Satya, what made you join BIT Capital?
Previously I was working with an international bank in Dubai where I used to manage data and infrastructure alongside building software to provide insights to stakeholders. I was contacted by a recruiter for this opportunity upon which I started researching about BIT Capital on the internet.
I found quite a bit of information on BIT Capital and Jan Beckers – the founder and CIO – and discovered that the company has been doing really great since its inception. They wanted to leverage the power of technology and data to make strategic business and investment decisions. That was fascinating, and given the company’s history of stellar growth, I saw massive potential when I learnt more about the role. At that time the team was still small and the company was at a fairly early stage. During the initial discussions with BIT Capital, I also learnt more about the people and the future roadmap, which further reaffirmed my decision to join the company.
What was the largest challenge you encountered since you joined BIT Capital?
I came into a whole new world. Previously, I have worked in India and the Middle East, and then came to Germany. When I joined BIT Capital, there were a lot of promising projects and interesting things going on already. Many teams were working on different aspects of the investment world. The fundamental team, the quant team, and the risk management team, each of them had very different use cases. My first task was to provide the necessary infrastructure and data for all the wonderful ideas to be implemented. So there were a lot of data sets to tap, a lot of infrastructure to build, and a lot of algorithms on top of the data and infrastructure to be written. A very complex but also a very interesting challenge.
What is particularly important to consider when leading the data engineering team in a technology-focused asset manager such as BIT Capital?
Data primarily drives our investment decisions. The need and demand for data is ever increasing, and we have to constantly deliver for our internal stakeholders. So it becomes imperative to maintain our high standards for data quality, a reliable infrastructure to maintain a constant inflow and processing of data and at the same time maintain a balance of speed vs. quality.
The technologies and related architecture are overwhelming with the multitude of offerings in the digital world. Therefore, we have to be very vigilant in selecting technologies and also consider adaptability during development and implementation by thinking outside the box. The great thing about my team is that everyone is very motivated and enjoys taking on these challenges with a sense of ownership.
And what are the most exciting projects your team gets to work on?
We are a data engineering team, but we don’t just do traditional data engineering here. We also deal with infrastructure management, data science, software development, automation, data security and much more. The amount of data that we ingest is enormous (scaling up to petabytes of data). We have managed to tap that much data which we process to give near real-time insights, taking into account costs and performance optimisation, of course.
The team gets to work on all of these aspects of the software world along with the traditional data engineering projects. A team member not only progresses as a data engineer or a software developer, he/she can develop his/her knowledge and skills all around.
Do you think other skills help these people achieve these high standards?
Self-motivation. They have to have a constant spark for learning. At the same time, they must be approachable and have a problem-solving mindset because the results of our work has a direct and significant influence on other departments of the company.
Another aspect is multi-tasking, because we always have to turn our attention to solving other challenges while working on a project simultaneously. We welcome these challenges, and we love supporting other teams in BIT Capital.