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Top 10 Data Scientists in India - 2015

Nov 04, 2015

Published By : Analytics India Magazine

Top 10 Data Scientists in India

Data scientist is a rare breed and a well celebrated one. Middle of this year, we took it upon us to identify the top data scientists in the country. The initiative was asked for by many of our avid readers.

I personally believed that, given our inroads in the analytics ecosystem of the country, this initiative would essentially be an easier take. I was wrong, it took us a good 4 months to carve out the below list. The list is a result of our survey and submissions from various organizations, in depth research into the ecosystem and feedback from various leaders and experts.

We believe that a top data scientist should have the following in some combination: – A right pedigree and showcased achievements in applying data science in their respective domain and industry, an Individual contributor, hands-on coder, Hacker of Big Data/ analytics Tools & techniques, good communicator with ability to convince multiple stakeholders through data insights, Patent/ Technical publications author etc.

So, here it is, our cherry-picked, meticulously curated list of top 10 data scientists in India for this year.

Anand S

anand sAnand is the Chief Data Scientist at He has advised and designed IT systems for organizations such as the Citigroup, Honda, IBM, Target, etc.

Anand and his team explore insights from data and communicates these as visual stories. Anand also builds the Gramener Visualisation Server — Gramener’s flagship product.

Anand has an MBA from IIM Bangalore and a B.Tech from IIT Madras. He has worked at IBM, Lehman Brothers, The Boston Consulting Group and Infosys Consulting.

Chandra Mouli Kotta Kota

chandraChandra Mouli Kotta Kota is a Analytics Specialist and Data Scientist with a decade long experience after completing his education from IIT-Madras in 2006. He has got rich Marketing Analytics experience which he has attained during his tenure with prestigious companies like McKinsey, Genpact and erstwhile Citigroup Services. With his analytical rigour he has helped various Banking & Financial Services, Media, Telecom and Retail clients across the globe.

Chandra has worked in various domains, like Marketing Analytics (CSI, CLM & Pricing), Risk Analytics and Operation Analytics and has hands-on expertise in Big data and Multivariate analytical techniques including classical & machine learning algorithms, Acquisition, Response, LTV Models, Attrition and MROI Models, Pricing Models and Credit Risk Models (PD Models for Credit Cards, Consumer Loans and Insurance Portfolios). A master of various statistical and analytics platforms, like SAS, R, Python, SPSS Modeller and Hadoop.

He is now the Chief Data Scientist at AnalytixLabs, where he has trained and coached several client teams and 1000+ professionals on data science and advanced analytics along with on job implementation. He is also heading the Research wing of AnalytixLabs where he is constantly engaged into devising and improvising the integrated Date Science and Big data solutions.

Hindol Basu

hindolHindol, is the head of the Analytics Consulting practice at Tata Industries (Consumer Analytics Division), he brings in about 13 years of analytics consulting experience spanning across multiple industry verticals and markets. Prior to joining the Tata group Hindol used to lead the Asia Pacific analytics consulting practice for FICO, in India. Hindol had also worked with Citibank and TransUnion for Indian and North American markets.

Hindol had led multiple analytics consulting and customer centricity initiatives in the Indian, Asia Pacific and North American market across financial services, travel and telecommunication verticals. In India, he had been the pioneer in establishing credit bureau analytics for the Indian market; he had developed the first set of credit bureau scores for CIBIL. He had also lead analytical consulting assignments for Indian companies like HDFC Standard Life, MakeMyTrip and Airtel for evangelising the adaptation of data driven decision making.

Hindol holds a bachelor in engineering from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from IIM Bangalore. He is also the co-author of the book titled “Business Analytics – Applications to Consumer Marketing – Sandhya Kuruganti and Hindol Basu” published by McGraw Hill India in March 2015. Hindol had partnered extensively with ISI Calcutta for developing an application focused approach for training final year students.

Joy Mustafi

joyJoy has more than twelve years of experience in industrial, research and academic world. Did graduation in Statistics (2000) from Ramakrishna Mission Residential College, Narendrapur [CU] and post-graduation in Computer Application (2003) from Regional Computer Center (RCC), Kolkata [KU]. He then got the Junior Research Fellowship award in Computer and Communication Sciences from Indian Statistical Institute (2004).

Joy joined IBM India (2006) as Analytics Consultant in the Business Analytics and Optimization service area. Engaged with IBM – India Software Lab, Watson Business Group (2013) to continue research and development in (Data Mining / Machine Learning / Natural Language Processing).

Joy invented a system, which can take mathematical question as input, then solve it automatically – in short, the machine needs to learn to think. Right at that time his son was 5 years old and just been introduced to word problems in mathematics. Joy used to teach him, observe his thinking and try to de-cypher his perception and subsequent analysis of the problem. That led to his first patent.

Moved to Global Technology Services – IT Operations Analytics as Data Scientist (2014). Also contributed as Subject Matter Expertise in IBM SPSS Statistics, IBM SPSS Modeler (Text Analytics) and IBM Content Analytics.

Joy has been Involved as visiting faculty member in different academic organizations. Having several patents, research publications on Applied Statistics and Computational Linguistics.

Nilesh Karnik

nilesh karnikNilesh is the Chief Data Scientist at Aureus. In this role, he is responsible for development of algorithms and mathematical models that help large organizations with advanced analytics solutions.

Nilesh has a Doctorate in Electrical Engineering from University of Southern California (1998). His Ph.D dissertation made a substantial contribution to the theory of Type-2 Fuzzy Logic Systems and his work is still widely referenced. Nilesh is passionate about analytics and is conversant with a wide range of qualitative and quantitative techniques.

Prior to joining Aureus, Nilesh was with Morgan Stanley Advantage Services where he held a variety of roles with analytics and technology teams. Other organizations he has worked with in the past include Tata Infotech, GE Capital International Services and MindTree Consulting.

Nilesh lives in Mumbai with his wife and two daughters.

Praphul Chandra

praphulPraphul Chandra is a Principal Data Scientist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. He focuses on the application of machine learning techniques to streaming and sensor data. This data science domain at the intersection of Big Data and Internet of Things poses some unique challenges: some algorithmic (incremental learning) and some computational (In-database vs. In-memory vs. streaming). His broad experience across machine learning, embedded systems and human computer interaction enables him to lead an inter-disciplinary teams of statisticians, computer scientists and domain experts to deliver data science projects.

Besides contributing to projects, Praphul regularly publishes in international conferences advancing the state of art. To build the data science community in India, he continues to deliver tutorials and invited talks in technical conferences & industry forums. He holds 10 patents and has 12 patent pending filings.

Prior to his current role, Praphul was the principal investigator for the Crowd-Cloud project at HP Labs which sought to combine machine learning & crowdsourcing to create scalable solutions. His research interests are Game Theory, Machine Learning, Complex Networks & Public Policy. He holds a B. Tech in Electronics Engineering (IIT-BHU), M.S. in Electrical Engineering (Columbia University, NY), PG Diploma in Public Policy (Univ. of London) and is currently working on his PhD in Mechanism Design (IISc-Bangalore.)

Prashant Warier

prashant wariorPrashant has over 14 years of experience in data science and artificial intelligence. He is an expert in the fields of context aware digital advertising, hyper-personalized marketing, merchandise planning, and network optimization. He has authored a book and several papers and patents in AI and related fields.

He founded Imagna Analytics in 2012, a personalized targeting platform that decodes customer behavior and delivers contextually relevant digital ads and offers in real-time. This AI startup was recently acquired by Fractal Analytics.

In an earlier stint with Fractal, Prashant was responsible for laying the foundation of their Customer Genomics platform. He also was part of the founding team of the SAP Data Science practice.

Rajeev Rastogi

rajeevRajeev Rastogi is the Director of Machine Learning at Amazon where he directs the development of machine learning platforms and applications such as product classification, product recommendations, customer targeting, and deals ranking. Previously, he was the Vice President of Yahoo! Labs in Bangalore where he was responsible for research programs impacting Yahoo!’s web search and online advertising products. He was named a Bell Labs Fellow in 2003 for his contributions to Lucent’s networking products while he was at Bell Labs Research in Murray Hill, New Jersey (1993-2004). He launched and led two premier research labs in India: Bell Labs (2004-2008) and Yahoo! Labs (2008-2012). Rajeev received his B. Tech degree from IIT Bombay, and a PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas, Austin.

Rajeev was named an ACM Fellow in 2012 for his contributions to large-scale data analysis and management. He has published over 100 papers in top-tier international conferences (such as SIGMOD, VLDB, SIGKDD) and 33 papers in international journals (such as TKDE and VLDB Journal). According to Google Scholar, his research publications have over 12,500 citations and an h-index value of 57. Rajeev has also been a prolific inventor with 57 issued US Patents. He is currently a member of the News editorial board of the CACM, and was previously an Associate editor for TKDE. He has served on over 50 program committees of the leading database and data mining conferences, and was a Program Co-chair for the CIKM conference in 2013 and the ICDM conference in 2005.

Satnam Singh

satnamA data geek, researcher, business and team builder, Satnam has a decade of work experience in successfully building data products from concept to production. As a data scientist and team leader in Samsung Research India Bangalore, he built data science team and developed several analytics features in smartphone.

Prior to Samsung, he spent nearly five years at General Motors Research as a senior researcher, with responsibility for conceptualizing and developing data products from scratch for several verticals in GM. After working in CA Technologies for about 1.5 years, Satnam is currently working in a startup as a Principal Data Scientist where he is building a data science product.

Apart from holding a PhD degree in ECE from University of Connecticut, Satnam also holds a Masters in ECE from University of Wyoming and BE from IIT Roorkee. To his credit, he has 7 granted patents, 13 patent applications and 32 journal and conference publications. Satnam is a senior IEEE member and a regular speaker in various Big Data and Data Science conferences.

Besides work, Satnam is an avid cyclist, marathon runner and rock climber. He also participates in several adventure events in a year.

Shailesh Kumar

shaileshDr. Shailesh Kumar is currently Chief Scientist and Co-Founder of a Stealth mode AI startup. He also serves as a faculty of Machine Learning at, IIIT-Hyderabad, and ISB-Hyderabad.

Dr. Kumar’s research interests are in fundamental problems in AI and ML especially in natural language understanding, computer vision, and reasoning and bridging the gap between the reality and the dream of AI of building truly intelligent “Thinking Machines”!

Prior to his own startup, Dr. Kumar was part of the Machine Intelligence group at Google, Inc. for five years where he worked on a wide variety of problems including Phrase Discovery, Word Sense Disambiguation, Conversation Modelling, E-Discovery, Knowledge Extraction, Enterprise Search, Machine Learning, and Computer Vision. Dr. Kumar holds 6 US patents with Google, Inc. and 5 publications while at Google.

Prior to Google, Dr. Kumar worked as Sr. Scientist at Yahoo! Labs for about 2 years primarily on Image Search and Query understanding problems. His team received the Yahoo! Superstar award for improving Yahoo! image search quality by more than 10%.

Prior to Yahoo!, Dr. Kumar worked as a Principal Scientist at Fair Isaac Research for about 8 years where he worked on credit card fraud detection, credit modelling, text analytics, computer vision, and retail data mining problems. Dr. Kumar holds 8 US patents with Fair Isaac.

Dr. Kumar received his Masters in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning) and PhD in Computer Engineering (Statistical Pattern Recognition) both from University of Texas at Austin, USA. He received his B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT-Varanasi in 1995.