First 6 months at grofers: Pranav Prakash

Design by Kumkum Jain I picked up the phone one afternoon and heard “Hello Pranav, we shall be extending an offer…” I smiled. I smiled because I knew I was going to get to be a part of something big. I was going to work at a unicorn startup and more importantly, work on something that […]

Design by Kumkum Jain

I picked up the phone one afternoon and heard “Hello Pranav, we shall be extending an offer…” I smiled. I smiled because I knew I was going to get to be a part of something big. I was going to work at a unicorn startup and more importantly, work on something that benefits millions of households across the country every day.

In April this year, I joined grofers as a Data Analyst, in Innovation Hub — a discovery team that conducts cross-functional experiments to figure out the potential problems areas that the company should focus on. Our team has folks from diverse backgrounds working across supply and consumer problems. During my interview, I got to know that one of the experiments conducted by this team ended up reducing the cost per order by ₹25. I always wanted to be part of a group that delivers high impact and when I heard this, I knew I was heading to the right place.

I joined with a lot of excitement about entering the startup world as my first job. One of the things I instantly liked was the multidisciplinary nature of my team — skill sets range from software development to design to data to research, and everyone shares their learnings.

There are also a few core skill sets like product thinking, user research and data synthesis that are taught to everyone who joins the team. The result is that you have a dynamic team of people who are able to come at a problem from multiple lenses, whether it be a data-based solution or a design solution or both.

After learning about grofers’ operations, I started out as most data analyst freshers do — solving basic EDA questions related to the problems we were solving. Of course, I worked my way up to harder and harder questions for a week until I could finally deliver some insights. My first big task came in the form of verifying reasons for out-of-stock items at an experimental warehouse in Mumbai. At first, I thought it would be a simple query but things turned out to be a little more complicated than that. Luckily, my teammates were supportive and helped me write the complex query that I required.

Over time I contributed to more projects. I was monitoring metrics and deciding the right visuals for communicating results clearly. My Python, SQL and Excel skills were put to test and with each passing project, with support from my teammates, I learnt new skills and faster ways of doing things. I was also able to form a mental model for taking any data question and breaking it down into steps and getting insights using a combination of redash, jupyter hub and google spreadsheets. My manager Pankaj taught me many important lessons for data analysis. One of those being —

When we run an experiment, it’s of utmost importance to understand the initial signals to figure out if we are on the right track. However, sometimes, the KPIs change with time, either because a new factor came into play or the KPIs are regressing towards their mean value as we collect more data. When that happens, even if the current numbers are correct, the most important question to answer is why the indicators changed. This change in behaviour can help us discover unknown interaction between variables and new factors which will affect the conclusion and insight overall.

Moving on, as I got comfortable with the processes related to Data, I also started contributing towards the Design Of Experiments (DOE). DOEs are at the heart of how Innovation Hub operates. All of our experiments begin with one of these documents where we lay out the main hypothesis, questions to be answered, metrics for success, assumptions and risks involved. I liked exploring this part from the start and I felt happy as I was given ownership over certain parts of the experiment which is rare for freshers.

With time, I also learnt some parts of user research: how one can take user interviews, extract insights based on user’s verbatim, habits and motivations. I also picked up the principles of design thinking and how they can be used to build seamless products and features.

Apart from these learnings, one of my favorite moments in these past few months came towards the beginning of my journey when we participated in the ideathon. We designed a nutrition store for people to be able to easily get items according to their health goals, a feature that I would really look forward to using on the app. And we won! All this just after spending less than 1.5 months here! Honestly, I was elated to have contributed something valuable to the wider company so early on.

I’ve learnt and grown so much over the past 6 months. I am glad to be working with these brilliant people from such diverse backgrounds, and I remain grateful for the ability to take ownership over my work and the fact that we get to solve interesting problems across the company. I look forward to the new challenges we’ll be facing ahead and continue to be part of our transition from apples to Apple.

Pranav Prakash is a Data Analyst at Grofers. Follow him on LinkedIn.

And yes Grofers is hiring! If you want to be part of the hacker gang mentioned above, we’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading this blog. Say hello on Twitter or follow us on LinkedIn.

First 6 months at grofers: Pranav Prakash was originally published in Lambda on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: Grofers