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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

June - 2007 - issue > How I Got Where I am Today

“We stop just short of hitting each other”

Aritra Bhattacharya
Friday, June 1, 2007
Aritra Bhattacharya
A thrash-out on Sundays was de rigueur. Considering that this was the (mid 90s) strife-torn state of Assam, a thrash-out on any day was de rigueur, but the weekly one just spoken of was a different kind. No gun battles here, neither any busting of hideouts. Instead, all it had to do was with convincing—where members of a family sat together and thrashed out issues in each one’s lives, trying to reason out and make the other person see one’s point. At the center of this was Gautam Shyamantak. Born to a duo of doctors, he required numerous such thrash-out sessions to convince his parents that computer science engineering was what he wanted to do, and where his calling lay.

Cut to 2007, Shyamantak is sitting pretty at the helm of product engineering at Razorsight, a provider of business intelligence to process, manage and analyze financial data. This role is a slight shift from earlier ones; while his stints in Wipro, Trigo and IBM were focused on code-writing, this one cuts through a certain degree of the management component.

So how does the shift reflect in his work? “Earlier as a techie, I would only focus on how best to architect a product. Now, I’ve learnt to be market-leaning, look at the business aspect and the long-term benefits, and then decide what to do.” Simply put, Shayamantak has realized the difference between the ‘best’ product and the ‘best successful’ product.
His efforts at Razorsight are concentrated on steering the product engineering team toward the next big release, due in ‘three months’ time’. “We are fortunate to have a good sales momentum, and my team is playing catch up with them most of the time,” he says.

A necessary part of his product development mantra constitutes coordinating and interacting with the sales team. This, due to a bittersweet experience while at Trigo.

The global data synchronization system his team had built then was, by his admission, technologically cutting-edge. But when it was shown to the first customer, the product development team realized that good amount of functionalities they had given shape to was not in the customer's agenda of requirements. The team went back to make amendments, and Shyamantak realized that it was not enough to create technically polished products, they should, in fact be tuned to the market needs. In accordance, it was important that product engineering folks realized the market pulls, especially in a small company where there was no dedicated strategy group to show them the way.

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