Mr. Phani Nandula is currently working as a Staff Engineer- Data Science and Machine Learning at Micron Technology.
He has an impressive professional journey, with over 14+ years of experience, and has led several machine learning projects in the areas of Natural Language Processing, Time-Series data, and computer vision to solve challenging problems in Pharma, Automotive, and Manufacturing domains.
He is also experienced in identifying key customer requirements, proposing machine-learning-based techniques, validating concepts, and deploying solutions. He has 7 patents issued across machine learning, additive manufacturing, the power industry, and the aviation domain.
Our team was interested in getting to know him better, understanding his path, and getting feedback on his experience working with GTX.
Could you give us a brief about yourself and your professional journey?
Starting from the top, I got my bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and then did my master’s from IIT in applied mechanics. Soon after, I joined GE Aviation in Bangalore and worked there for 3 years. I moved to the GE Global Research Centre after that and worked there for about 6 years.
I then joined Siemens and was working in machine learning for gas turbines and power generation for 3 years. Moved on to Bosch as a solutions architect within the pharmaceutical and automotive industry. I have now joined Micron. I have a total of 14+ years of professional experience.
With the experience you possess, the decision for changing a job is usually highly motivated by a strong driving factor. What was yours?
Everyone has aspirations of money and a better position, but for me, that isn’t the priority at all. I am more interested in the problems that I would be able to solve. Whenever I’ve chosen a job, even in the past, I have focused on solving real-world problems be it in pharma, energy, power, etc.
I had no experience in the Semiconductor industry but I wanted to pursue the opportunity with Micron because I was very excited about what I would be working on. The industry is gaining a lot of prominence in India and I feel it would be great for me to learn more here, contribute my experience and knowledge, and be of incredible value. I am purely driven by purpose.
What progress do you seek professionally in this role? What do you hope to gain from it?
I would say I’m still in the process of figuring it out myself. The work is fast-paced in this industry and it presents its own set of challenges, but it is exciting all the same.
All fields are different, there is certain technical jargon specific to the work and it takes time to pick up on all of it.
I would say, at this point, I am navigating the Semicon industry and in the explorative phase. I am enjoying the kind of problems I get to solve here- it’s very rewarding.
Before landing the job with Micron, how long were you on the lookout for a change?
Not much time at all- I’m very fortunate about that. I uploaded my CV in the first week of December and in the last week (around the 26th) I was contacted by the GTX team. They discovered the profile very fast.
With your experience, you probably would have a range of opportunities to choose from. What made you go with Micron- what stood out?
When the recruiter from GTX got in touch, I did not know what Micron was. I started talking to people, read the JD well, researched the company thoroughly, and soon realized that they’re excellent and doing some fantastic work. Since it was not a startup, I felt they would provide me with time and space to learn about the role before delving head-first into the work; this is something I really appreciate.
In addition to this, I feel that the Semicon industry is coming up rapidly in India and I was intrigued. Although I would say it’s a risk switching to a different field, it’s rewarding and the perfect time to get in on the action.
How was your experience with the GTX team, from start to finish?
It was great. Your team provided me with all the details. I feel in such a role, it’s almost impossible to ask all the questions in one go. I contacted her (GTX recruiter) many times with several queries and she was patient and answered everything. I felt very comfortable with her, even more than I did with the other POC outside of GTX.
I would say that if I hadn’t gotten the information that I needed, the change would be way more stressful for me. A career decision is a big one and the team helped in every way they could.
Moving forward from your personal experiences…..
Do you think with the developments taking place in India- especially in emerging tech, such impressive opportunities have sprouted throughout the nation at a very rapid pace, but there isn’t a lot of awareness about it?
Definitely, I feel awareness needs to increase. When people are on the lookout for a job change, they mostly rely on Linkedin or word-of-mouth recommendations. People restrict their search within their particular field and look closely at companies similar to the one they’re working in at that point in time- which is what I was doing first as well.
However, it’s important to explore further. Companies are doing great work in India and you might find the opportunity of a lifetime in the place you least expect it. Organizations should work on elaborating the JDs and platforms like yours can help in this as well- to help people know that the skills and experience they possess are relevant in a newer one as well.
Would you care to comment on India’s role in emerging tech in the global scenario?
The tech boom is one of the best things to happen to the country. The way the startups and unicorns are growing is very impressive. Though work is still heavy toward the services aspect, I can see that products are increasing too. The Indian population is highly educated and talented. The kind of contribution coming from India to the world is amazing and it is only going to grow from here. International businesses are fighting to make their way into India, we are receiving a lot of funding, investments, etc. Times are great.
Coming to the salary... Several Indians were moving out of India to work in the West primarily because of better pay opportunities. Do you think this argument holds true even now?
Indian organizations are paying very well now and salaries have improved massively over time. However, I feel people also choose to move to the West because of the work culture. If India changes by respecting people’s personal time and rewarding hard work, it would be a golden period for the country.
Global Talent Exchange is a next-gen tech recruitment platform helping techies like you find the perfect opportunities, even if they are overseas. Would you recommend GTX to your friends/colleagues?
Definitely! Would be glad to.