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Sanjay Sharma

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Throughout his 13-year Accenture career journey, Sanjay Sharma has played diverse roles and led several key initiatives within teams that ultimately came together to form the Accenture Digital practice.

He talks about his epic professional joyride, navigating through the evolution of digital and three key elements of his successful Applied Intelligence career.

Our vision: Grow fast and strong

When I joined what was then the Accenture Marketing Sciences team, we were a small practice using proprietary analytical tools and processes to help our clients boost profits across their product portfolios, geographic regions and customer segments.

We had one ambition, one vision: to grow fast and strong.

In 2007, I led the acquisition of Mediasenz, an Australian-based media auditor, to build our first Media Audit Services team offshore, expanding our team from just eight to 20 members strong. The acquisition presented a great opportunity for us to develop tools and assets for media audit so that there would be one version of truth no matter who is talking to the client.

We also wanted to ensure that content was predominantly machine-driven. So, we started creating web-enabled assets where I enlisted our talented IT specialists to power our engine.

Thriving in the face of crisis

I think the 2008 global financial crisis was the most dangerous situation the global economy has faced since the Great Depression in the 1930s. During that time, we reviewed our entire team structure and merged our Media Audit and IT teams, and our first-ever delivery center in India came into existence.

Amid this tumultuous global business landscape, we found out just how much digital technology had started to gain steam. Even some of our top clients were looking to achieve conformity across their business functions through digital. We worked with relentless passion and focus to make this happen.

And that was the genesis of Accenture Digital, and within it—Accenture Interactive.

I spearheaded the Data Science and Media Audit teams, eventually assuming the role of Accenture Interactive Lead in India. Today, we are more than 700 people strong, supporting all industry verticals and six practices, focused on the entire front-end-related data science needs of companies such as distribution strategy, channel strategy and recommendation engine.

How I navigate the waves of digital change

It’s a unique time in the market—we are not only witnessing tremendous interest in artificial intelligence, but also tremendous investments.

Our Applied Intelligence value proposition is our way of bringing together the best of technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), analytics, big data and machine learning and sciences to deliver real value for our clients, with the intent of augmenting human capabilities.

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There are enormous career opportunities in Applied Intelligence today. 

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Our more than 2,000 machine-learning-proficient data scientists innovate and scale the impact of artificial intelligence (AI), data science and intelligent technologies to bring innovation to our clients’ businesses.

And we know the change won’t stop, which is why we have also invested more than US$930 million to support upskilling and cross-skilling of our people.

Applied Intelligence career advice

Data is everywhere. We’ve come a long way from just dealing with plain, structured data and moved to newer algorithm patterns and unstructured data sets. There are enormous career opportunities in Applied Intelligence today.

Three things have helped me navigate the waves of change and disruption as I’ve built my career in the digital space:

  1. Continue to learn, innovate and “think outside the box.”
  2. Focus on client value creation.
  3. Maintain a “never say no” attitude.

The first step to career success in this space is understanding data science, statistics and most importantly, logic. We are right in the middle of a data deluge. Look around you and you’ll find data everywhere. From voice commands to image processing, the avenues are vast for future talent.

To grow your career, equip yourself with skills to conquer the evolving data landscape, and stay well-versed with newer coding languages such as Python and JavaScript across platforms to meet the growing demands of Applied Intelligence practitioners. 

We’re currently looking for big data engineers, data science analysts, AI managers and more. Come aboard and help disrupt the business world.

Find your fit with Accenture.


Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and New Applied Now are trademarks of Accenture.

This document makes descriptive reference to trademarks that may be owned by others. The use of such trademarks herein is not an assertion of ownership of such trademarks by Accenture and is not intended to represent or imply the existence of an association between Accenture and the lawful owners of such trademarks.


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Sanjay Sharma

Managing Director, Gurugram, India

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