Spotlight: Anand Madhavan

anand-croppedRole:  Product Leader, Search and Personalization

Hire Date:  November 2011

Fun Fact:  Anand is a Black belt in Karate.

“The energy and the passion of building products with a ‘students first’ attitude is amazing. Chegg has top class people who dare to dream.”

                                                               How would you describe your role here?

I am a Product Leader focused on Student Graph, Search & Discovery. My main aim is to help students find stuffstuff that’s relevant to their academic life, stuff that helps them save time, save money and get smarter – like books, courses, study materials, and other students and experts. It’s a highly innovative role that demands a good balance of user experience and data science – which I enjoy.

 How do you describe your first year?

The first year was all about defining the vision for search and personalization and building the foundation – starting with building the team and building the infrastructure. Developing the platform that scales to the growing user base at Chegg and to the pace of product innovation was a daunting task – but the super star team made it all look easy!

What are you most proud of during your first year?

Building the Student Graph. When I joined Chegg in 2011, it was still a collection of companies – Chegg, Cramster, Notehall, CourseRank, and Zinch – and a lot of data hadn’t yet come together. And in the first year, the most important thing we did was to bring everything together and build the graph. This is immensely useful to power future personalization and cross promoting different services.

What did you do before Chegg?

I started my career at Yahoo! as a data science engineer in online advertising – connecting users to advertisements that are useful rather than boring or obtrusive. Since then, I have moved onto playing a mix of product and technology leadership roles in smaller companies – I led the e-commerce product at Lockerz – a social commerce company based on game theory and then worked at Nominum as a Principal Architect, helping them build a consumer product geared towards parents and students. And then Chegg happened and there’s no looking back.

Continue reading