By Jimil Shah:
The terms ‘data science’ and ‘analytics’ have had a great surge in usage for a long time now. Data has become the driving force of all established companies these days.
In this ever-evolving sector of technology, success and failure stories are found daily. But only a few of them are as inspiring as the story of Ankush Bhandari, a tiffin service provider who became a data scientist.
In an interview with the Analytics India Magazine, Ankush Bhandari talks about this transition in his life.
Ankush Bhandari completed his Masters in Economics at Fergusson College, Pune, and started his entrepreneurial venture – Kaivalya Foods – as a tiffin service provider.
It needed low capital and it was also very easy to acquire customers. His customer base expanded to 500 in a period of six months.
However, due to some personal reasons, he closed the venture and joined IMS Proschool Pvt. Ltd. in 2009.
In 2011, as Bhandari recalls, he got promoted as a Product Manager for ‘Venture Development’ and co-authored five books on Financial Planning with Tata McGraw-Hill Publication.
In 2014, he became the head of IMS Proschool CPS. In 2016, he and his team launched the ‘Business Analytics Course’ and in 2017, a 10 month-long Data Science course.
To keep up with the pace of this field, Bhandari also completed the Microsoft Certified Professional Program in Data Science, which strengthened his roots in understanding the entire data science ecosystem.
With the help of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), Bhandari kept acquiring the skills necessary to take the company forward. He completed the CFP Certification, Google Certification in Adwords and Analytics, Financial Modelling, Chartered Global Management Accountant (CIMA UK and CGMA).
He is also one of only 13 Google Certified Trainers in India.
As a data scientist and an educator, Bhandari has focused on improving the learning experience of students by teaching various concepts with data sets that the students can relate to, as opposed to the traditional methods to teach machine learning algorithms.
He also plans to use Artificial Intelligence to help improve the training experience of the students. Bhandari stated how he would like to use video analysis techniques to grade students’ presentations.
When asked about the roadblocks that he encountered on his journey to become a data scientist, Bhandari recalls that coming from an economics background, learning tech-oriented subjects like Machine Learning and Data Science was a big challenge for him.
But, the combination of a right amount of time, focus, and set of resources helped him get through it.
Another major challenge was maintaining the balance between work, family and his studies, which he managed to do by disengaging from social media and other distractions.
In the interview, Bhandari also says:
“Finally, after wearing too many hats in a day, I come home and spend time with my little daughter, which rejuvenates me to spend another two hours at night to study some new topic.”
The very inspiring story of Ankush Bhandari is just another example of how dedication and perseverance always bear fruits.
When asked about the next big thing in tech, he said:
“I think very soon a time will come when your robot will interview mine.”
Self-learning, dedication and the right kind of mindset play a very important part in developing a successful career in the tech field, alongside writing good code.
This very inspiring story of Ankush Bhandari motivates me to work hard and make it big in the I.T. sector, and witness its exponential growth.
A version of this post was first published here.