The global doctorate programme for AI thought leadership

Analytics India Magazine spoke to Sayee Bellamkonda, a doctoral candidate at INSOFE-Rennes School of Business, who shares his experience of pursuing the leadership program in data science.
The global doctorate programme for AI thought leadership

Analytics India Magazine spoke to Sayee Bellamkonda, a doctoral candidate at INSOFE-Rennes School of Business, who shares his experience of pursuing the leadership program in data science. 

Mr Bellamkonda is a Chief Digital and Technology Officer at Global Mobility Solutions (Vialto Partners, now part of PWC), a global company operating in 60 countries.

AIM: What motivated you to choose the Global DBA program from Rennes SB- INSOFE? 

Bellamkonda: I did my master’s in engineering followed by an MBA in Global Management. In leading teams at ITA organizations like American Express, Ameriprise, CBRE and Vialto Partners, the need for a practitioner’s view of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science became quite apparent. 


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The DBA with Rennes School of Business (RSB) offered in collaboration with INSOFE is one of the only programs that met my requirement of combining data science with leadership skills and business management.

AIM: As a working professional, how was your experience taking this program?

Bellamkonda: The course is well planned to accommodate our schedules, and we don’t have any weekday classes. The way the content is shared is very convenient as I have access to class recordings, documents and relevant materials at all times. That being said, the program requires time commitment and effort.  

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The DBA brings the best of both worlds – on one side, we have RSB with the best academic faculty, and on the other, we have the practitioners at INSOFE with tremendous experience. Also, the annual visit to Rennes in France is a good initiative that gets us face time with the faculty there.

I appreciate the time commitment from the INSOFE mentors, especially Dr Murthy and Dr Gnana (who joins in from Australia to teach our classes). 

AIM: How did this program help you with your career?

Bellamkonda: From my work at American Express, I have seen the potential of how meaningful insights can be obtained from data. Building an enterprise data platform, identifying the right data, and producing descriptive and predictive analytics have become crucial. Irrespective of the industry, it is important to have formal data science and artificial education to engage with such work. Going through this program gave me a new insight into how to address these problems for my wealth management clients in the global commercial real estate space.

AIM: Can you share some insights about your research journey?

Research Topic: Helping companies identify the right use cases which can be implemented using AI and ML frameworks.

Bellamkonda: My research topic is extremely relevant to all practitioners. There is a lot of investment in AI and ML spheres. By 2030, 70% of the companies will be using AI & ML to enhance business. But statistics predict that only 20% of these companies will be able to achieve the set goals. 

So how do we address this 80% shortfall? This is where my research comes into play. I work on building feasibility frameworks for companies. With this model, organizations will be able to look at various frameworks, recognize the knowledge gaps, and identify the right use cases to be implemented using AI & ML. This will drastically increase the success rate of organizations being able to implement AI & ML.

AIM: What has the DBA cohort experience been like?

Bellamkonda: My peers from Dubai and India greatly enhanced my learning experience. It was very interesting interacting with peers from diverse backgrounds, such as fashion technology, education, and supply chain management, as I come from a commercial real estate and financial management background. We share our experiences on a weekly basis and discuss the coursework, which helped us stay up to date. Here the learning happens not just from the professors but from peers as well.

It’s a culture that has been created in the three-year journey, which is more like a marathon than a solo sprint, where the cohorts motivate each other.

AIM: As you have completed a major part of the program, what key takeaways would you like to share with future aspirants?

Bellamkonda: Future aspirants interested in pursuing a doctoral program should know that this is an excellent opportunity to network and learn. Having access to strong support and experienced faculty is crucial to succeeding in a doctoral program. This DBA has all that and more.

Both RSB and INSOFE are subject area experts with highly knowledgeable professors. In addition, this program also brings together a global cohort of peers from diverse domains.

However, this is a doctoral program. It requires a time commitment and cannot be breezed through just by listening to lectures.

AIM: What are your thoughts on your final research project and patents, if any?

Bellamkonda: My first goal is to complete my doctoral program. Students of the DBA have been taught how to write patent descriptions, patent filing, and the dos and don’ts, which has been an extremely valuable experience. 

When my proposed research framework is built, it can be offered via open source sites for the world to learn. But it can also be productized. Rennes and INSOFE are given the opportunity to jointly patent these ideas, so we have equal commitment and responsibility in making the product successful. 

INSOFE is organising a free webinar on April 7, 2022, at 7.00 pm IST, to give an overview of the program and make a case for how a Doctoral degree can prepare you for strategic leadership roles in data science.


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Analytics India Magazine
Analytics India Magazine chronicles technological progress in the space of analytics, artificial intelligence, data science & big data by highlighting the innovations, players, and challenges shaping the future of India through promotion and discussion of ideas and thoughts by smart, ardent, action-oriented individuals who want to change the world.

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