October 01: Ronak has over seven years of extensive experience in the development and deployment of packaged product solutions, automated logistics, marketing and business intelligence. As a Senior Engineering Manager at Peak, Ronak is responsible for creating and maintaining a cross-functional global Engineering team, along with the implementation of innovative development techniques designed to assure the seamless deployment of Peak’s Decision Intelligence solutions, at speed and scale. In conjunction with that, he plays a key technical leadership role in the product team by creating on-demand scalable workflows and workspaces for the strategic development of new product features.
- Can you tell us about the projects or work history that shows your progression to the position that you occupy at present in Peak?
In the past, I have worked with multiple product startups in industries including ride-hailing, logistics and e-commerce. I joined Peak in 2017 as a Technical Lead, and after four years of hard work and two promotions, I became the Senior Engineering Manager.
I’m responsible for hiring, training and creating the workflow for the engineering team, which now numbers more than 40 people in our Jaipur and Pune offices. Peak’s software platform enables companies to embed artificial intelligence (AI) across their business. This commercial application of AI to optimize business performance is known as Decision Intelligence; by making AI accessible to more businesses, and more functions within a business, Peak has succeeded in growing exponentially, with revenues more than doubling over the last year thanks to new customer wins in Europe, the USA, Middle East, and India. For me and my team, this means that we will be increasing our headcount and bringing in top-tier talent to assist us to deliver to our varied customer base, not just in terms of industry but also in terms of geography.
- Explain an instance in which your team at Peak encountered an application problem that amounted to a “fire drill” emergency. What strategies did you and your team employ during that trying time? Is there anything you would have done differently if given the chance?
Peak has in place a robust set of policies to ensure we respond quickly and appropriately in an emergency situation. These have been developed in conjunction with the wider team, and are regularly reviewed. Thankfully, we have not yet had an emergency situation which required these policies to be implemented.
- What is your technical stack and what development tools do you use at Peak?
As a Decision Intelligence company, we are developing a software platform that empowers customers to make great commercial decisions with AI. Peak has a mixed architecture in engineering. The main feature that stands out is that we are serverless, which gives our customers a highly available and reliable system. In terms of languages, we use Node, Golang, Java, and Python. We utilize around 50 plus AWS services, both SQL and NOSQL for business metadata, and data processing with Redshift, Snowflake, Athena, Spark, Kafka, Druid and K8s etc. For more details, please look at our stack share profile –
- What have you done to promote gender equality at Peak?
At Peak we believe in equal opportunities for all, which means all candidates, regardless of their gender and ethnicity, are given an equal chance to prove their proficiency. Our hiring process consists of three stages: interview, test assignment and a final stage with the founder. All of our teams are diverse and we have a number of women in leadership roles in the Peak India team, currently our ratio of male to female colleagues is around 1:4.
- What threats and challenges do AI Companies face and how has Peak been able to overcome those hurdles?
A lack of understanding is a key barrier for many businesses when it comes to implementing AI, and this is especially true in the case of Peak which is pioneering a brand new category with decision intelligence.
Peak has a very strong culture and brand, and we make efforts to ensure we are not overly technical when communicating what we do, both internally and externally, to ensure our platform remains accessible to multiple people within a business, not just those with a data science background.
- What are the AI-related business prospects in India? How much of an influence has Peak had on the country’s AI scenario?
Peak’s platform is used by retailers, CPG, direct-to-consumer and manufacturing businesses to drive transformational results, including examples such as a 5% increase in total company revenues, a doubling of return on advertising spend, a 12% reduction in inventory holdings and a 5% reduction in supply chain costs. These gains are adding millions to the top and bottom line of these companies. Customers include Nike, PepsiCo, JSW Cement, KFC, Superdry and CJ Group. Currently, we are concentrating on enhancing our software platform with more capabilities that will allow our prospects to create and configure new applications for any other business process.