1. Tell us about yourself.
With a Masters degree in Media and Engineering, Amit has 24 years of large-scale B2C internet product development. Being one of the first internet product managers in the world has given him several career firsts – from the first interactive TV to live stock market data, from India’s only street view product to India’s largest movie destination. Academically inclined, Amit has experience working in the UK, US and India, and is currently on the board of an Anand Mahindra promoted company which he also heads up. He also acts as an investor and mentor to several global tech-driven start-ups.
2. What is your fondest memory at Anglia Ruskin University?
There are several good memories for me, but I think the fondest is spending several hours daily for months on end, doing research in the library at Cambridge. This time spent in solitude helped me immensely. I stretched my imagination; challenged myself at each step; tested many thoughts. And I believe this process helped me lay a foundation for the rest of my life and career.
3. What has been your favourite job?
I love all my jobs! As a rule, I don’t take up work I don’t enjoy, and that makes this a hard one. But one of the best experiences I’ve had was working with the Zee TV network in the mid and late 90s when the internet was being introduced to the world. I thought up and built products that used a ‘convergence’ of text, audio and video at a time when the world just did not have the technology to back up this dream. But now, in 2020 I am building online products that are capable of delivering a true and useful ‘interactive video’ experience to their users.
4. In one word, how would you describe ARU?
5. How did your time at Anglia Ruskin help you?
I got the much-needed exposure to a global platform, I learnt how to conduct actual research, and most importantly my negotiated Masters degree taught me that everything was negotiable!
6. What did you love about your chosen course?
My education has led me to build online products and services, and I work in a vocation that helps me have a global impact with relatively little capital expenditure. I strive to help people and make a difference; not just build a career.
7. What advice would you give to current students as they're preparing to graduate?
If you aren’t super excited about getting out of bed and going to work every single day, you’re not in the right profession.
8. What do you know now that you wish you had known whilst studying?
I wish I had seen the e-commerce boom coming. It was rather obvious, but I was blind-sided by my passion for the media. I have always wanted to make an online buying-selling platform for the underserved and the unserved masses.
9. Who was the biggest influence on your career?
My family and some of my teachers at ARU.
10. What advice would you give to your younger self?
You are going to be the best no matter what so don't worry so much!
11. Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.
When I was in my second year of Engineering in Bombay, I rebelled against the system and dropped out of college, exploring various options, including a career in sales, becoming a ghost writer, and even building an artificially intelligent robot. I couldn’t deal with the fact that I had left something incomplete, so quietly went back to finish my Bachelors in Engineering with a distinction. This taught me to work with a system, not against it.
12. What’s next?
The same as every day really. I will keep building products and services for the masses and I will try to keep myself at the cutting edge of innovation.