Airtel appoints ex-NASA exec Santanu Bhattacharya to lead digital-innovation lab
Bharti Airtel has appointed ex-NASA executive Santanu Bhattacharya as chief data scientist. His role would encompass using data science and deep analytics to understand customer needs and develop innovative products and services for Airtel. Bhattacharya, a leading member in his field, will oversee operations at the company's upcoming digital innovation lab in Bengaluru, which will focus on AI, IoT and AR/VR for innovations.
Bhattacharya, an IIT-Bombay, MIT Sloan alumnus, has a distinguished profile
Bhattacharya, an IIT-Bombay, MIT Sloan and MIT Media Lab alum, has a PhD from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre. Earlier, he worked with Facebook, where he led mobile products in emerging markets like India, Indonesia and Brazil. He was also the data sciences head at Delhivery. He had a stint with AOL and co-founded Salorix, a social media analytics company.
Bhattacharya to oversee operations at Airtel's new Bengaluru lab
Airtel has roped in Bhattacharya for its new Bengaluru digital lab, which will have 150 tech specialists. The company has already established a 550-member team for its digital innovation operations. Bhattacharya, who will oversee operations, will report to Harmeen Mehta, Global CIO & Head of Digital, Bharti Airtel. Reports say Airtel chose Bengaluru to tap into the rich talent pool in India's IT capital.
Airtel comments on Santanu Bhattacharya's appointment
"We are pleased to have Santanu onboard with us as we transform Airtel into a truly digital organization and start using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to solve real business problems," Harmeen Mehta said about the new appointment.
Airtel has been vigorously scaling up offerings
Airtel has aggressively scaled up to take on Jio, which shook India's telecom sector with its unique products. This year, it has announced partnerships with Nokia, Hotstar and HMD Global to improve and expand products and services in different categories. It is now focusing on identifying and exploring 5G use cases, and the Bengaluru lab will assist in this project.
Airtel setting up new university to focus on future technologies
Last year, the Bharti family pledged Rs. 7,000cr to philanthropy, most of which would go into setting up a university for 'free education' to underprivileged youth. It will pay special attention to future technologies like AI, Robotics, VR, IoT and more, a statement said.