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Top 11 Women AI Leaders In India — 2020

Top 11 Women AI Leaders In India — 2020

Top 11 Women AI Leaders In India — 2020
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With the second edition of The Rising 2020, Analytics India Magazine unveiled a list of 11 top women leaders in the AI industry for the year 2020. Selected based on their demonstrated considerable expertise in the field of data science and AI leadership, in research, innovations, patents, it recognises the outstanding work of these leaders have accomplished in the last year and celebrates these industry’s influential trailblazers.

With the advent of artificial intelligence amid the COVID pandemic, it was critical to highlight these AI influencers who have been continuously delivering business value with their AI innovations. The criticality of equalising the gender imbalance in the industry has made these contributions to the industry not only critical but the needs of the hour.

Furthermore, these women in AI leaders have been continuously at the forefront of the disruption, playing a pivotal role in democratising artificial intelligence as a driver for growth and business value.



For the second year in a row, Analytics India Magazine scoured through organisations to identify these women leaders in AI who have made powerful contributions and demonstrated their expertise in artificial intelligence and are driving business value.

Find out who made it to the 2019 list here.

Here is the list of top 11 women AI leaders of the industry for 2020, presented in alphabetical order:

Amarjeet Kaur

Research scientist at Tech Mahindra

A research scientist at Tech Mahindra, Amarjeet has more than ten years of research and teaching experience with excellent academic qualifications. Along with that, Amarjeet is a gold medalist in BE and a university topper in ME with awards for best research paper in IEEE International Conference and a PhD in Computer Science and Technology. With substantial experience in sophisticated research techniques and technologies such as graph-based text analysis, latent semantic analysis, concept map, domain ontology, dimension reduction, text analysis, Amarjeet is known for having organisational skills with the willingness to take charge. She also has expertise in experimentation and field research, investigation, data collection/analysis and project management.

Prior to her current role, Amarjeet has worked with the Department of Science & Technology, Women Scientist Scheme, where she has developed a framework for automation of descriptive answer evaluation process. Furthermore, Amarjeet has taught, developed and coordinated freshman and senior-level undergraduate courses for over six years as an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering. In fact, her innovative methods and course material have been adapted by Mumbai University for their artificial intelligence and machine learning courses.

Key Achievements

  • Research Project approved by Ministry Of Science & Technology, Government of India
  • Awarded with Best Research Paper in IEEE International Conference 17
  • She has developed a novel technique called High Precision Latent Semantic Evaluation while experimenting with Latent Semantic Analysis.
  • Project Recommended by the GOVERNOR of Chhattisgarh state
  • Designed NLP component on Sanskrit transliteration project for Storicool product at Tech Mahindra
  • Proposed and developed the university’s first government-funded research project in the natural language processing domain

Read this story with Amarjeet Kaur here.

Apurva Madiraju

Vice President of Swiss Re Business Solutions, Bangalore

Apurva is the vice president at Swiss Re Global Business Solutions India in Bangalore, with over 11 years of experience across various fields like data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data engineering. Prior to her current role, Apurva has worked with top global companies, where she has successfully led end-to-end conceptualisation, development and deployment of multiple enterprise-wide solutions that leverage these technologies. 

In her current role, Apurva is leading the advanced data analytics and data science team within the audit function, where she is responsible for building machine learning and text analytics solutions to mitigate audit compliance risk. In the IT operations domain, Apurva has architected and developed multiple AI and ML-driven solutions, including automated business requirements to the incident mapping system, turn-around-time prediction solution, ticket volume forecasting model and more.

Along with that, in the manufacturing domain, Apurva has also designed and implemented an analytics-driven decision engine which helped in the reduction of unnecessary scrapping of raw material. With a BTech in Computer Science Engineering and advanced Management Program in Business Analytics from the Indian School of Business, Apurva is known for building solutions to improve the operational efficiency of the business.

Key Achievements:

  • Credited at building solutions that improve operational efficiency and help steer business using the power of data, AI, and ML
  • Awarded the annual CFO award for Finance Reinsurance 2018 at Swiss Re Global Business Solutions India
  • Apura has been a part of the prestigious Motivate Inspire Lead Engage (MILE) Leadership program 2019 at Swiss Re Global Business Solutions India, where only the top 1% of the employees are selected

Also Read: Adele Cutler’s Talk From Rising 2020 here.

Bindu Narayan

AI Leader at EY GDS Data and Analytics Practice

A data science professional with more than 20 years of experience, Bindu Narayan is the Senior Manager (Advanced Analytics and AI) at EY GDS Data and Analytics Practice. With such expertise, Bindu has conceptualised and implemented many innovative AI solutions and dominates advanced analytics and machine learning, including customer and marketing analytics, predictive modelling and IoT analytics. She has a PhD from IIT Madras on her thesis on the modelling of Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty and has a track record of publishing in international journals and presenting papers at international conferences. 

Bindu has previously worked with Mu Sigma and HP in the capacity of a Senior Manager, where she has led teams serving some of the technology giants and has been awarded Certificate of Appreciation for lasting contributions to training. At HP, she has handled multiple roles, including strategic projects leader and India Team Lead for customer and marketing analytics. 

In her current position, she is the AI competency leader for EY’s Global Delivery Services, where she and her team have delivered virtual assistant solutions to clients from various industries. 

Key Achievements:

  • Bindu has developed a chatbot, Sophia, which has won the prestigious Brandon Hall award for the advancements in AI & ML in the field of Learning
  • Bindu has co-developed an algorithm, which can compute real-time NPS that has been filed for a US patent by HP
  • Bindu filed a patent — “Net Promoter Score Determination Using Unstructured Data

Read A Panel Discussion Of Rising 2020 here.

Chitrita Nath

Digital & Analytics Leader (APAC Region) – Trading & Supply at Royal Dutch Shell

A digital and analytics leader of APAC Region, Trading & Supply at Royal Dutch Shell, Chitrita is a seasoned analytics leader with over 15 years of experience with premier Oil & Gas Companies. She has led various global data science programs in her tenure. 

Chitrita has played a pivotal role in establishing the first Portfolio Analytics team for a consulting firm, based out of Bangalore, in 2008. She spent over three years as an Onsite Service Delivery leader in the same consulting firm and was instrumental in incubating the risk analytics team for one of the top three aircraft engine manufacturers. Chitrita has an MBA from Indian Business Academy with specialisation in finance and marketing.

In 2013, Chitrita took up a leadership role in Shell and was responsible for setting up the Market Risk Practice in Shell India Shared Service Center. She is currently setting up the Data Science Center of Excellence for Shell’s Trading and Supply Business in Bangalore. 

Key Achievements:

  • She has developed gasoline blending optimisation using no linear primal-dual interior-point methods
  • She has worked on forecasting of supply of crude oil and products using the deep neural network by leveraging geospatial data and worldwide cargo movements 
  • Bunker demand forecasting using a piecewise polynomial regression algorithm

Read What People Have To Say About Rising 2020 here.

Dr Swati Jain

Vice President – Decision Analytics at EXL Analytics (Exl Service India)

As a vice president, decision analytics at EXL Analytics, Dr Swati Jain leads a team of 350 people based out of Gurgaon and Bangalore. With an overall experience of 18 plus years in various facets of analytics and research including marketing, risk and operational analytics, Swati has played a significant role in setting up analytics delivery teams in India for multiple US and UK-based clients in the Retail and Media verticals institutionalised at EXL. 

Prior to her current role, Swati has spent over eight years in Cognizant’s analytics practice managing analytics and market research delivery, business development, account and operational management. Before that, she worked with Pipal Research (CRISIL), where she provided quasi-consulting services to clients in the healthcare and financial services domain. Swati has also worked with Ernst and Young where she led transfer pricing analysis for several multinational organisations. Swati is a PhD (Economics) from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi and Masters in Business Economics (MBE) from Delhi University. Alongside, Swati actively promotes the cause of women in AI leadership and is an active member of the Women’s forum and diversity initiatives of the organisation.

Key Achievements:

  • Authored a few papers published on EXL website as well as industry journals
  • She has been the recipient of multiple enterprise-level awards (project-level as well as leadership) at her current and previous organisation
  • Swati is a part of an invite only forum of analytics leaders across different organisations in Gurgaon and other cities in India
  • She has also participated in NASSCOM Curtain Raiser of Women Wizards Rule Tech and has been nominated by the organisation as a mentor for Big Data and Analytics

Read A Story With Swati Jain here.

Harita Gupta

Country Head – India & Global Head Enterprise Business Services at Sutherland

With over 25 years of experience in managing large support and development teams, global customers and P&L responsibility, Harita is currently the country head, India & Global Head Enterprise Business Services at Sutherland, a process transformation company. Harita’s interest areas include the domains of AI, digital transformation, data analytics, cloud and innovation scenarios with big data, IoT, and machine learning.

Prior to her current role, Harita has worked with NIIT Technologies and Microsoft, where she was the Support Practice leader for the Secure Infrastructure practice across India and GCR. Her specialities also include customer handling, operational excellence and people management. Harita has a masters from IIT Delhi. 

Key Achievements 

  • Some of the Analytics solutions that were launched under Harita’s leadership include Joe Virtual Agent and Sutherland Intella, an enterprise data analytics and reporting solution
  • Developed under Harita’s leadership, Joint Omnichannel Engagement, an AI-powered virtual agent that helps enterprises respond more quickly to user queries, handle more than 200 tasks, thus freeing up support staff for more complex, higher-value work

Also Read: Most Learning Are Slow In The Field Of Machine Learning

Heena Purohit

Senior Product Manager of IBM Watson

As a product manager at IBM Watson, Heena is leading the development of AI and IoT based offerings for industrial and manufacturing customers. Before IBM, Heena was a technology consultant at Accenture, where she has helped Fortune 500 companies to transform their business processes. 

She holds a dual major MBA from the University of Notre Dame and has a Bachelor’s of Engineering from K. J. Somaiya, Mumbai. In her career, Heena has successfully launched products that bring the latest AI capabilities such as computer vision and NLP to asset-intensive industries. She is also heavily involved in overseeing the implementation of these technologies to not only facilitate AI adoption but also to make sure she is continuously reducing the barrier to entry for these customers through the right mix of capabilities in the product portfolio and roadmap.

Key Achievements 

  • Heena is also one of IBM’s Millennial Leaders in the Boston area
  • She was recently awarded the University’s prestigious Recent Alumni Service Award for her work in advancing women in technology and for facilitating conversations around AI in Industries
  • She was a merit-based Fellowship Recipient and was elected for positions in the MBA Leadership board during both her years of school
  • Founded AI for Her – a community of women and gender minorities, working towards improving the diversity gap in AI and ML
  • Speaker at various international conferences for industrial customers on adoption AI and IoT technologies

Also Read: Machines Talk, Machines Learn

See Also

Jaya Vaidyanathan

CEO, BCT Digital of Bahwan CyberTek Group

Jaya is the CEO of BCT Digital of Bahwan CyberTek Group, a global technology company specialising in digital transformation, predictive analytics and IoT. In the last twenty-five years, she has had the opportunity to hold multi-billion portfolios in large multinationals. As the CEO of BCT Digital, she manages the end-to-end business operations, expansion plans, P&L, and go-to-market strategy. She is also responsible for product innovation and ensuring market success.

Jaya started her career as an investment banker with Wall Street firms and has journeyed through organisations such as HCL, Accenture and Standard Chartered Bank, bringing about business transformations of several Fortune 100 clients and managing large teams.

Jaya is a computer science and engineering graduate from Madras University. She also has a management degree from Cornell University and has also earned a CFA charter. 

Key Achievements 

  • Certified by Institute for Development and Researching Banking Technology (IDRBT) on Banking Technology Innovation Contest
  • TECHNOVITI 2020 Award for Early Warning System (EWS) product for the prevention of fraud and risk  
  • Innovator of the year 2019 – Stevie Award winner 
  • Lifetime achievement award for Women in Business – Stevie Award winner
  • Best Vendor Management Award – Asia Business Leadership Forum
  • Risk Management Solution Provider of the year 2019 – CISO Leadership Summit 2019
  • FinTech Innovator of the Year award – Elets Game Changer Summit 2019
  • Best FinTech solution of the year – Disruptive Technology and Innovation Summit
  • Recipient of India’s Most Trusted CEO 2020 at the WCRCINT Edition of India’s Most Trusted CEOs
  • Jaya was the first to release the first-ever research on “Practitioners’ insight on Credit Monitoring” 

Also Read: Updating Ourselves With Changes Is Critical To Survive In This Era

Lakshya Sivaramakrishnan

Program Management, Tech Evangelist at Google via Wipro

Lakshya Sivaramakrishnan is the tech evangelist and program manager at Google via Wipro. She is also known for managing the Women Techmakers program in India which provides visibility, community, and resources for women in technology. 

Along with being a data scientist, she also has technical expertise in machine learning, Google assistant and Cloud Platform, Lakshya is passionate about technology and wants more women tech experts in the Indian Developer Ecosystem. Prior to this, she has been a Data Scientist at Cerner and a Software Engineer at GE Healthcare. 

She has a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science, and on the personal side, she enjoys networking with people, playing sports and public speaking.

Key Achievements 

  • Speaker at Grace Hopper Celebration India 2018 for Building Conversational Experiences on Google Assistant; Committee member on Building chatbots from scratch
  • Lakshya has conducted a three-hour workshop in PyCon India 2018 on Understanding NLP
  • Conducted a Data Science 101 workshop for PyLadies
  • She has also volunteered at the Grace Hopper Celebration 2019 in Orlando to mentor attendees
  • She has participated in the Google India Hackathon 2018 in the Machine Learning track to solve a query classification problem
  • Audited the Machine Learning Nanodegree course through Udacity and successfully completed three projects
  • Certified GE Analytics Engineer and hold multiple Data Science certifications through Coursera and Linkedin learning

Mamta Aggarwal Rajnayak

Retail Analytics CoP Lead, Applied Intelligence India at Accenture Solution

Leading the retail analytics CoP, Applied Intelligence India at Accenture Solution, where she is working with a team of 125+ highly qualified data scientists and statisticians, Mamta is an experienced data science professional with very strong technical skills. With more than 13 years of work experience in the area of customer, marketing, product, supply chain and risk analytics, she has worked closely with business development teams globally to sell and deliver projects that leverage latest machine learning techniques. 

Mamta has an entrepreneurial style and keeps developing new analytics offering and patenting her innovation as a habit. She has written several research papers on advanced analytics techniques. She has been leading an advanced analytics women forum comprising more than 400 data scientists women at Accenture globally to promote the culture of Inclusion & Diversity. She has also made immense contributions in the industry by mentoring junior data scientists.

In her role as a Global Advanced Analytics Women Forum Lead, she has managed to control attrition among women data scientists to a greater extent, especially for the senior roles. She is an LGBT ally and also a PwD champion at Accenture. Mamta holds a Post-Graduation in Economics from IGIDR Mumbai and a Bachelors in Mathematics from Sri Venkateswara College Delhi University. She also completed her MBA with specialisation in marketing from Sikkim Manipal University while working full time.

Key Achievements 

  • Two patent filed — AI-based system & methods for predicting & preventing illicit behaviour (2019) and AI-based performance Prediction System (2018)
  • Worked on new offerings — Product Design Optimiser and Retail Fraud Prediction Engine
  • Worked on several publications — Traditional vs Machine Learning Techniques; Corporate Social Responsibility Practices; and Awareness and Realisation of Purpose of Corporate Social Responsibility in Indian Industry

Priyanka Telang

WW Architect, Insights and Intelligent Expert Labs at IBM Software Labs

Priyanka is the WW Architect at Insights and Intelligent Expert Labs at IBM India Software Labs. As a senior AI and performance architect with over 16 years of experience, she has brought about transformational solutions for large clients across the world. Her current role includes envisioning and creating transformational experiences for business personas with AI-infused control tower towards an intelligent self-correcting supply chain for large companies around the world. 

Priyanka has several accomplishments under her name such as envisioning and architecting intelligent control towers with AI to achieve efficiency and resiliency; creating AI-enabled assistants for Call Centre Representatives, among others. She is a role model for upcoming women talent across Labs, mentoring many of them. She also contributes significantly to various diversity programs such as RSC Shakti and volunteers for STEM for Girls Initiative of IBM India.

Priyanka has completed her Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics from Pune University.

Key Achievements 

  • Envision and architect intelligent control towers with AI for large scale supply chain companies around the world
  • She led the pilot and adoption of AI models such as Stock Out Prediction, Root Cause Analysis‚ Safety Stock Recommendation
  • She oversaw the creation of AI models to predict Client Lifetime value, Return Propensity, and Shopper Affinity
  • She has received Outstanding Technical Achievement IBM award and various other ISL awards for her contribution in Performance Tuning
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