From Data Engineer to Entrepreneur – The Story of Pardhu Gunnam

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Pardhu Gunnam has seen tremendous success throughout his career as a data platform engineer, from rising up the ranks to Engineering Manager in a short period of time to being the co-founder of a startup that is innovating the metadata platform space. 

Pardhu came from a middle-class family in India. He lived a relatively normal life with one exception—he excelled academically and went on to win numerous awards and scholarships.

Gunnam graduated high school with an All-India rank of 118 out of 330,000 students.

He secured a college scholarship to a top-ranked university in India—the National Institute of Technology in Warangal.

After graduating, he worked for four years at Cisco Systems and NetApp.

It was there that he realized the value of a master’s degree from the U.S. So, he flew to America and started his master’s in computer science courses at the University of Florida.

During his time at college, he was one of the few students to secure a role working for Amazon.

After over a year of work, Pardhu decided to find a more challenging role and joined the Metrics Platform team at LinkedIn.

Pardhu was responsible for developing a first-of-its-kind data democratization platform that went on to become a game changer for LinkedIn.

He was quickly recognized for his accomplishments and was promoted three times over four years to Engineering Manager.

Unsurprisingly, he continued to outdo himself and created DataHub, which quickly rose to fame and was considered to be one of the pioneer projects in its domain. 

Wanting to start his own company, Pardhu decided to leave LinkedIn. He started Metaphor Data in 2020 and quickly raised over 10 million dollars from prestigious investors. Metaphor Data is a social platform for data that is supported by AI.

Since then, his company has greatly grown in size with thousands of data practitioners adopting the platform as their own.

Today, Pardhu works to grow Metaphor Data to new heights and has become a thought leader in the technology community by participating in conferences, writing educational content, and contributing to podcasts.

One of the greatest lessons he has learned throughout his journey is about the importance of working outside of his comfort zone. 

On that note, he explains: “On a regular basis, I make sure I am taking up new challenges outside my comfort zone to ensure constant learning and progress throughout my career.” 

Pardhu goes on to encourage others, saying: “Once you work hard to meet your current goals, set new goals, and fight hard to come out of your comfort zone.”

He also values mentorship and advises others to find a mentor. In his words: “A great mentor can guide you through tough challenges, expedite your learning, and achieve your goals successfully.”

All in all, Pardhu Gunnam’s story started out like many others, but through hard work and a desire to pursue excellence, Pardhu became a leader in his field and founded an innovative and successful company in the data space.

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