Last year we took this initiative to identify Data Scientists in the country that are helping to push the industry forward. It is a grueling exercise of sorts; we invite nominations from various organizations, irrespective of size and nature of work. We also get in touch with data scientists that we know personally who might not necessarily be associated with an organization.
Then an expert team of leaders, past data scientists and evangelists are asked of their opinions on those nominations, on basis of parameters like pedigree, patents, competitions participated, any pioneering work etc. Yet, at the core of it, we look for that one significant consideration- what is the contribution to the industry and ecosystem in the country.
So, here we are with this year’s list. We have purposely kept the list different from last year’s (given the size of analytics industry in India). We hope the list brings you some inspiration and motivation to find bigger purpose in life.
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Abhimanyu specializes in the design, development and deployment of data science algorithms in the financial services sector. An honors graduate in Statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute and on the cusp of being a designated Actuary with the Casualty Actuarial Society of USA.
He leads the FSI practice of Advanced Analytics professionals at Deloitte Consulting and has grown the practice from its nascence in 2006 when he’d joined as a rookie. His deep expertise in both analytics and actuarial science uniquely positions him as a key thought leader in the insurance analytics domain in US and India. As a young data scientist, he was instrumental in helping develop the first ever claims predictive model in US. This pioneering approach is a pending patent in his name. He is the only data scientist to be honored with Deloitte’s prestigious RMP award, an award that recognizes the top 1% consultants.
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Abhimanyu is an active contributor in external forums including events organized by the IAI and ICADABAI where he has spoken on the advent of advanced analytics and its applications in various fields including Underwriting, Pricing and Claims Management. Among other roles, he also serves on the Advisory Committee on Analytics of IAI today.
Dinkar Sathe is Advisor, Analytical Consultant in SAS. He has around 26 years of diversified experience in quantitative analysis, problem-solving and research using statistical techniques. While studying at Purdue University he was tasked with optimizing the input levels required to create cost effective medicine tablets. After graduating with a MS Statistics degree, he started working for a leading Insurance company where he designed and developed a provider profiling system to identify potentially fraudulent or abusive patterns of medical practices. He was also instrumental in developing predictive models in the analysis of historical loss experience of automobile risks in order to identify risk characteristics that are correlated with losses. He worked in the Insurance industry for six years after which he worked for a leading credit card company in the USA where he became proficient in the credit card business.
He has gained a rich Marketing Analytics experience during consulting projects executed for a number of major corporations across the globe. Customer satisfaction has always been his foremost focus and aim. He has provided strategic consulting support to credit card program managers in areas of reporting, marketing plan fulfillment, measurement of effectiveness of past marketing efforts and in the identification of customer profiles for future promotional marketing.
Manish is an advanced analytics professional with experience in building & leading data science & analytics teams for developing competencies in customer analytics, real-time recommendation system, bigdata and advanced analytics solutions across various industries. Manish holds a PhD from IIT Delhi in the area of Machine Learning with more than 15 research publications in international journals and conferences with 1 US Patent which have more than 130 citations.
He recently joined American Express as Director, Global Credit Data Science and Machine Learning Research to carry out business specific data science and machine learning research and to establish machine learning best practice for business. In his most recent role, Manish served as Senior Vice President, Analytics at InfoEdge, parent company of Naukri, JeevanSathi, 99Acres, Shiksha etc.
He has also previously worked with Global Decision Management, Citibank as analytic lead. He has also work as Head (R&D) at Innovation Labs@24/7 Customer where he developed patented technologies for chat categorization and web acquisition engines. He has served country as Scientist at DRDO, a premier defense research organization in India. He received several awards including Scientist of the Year, Technology Award for his contribution to develop state of the analytics solutions for armed forces.
Dr. Nishant Chandra leads the AIG Science R&D group in India where he develops natural language, text mining, and machine learning models for the insurance industry. He also directs the development of natural language platform and applications such as privilege text classification, contextual summarization, and conversational sentiment abstraction. Prior to AIG, Dr. Chandra has driven innovation in BFSI, e-commerce, R&D, and mobile telecom industries in USA and India. He developed and implemented natural language predictive models that are deployed in top banks and telecom companies resulting in $100M impacts across value chain. For his contributions, Dr. Chandra has received the prestigious Barrier fellowship and several other awards and recognition.
The Department of Homeland Security, United States Government has classified Dr. Chandra as an outstanding researcher. He was the conference session chair for GSPx conference at San Jose, California. He has been a reviewer for IEEE transactions, served in the editorial board of Human Language Technology conference, and speaker at several international conferences. He also has five assigned patents and several publications. Dr. Chandra is a passionate puzzler who invents puzzles and has represented India in the World Puzzle Championship at Stamford, Connecticut. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Mississippi State University.
Pradeep co-founded Tiger Analytics – an advanced analytics firm that builds data science solutions for businesses. He leads an interdisciplinary team of computer scientists, economists, statisticians, and business consultants. His team has done some pioneering work to bring data science into emerging business areas such as hyper-personalization, real-time decisions, dynamic learning, IoT and sensor networks etc.
Pradeep’s team has built several industry leading data science solutions. The early warning systems for railways they built are now the North American industry standard. Their algorithms that predict emerging global technology trends guide M&A decisions. Their first of its kind interactive algorithm framework involving Dynamic pricing, Optimization, NLP, and Game theory helps place hundreds of millions of digital ads across devices every day.
Pradeep has practiced data science for more than a decade architecting solutions for several Fortune 100 enterprises. In addition, his work around mathematical modeling of cities – socio-economic activity, transportation networks, land use, air quality etc. – has won him international recognition for application of data science to public policy. He has published in leading journals, co-guided research theses, and collaborates actively with universities. Pradeep holds a B.Tech from IIT Madras and an MS from The University of Texas at Austin.
Sandhya Kuruganti is a senior analytics leader in the Indian banking industry with more than 20 years of experience. She holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics, India and a Doctorate in Economics from Rutgers University, USA. She has been one of the evangelists who has pioneered the usage of decision sciences for banks in India, as early as 16 years ago, when the analytics practice in India was still nascent. Sandhya’s thought leadership in developing and implementing advanced analytical strategies for customer life cycle management has been a key success factor for corporates that have leveraged her expertise in successfully embedding analytics in their business practices. As Senior Vice President at Citibank, she set up, nurtured, and led the Business Analytics function for Citibank India and the Regional Analytics Centre of Excellence for Asia Pacific.
As a management consultant, she is currently on a mission to build analytics culture at Public Sector Banks, and educate the budding data science community in India. She also conducts applied analytics training programs and has co-authored a book titled “Business Analytics: Applications to Consumer Marketing – Sandhya Kuruganti and Hindol Basu”, published by McGraw Hill India in March 2015.
Sarita Digumarti is the COO & Co-founder of Jigsaw Academy, a premier analytics training institute. A specialist in Analytics, Consulting, and Outsourced Services and Management, Sarita is all about numbers. Holding an MBA in Finance followed by an MA in Quantitative Economics from Tufts University, Sarita has spent over 15 years working as a data scientist helping clients across diverse sectors including retail, healthcare and financial services, both in India and the US.
Sarita now focuses on both education and new frontiers in the data science space. She is an expert educator who trains students at Jigsaw Academy, the participants of the Executive Program in Business Analytics (EPBA) at MISB Bocconi, Mumbai, and the numerous corporate employees whose companies have partnered with Jigsaw Academy. In recognition of her professional excellence, Sarita has been presented with the Global Achiever’s Award for Educational Leadership by the Economic Development Forum.
Sudalai Rajkumar (aka SRK) is the Lead Data Scientist at Freshdesk, responsible for developing scalable machine learning / data science systems for the organization. Prior to this, he was part of the R&D team in Global Analytics doing machine learning research and then moved to Tiger Analytics, where he has solved a lot of interesting data science problems for various customers across the globe in multiple domains including finance, e-commerce, online advertising, health care, transportation, retail. He has worked on varied problems ranging from doing simple analysis on structured data to natural language processing and voice analytics in his career.
Apart from his day job, he used to take part in various data science competitions to enhance his knowledge and has won several of them. He is one of the top 25 data scientists in the world in Kaggle. He is one of the top solver in CrowdAnalytix platform as well. He has published few papers in International conferences and also has a patent filed under his name.
SRK received his Bachelors degree from PSG college of Technology and got his executive certification in analytics from IIM Bangalore.
Tuhin has a profound knowledge of the marketing domain besides being an analytics expert. Academically, Tuhin is an ISB trained business analytics professional and IIM Ahmedabad educated management expert. A double masters in science (M.Sc.) and business administration (M.B.A.), he holds a Ph.D. in management (marketing analytics). Technically, he is a SAS certified predictive modeller and certified for IBM business analytics software. Prior to joining the data science industry, Tuhin was a renowned professor of business analytics and taught at a number of reputed B-Schools for a decade.
As an academician, Tuhin pioneered the introduction of analytics based subjects into the curriculum of multiple B-Schools. Tuhin is a prolific researcher and has authored research-based books. He has more than thirty research publications in refereed journals and conference proceedings. To train the corporates as well as faculty members of B-Schools, he regularly conducts workshops on business analytics. He is the Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Business Analytics and Intelligence and is the editorial board member of a number of leading journals.
Viral Shah is a co-creator of Julia and CEO of Julia Computing. Julia is a modern and easy to use high-performance programming language for data science. It provides the performance of C++ while being as easy as Python, R, Matlab, and SAS. While it is an open source project with a diverse community of almost 500 contributors around the world, research on Julia is anchored at MIT. Today, the Julia community counts over 500 contributors and over 1,100 community contributed packages. Julia is being used by a number of universities for teaching and research, and by businesses in areas as diverse as engineering, finance, manufacturing, healthcare and retail.
Apart from Julia, Viral is also co-creator of Circuitscape, an open source program for ecological conservation. Prior to that, he worked in the Aadhaar project, leading the design of Aadhaar-based eKYC, subsidies and payment systems. These experiences are captured in Rebooting India, a book he co-authored with Nandan Nilekani. Viral has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara.