eLitmus - A place of Exposure

#1

Here is a summary of my roller coaster journey at eLitmus.

A quick background about me - I am from Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh and did my Engineering from G Pulla Reddy College in year 2018. Needless to say my universe was limited and probably I knew the most among my peers so they learnt from me.

At eLitmus, the Gurukul style of training is there - minimal classroom, maximum shadowing a mentor. After 6 weeks of shadowing my colleagues and doing basic tasks, the first assignment I got was to support a company called Acorn Machine Learning on a Tuesday, 4 pm. The first call with customer was scheduled next day at 11 am and besides their Head of HR , Director of Engineering, Venkat was to join the call. Was asked to do a series of tasks listed below.

  • Research website of Acorn - what they do, how fast I expect them to grow, what background of hires should be recommended

  • Look at linkedin profile of Head of HR and Director of Engineering

  • Look at possible competitors of the company

  • Look at who has funded Acorn. Equally find out the past track record of investor and if the funding was Angel, Series A or Series B (it all sounded greek to me)

  • Find companies which are today 60 people strong and built their India (Bangalore) team in last two years. Where did they get the their India talent from ? This was because that is what Acorn was planning to grow to in next two year. Can similar strategy be used for Acorn. Connect to some of the employees in those companies and understand their motivation in joining that company (as they say "History repeats itself" - so we try to learn from what other companies have done before advising the next customer)

Looked at linkedin profiles and realised Venkat had joined recently from Infosys. Called up my senior, Vamsi, who was working for Infosys to know about him. Obviously Infosys is a large company and I did not expect Vamsi to know. But looks like he was in same business unit as Venkat and Vamsi could not believe that I had to advise Venkat next day. Apparently Venkat was a big shot (VP) with Infosys. Vamsi had got to speak to him only for 2 minutes in his 3 years at Infosys despite being in same business unit!! And here I was to advise him next day. Needless to say I was a nervous wreck.

In nutshell it was 1.5 hours of sleep and rest was all spent in research. Learnt more in those 16 hours than in entire engineering. Today Venkat is a mentor and just a call away when I want advise. He has nearly 25 years of experience and Vamsi still cannot believe it !! Needless to say I am on first name basis with half a dozen CTOs, CEOs of companies - most of them super smart and only way I continue to get their attention is by doing my rigorous homework every time.

That is just a curtain raiser. In Spiderman movie there is a dialogue "With great power comes great responsibilities". At eLitmus, we surely get lot of exposure and opportunities. But that means it comes with lots and lots of hard work and ownership. You should be able to ask lot of questions and be a very curious person by nature. Needless to say the questions which come up as part of your curiosity - you need to find your own answers. Premium is on framing right and relevant questions - answers are then a google away.

Over period of time I have learnt how to read legal agreement and also about McKinsey and BCG - two most aspirational companies to work for if one is not a techie (McKinsey is where Sundar Pitchai worked before joining Google). And to imagine I did not know these name as an engineer. I have mastered the art of sitting on chair and learning new things in hours what otherwise would have taken months.

Lots of challenges, hard work and being responsible for generating results is what summarises my journey at eLitmus in last one year.