Somik Raha is a Senior Associate at Ulu Ventures. He brings a mix of two backgrounds – Computer Science and Decision Analysis.
Somik has a PhD in Decision Analysis from Stanford University’s Department of Management Science and Engineering. His PhD research was on aligning decisions with values. He enjoys digging deeper into the magical creativity that results when metrics emerge from a deep connection with our values. In particular, he defines success not by financial metrics, but by our being able to bring out to the world what feels deeply sacred within us. The financials are deeply important and instrumental in helping what we are moved by find its way in the world. At Ulu, he has found a home in an organization that feels the same way.
Somik shares his journey from wide-eyed AI enthusiasm to Agile Software Development and then Decision Analysis.
On the computer science front, he has been programming since he was 12, and enjoys not just what is built with technology but also how it is built. He believes that good design is an expression of caring and respect for one’s own work and for collaborators. In a past life, Somik was a coach with Industrial Logic helping large organizations to be agile. He started his professional career in Japan as System Architect and Product Manager at a startup that built the world’s first photo-sharing application on the internet and on mobile phones. Prior to joining Ulu, Somik was Head of Product at SmartOrg, where he led a team to build the world’s first Excel-based Portfolio Decision Analysis platform on the cloud. He deeply values the Ten Commandments of Product Development.
A cool thing to know about Somik is that ever since he can remember, he has a habit of challenging the status-quo. His friends from his high-school days in Chennai remember him arguing with ticket-checkers on public buses to get younger people to give up their seats to older people, despite not knowing the local language. This habit is of great service when he can root himself in love for those he is challenging, and backfire spectacularly when he has even a trace of judgment in his heart.
Somik loves to spend his evenings playing with his one-year old son Samaayan and almost seven-year old daughter Samani. In his household, he is responsible for getting them both to bed, which works out really well for his spouse Geetanjali, except when she travels with the kids and goes out of her wits figuring out how to get the little fellow to sleep.