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Humble approach of a tenacious problem solver
Christo Jacob
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
“Transforming complex problems through simple solutions is the best way to solve complex problems in business, technology and science. ” says Dr. Satyam Priyadarshy, the Chief Knowledge Officer and Vice President of Analytics at Network Solutions, a provider of Web-based solutions for small businesses. Dr. Priyadarshy spearheads an analysis and research team that provides business visibility in areas of customer experience, product and services offers and improvement, and competitive intelligence and innovation.

His strong scientific background and natural tendency to mentor people allows him to visualize complex business problems and guide him to show others how to solve using simple steps. During his research career, he worked on solving highly complex scientific problems with great precision and easy to view solutions in the areas of solar energy conversion, long-range electron transfer in bio molecules, non-linear optics, nano-technology, etc.

Dr. Priyadarshy brings the same tenacity and humble approach to solving the business and technology problems and has been successful in building a career in the Internet technology area. His proven stints in areas like web technologies, databases, networking, data mining and visualization, statistical analysis have provided him with a broad exposure to a holistic view of technology industry. Earlier in his career, he was one of the key players in setting the customer experience performance unit for measuring the last mile experience of products of AOL and other competitive products from many parts of the world, in a near real-time fashion, using open-source software and databases using some innovative techniques for collecting and transferring data securely over the Internet in the late 1990s. This enabled AOL to continually improve its products, networks and web properties to be a leader in its category. Later, he became one of the founding members of the AOL Research Unit and established a research team in India by recruiting some senior scientists from places like Stanford University, to lead teams in India, during a tough talent acquisition landscape in India.

While establishing research unit for AOL he met with many faculty, researchers and students from some of the leading institutions in India. He found that there are some areas where improvements can help researchers build a career. “The researchers have to interact with lot of their peers outside their narrow field of interest and that will help them to give a different view on evolving solutions. Researchers’ interactions are limited between the student and professor or their own co-workers in the same field,” says Priyadarshy.

“If you think that you can solve very complex issues in a very simple way it can give you high regards and that’s what I strongly believe,” says Priyadarshy. While most experts usually create hue and cry in problem solving methods, Priyadarshy stays calm and focused. “I am most inspired by my mother, who is always calm even in the toughest situations,” says Priyadarshy. This fundamental principle has helped to gain confidence on him by lot of co-workers and leaders in various companies.

His hard work during research days at IIT has really paid off, which helped him to author over 30 research papers and articles in his career. His research work has been profiled in magazines like Chemical and Engineering News, The Scientist among others. During his research days he used to programme crazily on the supercomputers for long hours that resulted in challenges with his health, which have since resolved, but now he advices programmers, “You should take break between long programming hours as health is very important.”

During his career transformation from academic research in science to a corporate technology and business leader, he explored areas like customer experience and segmentation, predictive analysis, pricing analysis, market research, web and social media analytics, customer advocacy and competitive intelligence, data pipelining and visualization, etc. It is not easy to gain experience in vast areas. But it’s one of the youngest IIT Bombay Ph.D. holder’s sheer passion to explore and succeed that has paved way to learn right from programming to Six-Sigma methodology in Internet Operations by himself. Known for his ability to work in totally diverse fields simultaneously, he is one of the gifted IITians who hails from a small village in India and has the drive to succeed through many challenges in the corporate world.
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