With an experience of over 26 years of working with Corporates, Software Vendors and Consulting companies to deliver over Five Billion Dollars through advanced analytics/machine learning, Shailendra Kumar has established and led several data science businesses to generate revenue and drive incremental growth by creating multiple Artificial Intelligence solutions across various sectors, including High Tech, Financial Services, Retail and Public Sector. Shailendra is a keynote speaker, thought leader, and influencer in the Artificial Intelligence sector, with over 120K followers on social media and many papers on advanced analytics, machine learning, IoT, AI, and Blockchain. He recently published an Amazon bestseller, ‘Making Money out of Data,’ which showcases five business stories from various industries on how successful companies make millions of dollars in incremental value using analytics. Prior to SAP, Shailendra held senior executive-level positions at IBM, Accenture, Woolworths and Coles.
Shailendra Kumar was raised in a tight-knit family in the largest democracy in the world, India. His father instilled a culture of hard work in him and his siblings growing up. He adds, “This was indeed a game-changer for us.” A value he still relies on to help him succeed in his multiple endeavors.
With his parents emphasizing the importance of quality education, Shailendra studied in one of the best schools in India. He says, “But I performed poorly in the Higher Secondary School, due to which, I had to put double the effort to make a mark in the industry. To me, it was all about Hard Work, Determination and Dedication. The HDD of my life.”
Once Shailendra finished college, he wanted to work in an innovative field that showed tremendous potential for the future. He says, “I tried to find an industry which would give me an edge and ability to drive successful changes.” This was the cornerstone for him to reach the ranks of one of the top Business Leaders in AI in the future.
Following his vision, he started his career as a software engineer. Talking about his career trajectory, he adds, “An essential aspect of Data Science is creativity to understand what to do with data and how to solve a particular business problem. That comes with experience to understand the art of possibility.” He continued, “I will have to thank my first boss, who hired me to set up the SAS Institute in India and gave me the freedom to push the boundaries. It helped develop a unique skill in me to ideate, architect and deliver outcomes to drive value.”
Apart from that, his roles at client organizations like Woolworths and Coles helped Shailendra become creative enough to design solutions to real business problems to deliver outcomes quickly. Gradually, through his hard work and persistence, he held various C-Suite roles and drove significant digital transformation in all the companies he worked for along the way.
Talking about his experience in the industry, he says, “I have been delivering data science projects for the past 23 years and consulting companies which has helped me create a skillset which is unique to deliver incremental value to the organizations in various industries.”
Over the years, he has worked with an impressive roster of clients, including Woolworths, Telstra, Accenture, Coles, Optus and many more. With his innovative strategies and creative ability to make money out of data, Shailendra has impacted $6 billion for all his clients and customers.
As an expert in data, he recently authored a best-selling book, ‘Making Money Out Of Data,’ which explains why it shouldn’t be considered an IT function and made a necessity for companies across various industries. The book is an insightful journey to the undiscovered corners of data and analytics, unlocking mysteries that people are incensed with through real examples from different sectors like Insurance, Retail, Telecommunications and CPG. Talking about his book, he adds, “Making Money out of Data is my attempt to showcase the power of analytics through real stories and clearly defined analytics.”
Due to his multiple achievements in the industry, he has won numerous awards, including the India Australia Business Community Alliance Award, Business Leader of the Year, and Top 10 AI Influencer for 2021, and 2022, Top 20 Thought Leader to follow in 2022, among others.
In conclusion, his advice to budding leaders is, “Follow your heart and focus on execution.”