Head of AI Engineering at Peak, Koushik Kulkarni talks: Peak, AI and more

  • Here are some of the most interesting take outs from our recent Q&A with Koushik.
Koushik Kulkarni
Koushik Kulkarni
Published on May 13, 2021 05:38 PM IST
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By Brand Post

When it comes to discussing the culture of Peak, the proof is very much in the pudding. It’s all well and good talking the talk, but to really demonstrate what Peak culture is all about, it’s best to ask the people who work there – to hear all about their journey to Peak and, once they’re there, the strong team camaraderie that sits alongside the practical day-to-day.

It’s also an opportunity to shine a light on some of the reasons software engineers enjoy working with the great tech stack that is powering a game-changing category – Decision Intelligence.

Here are some of the most interesting take outs from our recent Q&A with Koushik, that highlight the key benefits of working at Peak and explain how Decision Intelligence is now putting AI at the centre of all commercial decision making.

What was your dream job as a child?

As a boy, I read a lot of science and sci-fi stories – I was obsessed with Sherlock Holmes and how he used science to solve cases. It also meant that I enjoyed science at school and went on to study Electronic Engineering at University. So, science has definitely always been in my blood.

How did you start your life as a software engineer? And how did you progress?

Post-university, I joined Infosys as a graduate trainee. They were great at providing structured programmes on Java, Open Systems, C++ and database systems. The company also gave me an opportunity to work internationally as a senior software engineer in the US. My role involved working with Infosys clients on all things related to data warehousing.

Whilst living in the US, I also got married to someone who I’d met at University - we both had great careers and each other, but it also reminded us of how much we wanted to move back to India to be closer to our families.

On my return to India, I joined Barclays, where my deep knowledge of Teradata and Informatica really helped shape the foundations of the company’s big data strategy with Apache Hadoop – at the time, this was game-changing thinking and tech.

When did your AI / ML journey start?

I’d now worked for two big multinationals and it seemed like a good time to join a more agile company. So I joined Vuclip – an international media and entertainment company. I was there for 4 years and migrated the entire on-prem data platform to Google Cloud. I’d now stepped into the world of cloud engineering. During this time, I also had an opportunity to work on projects that involved application engineering and AI.

I had worked on creating AI systems like sentiment analysis dashboards and fraud detection systems at Barclays. I leveraged that deep knowledge at Vuclip to create an AI platform and capabilities for the data scientists across the whole organisation. The roll out of AI was very use case and company specific.

What attracted you to Peak?

Most CEOs know that many of the world’s most successful consumer-facing businesses, including Amazon, Apple and Netflix, are using AI. They are increasing sales and profits by giving customers what they want, when they want – before they know they need it.

AI is no longer just the preserve of the tech giants. All businesses can now use Decision Intelligence i.e. the use of AI to make great business decisions.

From my previous experience, all the AI models were very specific to a use case and a company. Generalising models is now the future. I’m now part of an amazing company that’s making this happen with Decision intelligence.

Why would software engineers love working at Peak?

The software engineer in me loves the open source tech stack. We’re already on AWS, so a lot of boilerplate code that software engineers have to write is already taken care of. At Peak, we can really focus on solving the problems at hand for our customers.

I also love the pace of delivery – at Peak, we evaluated and selected Droid. In a large matrix organisation, that would take around 12 to 18 months to deliver. At Peak, we did this in three months. The time to deliver your efforts and realising the benefits is really, really fast.

This first-hand delivery experience means you’re presented with new challenges on very complex problems on the job, every day.

Now you’ve been with Peak for nine months, what is unique about Peak’s culture?

Being required to learn every day with a team sharing world-class best practices is an amazing opportunity. The problems we solve at Peak are complex, real-world customer problems, working alongside cutting-edge technology that’s constantly evolving.

As such, our team loves to share their knowledge and creative ideas, and to expand their learnings of best-in-class practises. Our deep systems know-how delivers the best end product. We have a strong bond in the team, which means we all help, support and learn from one another. This constant change is an amazing learning opportunity, keeping you up to speed on the latest tech and the super role interesting!

We’d love more Koushik’s at Peak, so if you’re interested in helping us grow then please check out our current career vacancies here.

Disclaimer: This is a company press release. No HT journalist was involved in the creation of this content.

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Thursday, October 28, 2021