CS Alumnus Among Computerworld’s Top 100 Leaders

11-30-2015
Writer(s): Jesica E. Hollinger

CS alumnus Snehal Antani (BS 2002) has been named one of IDG Computerworld’s Premier 100 Technology Leaders of 2016 – an elite award recognizing superior leadership in technology and innovative approaches to business challenges.  

He will be among those recognized at the AGENDA16 conference held March 21-23 in Florida, where more than 300 business peers will gather to collaborate on the emerging trends in technology.

Antani, recognized for the business transformation he drove while a CIO at GE Capital, said that when he learned he had been selected for the award, he immediately reached out to his former team at GE Capital and thanked them, telling them they all share equally in the recognition. 

“Successful leaders have three types of people to lean on: dreamers that help define an aspirational vision; debaters that help transform the vision into a pragmatic journey; and executors that can deliver results while operating with ambiguity and uncertainty,” Antani said. “I was lucky to have an incredibly talented team of people that wore each of these hats, and it's because of them that we were able to drive tremendous business transformation so quickly,” he added.

Antani departed GE Capital to join Splunk as CTO 7 months ago, and is responsible for driving the vision and strategy for the company, as well as accelerating the business analytics and Internet of Things businesses. Splunk is a publicly traded software company focused on real-time analytics of machine-data. Their technology is used to solve security, IT operations, business analytics, and Internet of Things problems for customers worldwide. Describing his first week on the job, Antani said:

“My first week on the job, I was designing solutions for insider threat detection with government agencies, connected vehicle analytics with a global auto manufacturer, fraud detection for a global financial services company, and preventative maintenance algorithms for an industrial manufacturing company,” Antani said. “I'm able to work with incredibly talented engineering and field organizations at Splunk to bring these ideas to fruition as product—I feel like a kid in a candy store,” he shared.

Antani said he had an interesting experience during his education at Purdue and was able to explore new ideas, which have benefitted his current career.

“I had a passion for engineering and computer science, but I found myself constantly exploring new ideas in economics and science. When I should have been doing my homework or studying for exams, I was roaming the halls of the business school, the science labs, and the library finding friends I could brainstorm ideas,” Antani said. “In many ways, I used my computer science skills as a tool for exploring ideas across many different disciplines. I chose to attend Purdue for its world-class computer science program, and as I discovered more about myself, I leveraged Purdue's size, diversity, and world-class programs across those many disciplines as my discovery playground,” he added. 

He said the former CS Department Head, Aditya Mathur invested extensive time in helping him stay focused.  During his sophomore year, he became fascinated with financial markets and sought knowledge from professors Michael Cooper and Sugato Chakravarty at the Krannert School of Business.  His passion for finance helped him earn first place in Chakravarty’s stock trading competition.

“I’m grateful for Dr. Mathur's guidance, because he persuaded me to join IBM versus going into finance,” Antani said. “That was probably one of the single-most important decisions of my career.  He helped me distinguish between a career and a hobby,” Antani added.