Interview With the 2021 DAIR Awards Winner in the Individual Category “Data and AI Influencer of the Year” Somil Gupta

somil gupta winner awards

The Nordic Data and AI Readiness (DAIR) Awards acknowledge and celebrate exceptional individuals, teams, and organizations that have done great work in data, analytics and AI across the Nordics. Before this year’s edition of the Nordic DAIR Awards, we talked with some of the winners of the 2021 edition.

Hyperight: Last year, when you got the “Individual Category Data and AI Influencer of the Year” Award you were working at Intakt AI (Part of Svara AB) as an AI Strategy and Monetization Advisor. Has anything changed since last year and what are you working on these days?

Somil Gupta: Yes, quite a lot! Now I have started Algorithmic Scale to undertake large scale commercialization projects for our Enterprise Clients not just in Sweden but also internationally. And we have also expanded the scope of our offerings. We can now align with a large portfolio of initiatives and support our clients modernize traditional operating models, realize commercial value from Data and AI and design, operate and scale digital business to achieve commercial excellence and Return on Digital Investments. So we will still work on the commercialization and monetization of AI and on a much larger scale.

Hyperight: What motivated you to apply last year, and do you have any advice for future applicants?

Somil Gupta: For me, it was crucial to highlight the importance of Commercial Thinking in Data and AI. Until last year, the narrative was mostly technical and the business and economic aspects were considered as after thoughts.

On the other hand, we have seen great success by flipping this narrative on its head and start with commercial thinking instead. In each of the projects that we undertook, we ensured laser-sharp focus on the ‘commercial value’ and took all design decisions based on that.

And we were able to get fantastic results like acquiring customers for our client’s solution in the matter of months instead of years. We could identify a much larger opportunity with a larger value pool than what was initially estimated by the business. We could design a completely new AI-Native Operating Model for an innovative business model.

We saw much less rework and waste in the projects. We saw better collaboration across the enterprise from not just data and business teams but from sales, marketing, finance, strategy and commercial teams as well. We could evaluate different ML techniques before writing a single line of code.

These results are extremely difficult if not impossible to achieve without commercial thinking in Data and AI. And I wanted to share these with the larger community. And that was the motivation for me to apply because the DAIR awards seemed like an excellent platform.

I’d really advise future applicants to stay true to their core beliefs and message. You have a unique perspective and experience and knowledge. Focus on that message and think about how you think it could help the community. The DAIR Awards is a great platform to get your voice heard by those who need to hear it.

Hyperight: Looking back on the DAIR Awards from last year, how would you describe the experience of the ceremony? Did you expect to win the Award?

Somil Gupta: The experience was amazing. Goran and the Hyperight team created a wonderful evening and it was great to see the AI community assembled there.

I hadn’t really given much thought about actually winning the award and I went there to meet colleagues face to face after the pandemic and have a good time. The announcement of the award was a great and pleasant surprise. It was humbling and exciting at the same time. I want to really thank once again the jury, the organizers, my friends and colleagues who voted, my family and especially my wife for supporting me. I am very grateful.

Hyperight: Has the Award made any difference in your career, and do you plan to apply this year? 

Somil Gupta: Let’s see how it goes! DAIR Awards is a great platform and it does amplify one’s message. The important thing is to figure out how to use it. Personally, I have taken the award more as a responsibility to contribute more on the topic. But yes, the award has been very helpful in forging new relationships with the AI community in Sweden.  

Hyperight: Regarding awards, people are known to choose some interesting spots for safekeeping. Where in your home/office do you keep your DAIR Award?

Somil Gupta: Ha Ha, I can imagine. Well, I don’t want to let it out of my sight so I keep my Home Office in the direct line of sight.

The deadline for applying and nominating for the 2022 edition of the Nordic DAIR Awards is October 15th. The Awards are divided into two main categories: Individual and Company. Explore more about the DAIR Awards.

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