Beyond The Data: Mandar Kale, Machine Learning Architect

Welcome back to Beyond The Data! This month, we’re highlighting Mandar Kale, one of our Machine Learning Architects. He’s eager to learn as much as he can, quick to offer his assistance when he can help a coworker, and always does it with a smile.

Tell us your name and where you’re from.

My Name is Mandar Shriram Kale. I am from Satara (Maharashtra). Satara is a very beautiful place, surrounded by Seven Hills. It was the capital of one of the greatest kings of Indian history, “Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj”. It was always a dream for me to stay in Satara and contribute to its development (teaching in slum areas, etc.) and I am happy that I am back in Satara after 18 years. I did my M.Tech in Industrial Engineering from VNIT Nagpur in 2000 and I have 20 years of software experience.
Mandar Kale Headshot

What does "Machine Learning Architect" mean? What do you actually do in any given day?

My title is pretty self-explanatory: I architect machine learning solutions. On any given day, I do one or more of the following tasks:

Tell us about the Machine Learning Engineering team! What is it like working with them every day?

We really have a great MLE team at phData. Everyone on the team is very passionate about technology and brings in his or her unique experience and expertise, which ranges from BI, big data, data science, and MLOps to specific industry practices like insurance, healthcare, and retail.

We all help each other with great patience and encourage each other to ask for help or share any doubt without second thoughts. This skill mix and collaboration brings great value to the table as we work on client projects.

Interested in working with Mandar?

phData is growing fast and looking to extend our teams!

Come see why phData was named a "2020 Best Places to Work" and take a look at our current job openings to see if one is right for you!
Apply now

How long have you been with phData? What past experiences have prepared you for your job at phData?

I have been working with phData for the last two years. I simply love learning and researching new things, and I’ve always focused on designing/developing solutions and research in data mining, machine learning, big data, data warehousing, and BI.

I worked for a few years in the R&D department at my previous employer. When I returned from the U.S. in 2014, I was looking for an organisation where my passion for learning new niche technology and data would be encouraged. One of my friends referred me to phData. After talking with the senior management team at phData, I decided to join the team and I’ve been very happy about that decision.

How have you seen the company change in that time? How has your job evolved?

When I joined phData in 2018, there were 20 employees in India and 60+ in the US. In the last two years, we grew from 80 employees to over 150  As the company grows, things have inevitably changed and we’ve had to develop more structure and processes to ensure sustained growth.

Though phData is growing and all the necessary changes are happening, I see no compromise on our core values and a very clear thought process about our business. I’m very glad to witness, experience, and be part of this evolution.

phData Bangalore Team Outing

What is the one thing you want customers to know about phData?

At phData, leadership has very successfully created a culture of learning and contribution. Employees feel very comfortable asking any question or raising concerns, and everyone is very approachable and helps each other as needed. This helps build very strong teams. Customers can feel assured that phData teams will own their problems, always deliver the best possible technology solutions, and give very honest recommendations.

What are the most exciting things you’re working on and how do you see them positively impacting our customers?

I’m currently working on learning and developing on data science frameworks, like Dataiku. These frameworks facilitate self-service AI. They are very future-proof and extensible (plug and play with any other technology stack).

Two of the burning needs of any business that I can see are:

With the collective knowledge that the phData team has developed based on our experience using frameworks like Dataiku, our customers will get best-in-class solutions and services.

What has your experience working from home been like?

Working from home is tricky. You don’t get a chance to break out with your friends and those small breaks are so effective for reducing stress and increasing productivity. But somehow, I’m used to it now.

One thing that has been essential to my success working from home is having a separate space. You have to create an environment similar to an office, free from noise or other distractions. Thankfully, I created a separate office while constructing my house, but it was still difficult to focus at times this past year since my entire family was home 24 hours a day. I find it is more efficient to work either late at night or very early in the morning, especially if I’m working on something new.

What do you do for fun when you’re not working?

When I am not working I like to teach in slum areas, write poems, and watch movies with my family.
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