In a career spanning 25 years, Samiran has held key roles at Microsoft, Dun & Bradstreet, IBM and TCS. Some of the senior leadership positions he has held recently are Chief Digital Advisor at Microsoft India and APAC Head of Technology for Dun & Bradstreet. Prior to that, during his 14 years at IBM, he did multiple roles across Consulting, Sales, Global Delivery, Solutioning, Research and Product Development. He took a one year sabbatical from IBM to work at the National Institute for Smart Government on several e-governance projects including the Aadhaar project (the largest identity program in the world). He has written for leading technology journals, is a guest lecturer at premier Indian and international universities, is an acknowledged AI, AR/VR Influencer and a TEDx Speaker. Apart from being a Senior Advisor at McKinsey, he also advises a few startups and is co-authoring a book on Blockchain and one on Artificial Intelligence to be published by Wiley in 2020. He is a movie buff of sorts - still working his way through the IMDB Top 250 list. Loved comics while growing up (and continue to do so); Commando being a favourite. He is actively involved in animal welfare and a proud parent of Toffee, a golden Labrador Retriever.
How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?
Over my entire career, I have been fortunate enough to work on various topics and have seen them evolve through multiple cycles. I have had a ringside seat to research work both at IBM and Microsoft which has helped me appreciate the need for appropriate tech, as opposed to fancy solutions that never get adopted. Of course, my last few years have been more in the digital space working on AI, IOT and other emerging tech.
What topic areas are you most passionate about?
At a professional level, I have been working extensively on emerging technologies like Cloud, IOT, Blockchain, AI and Platforms with enterprises. However, what really excites me is the prospect of leveraging all this new tech to solve real world problems from a social perspective whether it be improving agricultural practices, better healthcare and even wildlife conservation. Someday, I would hope that I can give more time to indulge that passion.
Which influencers influence you within those key topics?
There are just some many people who influence my thinking and vision of the world – each one brings their unique brand of thinking and insight. If I had to call out a few who I follow closely, it would have to be Sally Eaves, Antonio Grasso, Theodora Lau, Spiros Margaris, Nigel Willson, Jean-Baptiste Lefevre and Mike Quindazzi.
Outside of your key topics who else influences you?
How would you describe your offline influence?
I do a lot of consulting work with large enterprises and also work closely with incubators and start-ups. Have written columns for and been interviewed by the ETCIO, APAC CIO Outlook, MIS Asia, CIO Asia, Huffington Post India and am in the process of co-authoring chapters on blockchain and AI to be published by Wiley. I do speak regularly at industry events like TEDx, GE Tech Talks and CIO Manufacturing Summit and premier academic institutions like INSEAD, IIM-Calcutta, IIM-Indore, IIT-Delhi and IIT-Mumbai amongst others.
What are your passions outside of work?
For the past 10 years, am fortunate to be associated with an informal group called Caring Friends, who have come together to act as a bridge between outstanding NGOs and donors. The single biggest differentiator of Caring Friends is its “Zero Overheads” philosophy. In fact, CF does not have a bank account and does not accept any contributions in its own name. Cheques are drawn directly in the name of the NGOs and handed over directly. 100% of all contributions go directly to the organisations from the donor and donors love this. All admin costs are borne by the core group of Caring Friends. I will have to admit that outside of work and CF, I maintain a low carbon footprint – I am really a home body and spend a lot of time spoiling my canine family member, Toffee which is super fun and energising for me.
If a brand wanted to work with you, what offline / online activities would you be most interested in?
I would love to work on podcasts, tweet chats, panel discussions, speaking engagements, interviews, collaborating on joint research – whitepapers possibly
What brands have you worked with?
I have been associated with TCS, IBM, Dun & Bradstreet and Microsoft for most of my career. Since I turned freelance in Oct 2018, I have started working with McKinsey as a Senior Advisor and with several start-ups like Humminglive, Rubix Data Sciences, Ideaearth, Uniris amongst others.
Which non-paid activities would you be keen to take part in if the opportunity raised your profile or delivered value to your audience?
I would be interested in co-creating long form content (blogs, white papers, ebooks, research), providing a quote for a blog or news article, sharing / creating a social post, speaking at or attending an event, participating in a podcast, webinar or online chat, writing a product review and creating video content.