Top 10 Data Scientists in India

Aravind Sekar


June 22nd, 2017

Over the last few years, Data Science has garnered an attention that perhaps no other tech revolution has managed to. Since the days of its inception, it has taken very less time for this niche industry to influence people on the importance of data and the priceless information it carries. Data Science has now become a mainstream industry, where companies (from startups to big tech companies) are looking to invest on Data Science.

In India, too, the Data Science wave has been massive and like any other tech trend, India was quick in adapting to this technology. Indian companies now offer one of the most lucrative career opportunities in Data Science and India is on the verge of becoming a Data Science hub. In the process, India has managed to produce some of the most skillful Data Science experts, who have not just created an impact in our country but positively influenced companies across the globe. And this post celebrates and cherishes the top 10 data scientists who have inspired us with their skills, passion for data and achievements. Read on.

1. Sarita Digumarti

If there’s someone who could ask for data to decide between ice cream flavors, it has to be Sarita Digumarti. The co-founder and COO of Jigsaw Academy, Sarita breathes data and is keen on parting quality education on Analytics to Data Science aspirants. She has over 15 years of experience in the analytics sector, where she has shared her expertise for the growth of companies across sectors like retail, finance, and healthcare in India and the US. She holds an MBA degree in Finance from T.A. Pai Management Institute and a Masters in Arts degree in quantitative economics from Tufts University. She is the recipient of the Global Achiever’s Award for Educational Leadership for pioneering Data Science education in India.

2. Anand S

One of the most renowned data scientists in the country, Anand is the CEO and chief data scientist at Gramener. There, he leads a dynamic team at Gramener that works on getting crucial insights from data and translating them into pieces of information that transform businesses. Besides Gramener, Anand has designed and strategized IT infrastructure at Target, Honda, IBM, and Citigroup.

He holds a degree in B.Tech from IIT Madras and an MBA from IIM Bangalore. He has also been part of the talent pool at Lehman Brothers, Infosys and the Boston Consulting Group.

3. Rwitwika Bhattacharya

She has been one of the pioneers in tying up Data Science to public governance and facilitating key governmental development programs. Having realized Data Science as her forte, she started a non-profit called the Swaniti Initiative that offers parliamentarians in varied constituencies data and insights on taking developmental programs to the masses. She was one of the first data scientists to think out of the box and visualize the effects and the change that could be brought in if data was used by governments in making policy decisions. She is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School.

4. Abhishek Thakur

With a keen interest in doing research on deep learning, automatic machine learning, pattern recognition, computer vision and more, Abhishek has published papers in ICML journals, in International Journal of Machine Learning and Computing and in Scandinavian Conference. Prior to working as the principal data scientist at ProductsUp, he worked at the University of Paderborn as a research assistant on business intelligence and artificial intelligence systems. Besides, he has also worked with Searchmetrics as a senior data scientist. Participating in Machine Learning competitions is one of his keen interests and he has participated in over 100 competitions so far.

5. Sudalai Rajkumar

Freshdesk’s lead data scientist, Sudalai Rajkumar takes care of building scalable machine learning and analytics systems for his organization. Kaggle’s top 25 data scientists have his name and he has been one of the top solvers in the CrowdAnalytx platform. To quote more of his achievements, he has published papers in some reputed global conferences and even has a patent under his name. He has worked in the Research and Development team at Global Analytics and in Tiger Analytics, where he lent his expertise to solve numerous customer concerns.

6. Rohan Rao

Numbers, puzzles, and sudoku are Rohan’s fascination and perhaps that’s one of the reasons he is keen about Data Science too. With a Masters degree from IIT Bombay in applied statistics, Rohan started off his career with 64 Squares as a data scientist. Post his two-year stint there, he moved to Belong.co as a data scientist and later joined as the lead data scientist for AdWyze. He now works as a senior data scientist for Paytm.

7. Dr. Pulak Ghosh

Dr. Pulak Ghosh’s primary interests revolve around Big Data, banking analytics, business analytics, marketing analytics and Machine Learning. A visiting faculty to some of the most reputed institutes in India, Dr. Pulak Ghosh is an analytics advisor to the SBI (State Bank of India) and Manipal Global Academy of Data Science. Besides, he is also part of the Big Data advisory group at the United Nations. With over 70 articles published for reputed journals across the globe, he advises companies on Big Data and analytics.

8. Viral Shah

Aspiring data scientists would know about Julia, a fast and dynamic programming language for analytics. With the functional efficiency of that of C++ and usability of Python, R and SAS, Julia is an open source programming language that has over 500 contributors around the world. If you didn’t know, Viral Shah is the CEO and co-creator of Julia Computing. With the research on Julia based at the MIT university, the language is being used extensively across diverse domains for teaching, research and other purposes.

9. Rajeev Rastogi

After being the Vice President at the Yahoo! Labs in Bangalore, where he took charge of research programs that studied the impact of online advertising and online search, Rajeev moved on to Amazon, helming the role of the director of Machine Learning. His team at Amazon takes care of building Machine Learning platforms for detailed customer targeting, ranking, and product recommendations. He has been named a Bell Labs Fellow in 2003 and an ACM Fellow in 2012 for his contributions to Lucent’s networking products and data analysis and management respectively.

10. DJ Patil

If the term Data Science is being extensively used today, it’s because of Dhanurjay Patil. The Indian-origin Data Science expert is the first Indian to become the United States Office of Science and Technology Policy’s chief data scientist. We would be doing injustice if we completed the list of top 10 data scientists in India without featuring DJ Patil. His LinkedIn profile says he’s working on some new ideas right now and we wonder what it is! You can check out the profile below.

If you notice, some of the things that bind all the data scientists together are their passion and curiosity for data, a strong academic background, exposure in various competitions and the perineal quest to uncover crucial insights from raw data. The achievements and the efforts they’ve put in to develop their Data Science skills is not just fascinating but immensely inspiring to chart our careers in a similar way as well. Still wondering if it’s good to switch to Data Science?


Also Read

The Definitive Guide to Becoming a Data Scientist

How to Become a Data Scientist: The Full Scoop


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