Alumni Profile: Lokesh Modi

Eyes on the Ball

By Becca Broaddus

Baseball has four bases. Cricket has two. While baseball encourages big swings for home runs, cricket rewards low, grounded hits, Lokesh Modi explained. On Sundays during his time at Baylor, Modi spent part of the day teaching his classmates the basics of his favorite sport, cricket. He admitted his peers weren’t very good at the internationally-beloved sport, but they had fun. Now, Modi plays a bit more seriously in the Washington Cricket League in Washington, D.C.

“I love being outside,” he said. “I love playing sports. I love cricket. I try to find time on the weekends to play. I joined a proper cricket league. I just love doing it, and I’ll keep on doing on it as long as I can.”

When he was little, growing up in India, he had two career aspirations: to be a cricket player or someone who worked in mathematics. One out of two isn’t bad, if you ask him.

“When I was younger, I thought, ‘I will do something related to mathematics,’” he said. “I think I’m doing what I wanted to do—it’s all problem solving. I’m a curious person. I always wanted to figure things out. That’s why I went into engineering in IT [information technology], then got my MBA.”

Modi has worked at Capital One since earning his MBA five years ago. As data analysis manager, he is responsible for creating data tools and products to work on business challenges. Most recently, that means his efforts are focused on migrating information and data to the cloud. From data analysis to implementing predictive models, he relishes that his role constantly evolves.

“The company is evolving, and my role is always evolving because of what problem we are trying to solve,” he said. “Now, our company made the decision that regardless of the job, every role in this company is data-oriented. Everybody is a data person, but few people are more responsible to do the heavy lifting. I’m in a more heavy-lifting job because of my background.”

Prior to attending Baylor, Modi worked as an engineer in an IT consulting firm, which he credits to helping with the more technological aspects of his career.

“Back in India, I was consulting and building software, but I wanted to jump my career to more of the analytical side,” he said. “There are two parts of technology—building software and applying technology to build a business solution. I was moving toward the second and trying to create analytical tools.”

In a constantly changing role, in a constantly changing company, in a constantly changing industry, Modi solves problems. To do so effectively, he too must constantly change.

“With my work, I have to keep upgrading myself,” he said. “It’s not like you go to school and learn new things, and you’re done. Every day, there’s a new course and something to learn to apply to my job.”

Each day after he gets home from work, occasionally opting to bike the 15 miles home, he spends time with his wife and young son. After tucking his son into bed, he gets to work learning about the next thing in data and analytics. That is, if he doesn’t have cricket practice, of course.

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Baylor Business Review, Fall 2018

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