Santanu Bhattacharya (data scientist)

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Santanu Bhattacharya
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Santanu Bhattacharya in 2018
Born (1966-02-18) 18 February 1966 (age 58)
Imphal, Manipur, India
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materMIT Sloan

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and University of Maryland

IIT Bombay
OccupationChief Data Scientist at Bharti Airtel

Santanu Bhattacharya is the Chief Data Scientist at Airtel, a visiting professor at Indian Institute of Science[1] and a collaborating scientist at the Camera Culture Group, MIT Media Lab. He is a serial entrepreneur and has worked for NASA and Facebook in the past.

He is also a notable speaker and writer. His work has been covered in the Mashable, TechCrunch, Forbes, Le Monde, The Economic Times and several others.[2]

Early Life

Santanu was born in the remote sub-Himalayan part of North-East India, and spent his childhood studying in various schools in Imphal, Kolkata and Agartala. After graduating High-School, he studied at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, before moving to the United States for graduate school.


Santanu received his PhD from University of Maryland, University of Maryland at College Park working on a new class of superconducting infrared detectors, as a part of CASSINI Mission, NASA|NASA’s journey to Saturn.

In 1990, Institute of Electrical and IEEE approved standards for Standard Commands for Standard Commands of Programmable Instruments (Standard Commands for Programmable Instruments|SCPI) that nearly all manufacturers of computer-controlled test equipment adopted. Seeing an opportunity for automation and efficiency, Santanu spent a year automating the test, measure, plot and analyze cycle, boosting productivity by 30-40% in his advisor Venky Venkatesan’s laboratory at the Center for Superconductivity Research.

Following the academic experience, Santanu decided to pursue an entrepreneurial path in data and automation at OriginLab, a fast growing data analysis and technical graphics software start-up.  After 3 years of rapid growth Santanu got his executive MBA from MIT Sloan in 1997 and joined Beckman Instruments to lead the LIMS New product development until April 2000.

During the dot-com crash, Santanu moved to AT Kearney to pursue management consulting where he worked with several marquee clients such as Gillette, Pepsi, BMW and Goldman Sachs, advising on strategy and product development. A chance encounter in 2004 led him to AOL-Time Warner, then a leading internet company where the B2C internet users spend most time every day. Santanu led the creation of the Analytics Solution Centre, a global team of over 200 data scientists, online advertising experts and engineers who build foundational technologies around AOL’s contextual and behavioural advertising targeting platforms.

In 2008, with the rise of social media and data being available online, Santanu started Salorix, a Silicon Valley based startup, to build an AI platform to help global brands find the social media updates that are worth responding to, a “needle in a haystack” problem[3]. Salorix’s flagship product Amplfy[4] enabled global brands to monetize social media campaigns by analyzing real-time social/ mobile conversations and ranking the most effective/ engaging audience. The company had marquee clients like Microsoft, Audi,HP, Berkshire Hathaway etc.

In 2014, he joined Facebook where he led Emerging Market Products functions that used data-driven technology to build new products for emerging user growth[5].

From 2015-2017, Santanu served as Senior Vice President, Technology and Products at Delhivery India’s largest third-party eCommerce logistics Unicorn[6][7][8]. In 2018, he was appointed as the Chief Data Scientist of Bharti Airtel|Airtel, world’s second largest telco with 450 million subscribers in 18 countries[9]

In the media



  1. "Visiting Professors – Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber-Physical Systems @ IISc Bangalore". Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  2. Knapp, Alex. "Artificial Intelligence Knows When People Are Tweeting About You". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-10-05.
  3. "Social Media Marketing Startup Salorix Lands $3.5M Series A". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  4. "Salorix Launches Amplfy 2.0 To Help Brands Find The Most Relevant Social Media Conversations". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  5. Marshall, Jack (2014-07-02). "Facebook's New Ad Effort Focuses on Emerging Markets". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  6. Fok, Evelyn. "Delhivery hires Facebook's Santanu Bhattacharya as data sciences head". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  7. Bureau, Indiaretailing (2015-08-24). "Delhivery prepares for festive season rush with data analytics, AI". Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  8. "En Inde, le cauchemar du dernier kilomètre". Le (in français). 2016-10-07. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  9. "Airtel hires former Facebook & Delhivery exec Santanu Bhattacharya as chief data scientist". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2020-10-17.

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