Underdogs take the helm at tech startups
BENGALURU: Priyadarshi Lahiri is a chief technology officer but he is not a techie. He studied literature from Kolkata University because he thought “engineering did not have much to offer”.
Lahiri now leads the development of cutting-edge technologies at Ed-GE Networks, an HR analytics firm that analyses resumes by the millions for large IT firms.
“The degree helped me to have a superior understanding of the language, which, in turn, has helped me make sense of the resume. ..
“The degree helped me to have a superior understanding of the language, which, in turn, has helped me make sense of the resume. We now have an EdGE graph, through understanding syntax,” said Lahiri.
Satyajit Sahoo studied forestry from Orissa University but he now leads the front-end design at Scrollback, a chat service for communities.
Both Sahoo and Lahiri point to a larger emerging trend among startup employees. While CEOs of startups are celebrated for breaking barriers, startup employees are silently tackling a much bigger problem: that of disproving the endemic parental logic in India, which prescribes to studying at a well known college and sticking to a fixed specialisation to have a successful career.
“Now, my parents are really proud of me, because I did it all by myself,” said Sahoo, 23, who was forced to take up forestry because of the lack of engineering jobs in Orissa.
“I am a mining engineer by education, but the closest I have come to mining is data mining at my previous company. My engineer does not like coding. He does community management. The designer is a math science graduate,” said Shrivastava.
Michael Lewis, now a non-fiction author and financial journalist, studied art history and landed his first job at Salomon Brothers, a Wall Street investment bank. Not just in small and mid-size startups in India, even large startups are showing similar lines of thinking.