Meet Roshan Nair. He works his magic to transform data into product. Born and brought up in Mumbai, he loves Stanley Kubrick as much as he loves to travel. We sat down with Roshan to learn more about him.
What is your role at Indix?
I build data products at Indix. I use machine learning to structure the raw data we collect on products. Product categorization and feature extraction are some of the problems I have worked on. Here is a great post on the challenges by Nikhil, our Director of Engineering. Turning data into product is what excites me. This article (be warned, long read) explains the challenges and the process.
What did you do before Indix?
I worked for two startups. One was building a Twitter-like service for India, coincidentally, around the same time Twitter was getting off the ground. In the other startup, I helped build a product for predictive derivatives trading.
Why did you join Indix?
I had just completed a master’s degree in Intelligent Systems and the team at Indix presented the challenge to build and structure the world’s product information. I couldn’t turn down this opportunity to work with large amounts of data in a relatively unexplored space!
What have you learned working for a startup?
It is very important to have razor-sharp focus on customer requirements. This is tougher than it sounds. Working in ambiguity to iteratively build products that solve a problem for someone, somewhere is a skill, and I find myself continuously growing and learning. Culturally, it is important to develop cohesiveness in teams and keep them inspired. This may happen naturally in some teams, but if it doesn’t, it needs to be built.
What technologies or trends get you most excited?
Neuroscience and brain-computer interfaces. Today, we use keyboards and buttons to interface with technology. What if we could operate these with our thoughts – conscious and subconscious. Unlike in the movie Ex Machina, I don’t see AI as a threat to humanity.
What do you do for fun?
I travel and read.
What is your favorite technology product?
My smartphone. No watches or glasses for me!
How would your friends describe you?
Hopefully, as someone who is fun to be around.