vlogger. A passionate music lover whose talents range from dance to video making to cooking. Football runs in his blood. Like literally! He is also a self-proclaimed technician and likes repairing and fixing stuff. When he is not writing or making videos, you can find him reading books/blogs or watching videos that motivate him or teaches him new things.

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