Seshadri pursues innovative ways to use data to evaluate risk

Business Administration Prof. Sridhar Seshadri’s passion for applying data analytics and technology to supply chain management is palpable and far-reaching. He is equally at home working with fellow scholars and companies to identify ways to reduce risk and create new ways of working.

Sridhar InvestitureGies celebrates Seshadri investiture
To acknowledge his expertise and scholarship, faculty, students and friends of the Gies College of Business celebrate the investiture for Seshadri’s appointment as the Alan J. and Joyce D. Baltz Professor in the Deloitte Auditorium of the Business Instructional Facility.

“I’m honored to be part a College that’s devoted to purposefully tackling the world’s biggest challenges. I look forward to contributing to finding innovative solutions that will not only build businesses, but make an impact on people around the world,” said Seshadri. “I also am honored to be at an institution that is using data and technology to transform higher education, making it more accessible to learners at every stage of their career.”

Alan (’57) and Joyce Baltz enabled the creation of this professorship with a generous donation to the college in 2009. It enables us to fulfill the College’s mission of pursuing excellence, innovation and accessibility in higher education.

“We are proud to recognize and celebrate the scholarly impact of professor Seshadri’s work and look forward to him providing important thought leadership in emerging areas such as business analytics,” said Jeffrey R. Brown, the Josef & Margot Lakonishok Professor of Business and Dean of Gies College of Business.

A fresh look at evaluating risk
Seshadri is an authority on operations management and his influential research focuses on the areas of queueing systems, stochastic modeling and applications, supply chain management and revenue management. He also brings timely and practical expertise to Gies College of Business in the crucial area of business data analytics.

Evaluating risk fascinates him; so does the influence of price and subsidies. He looks at how it effects global supply chains and small businesses alike. Increasingly, he uses data analytics to inform his findings.

Using data to improve lives
Seshadri believes data and technology are not moving the needle as much as they could to help the average person around the globe, especially in the agriculture, small manufacturing, education and healthcare sectors. He advocates for the use of data analytics not only to grow profits, but also to grow economies that in turn elevate the lives of individuals.

For example, he points to research in India that uses data to predict which small manufacturers will succeed. The study is based on identifying specific problems that, once eliminated, greatly increase their ability to flourish.

This award-winning teacher of supply chain management and statistics for management decision-making inspires student to “do good” in business on a grand scale. For example, Nomi Networks, a non-profit organization, is championed by his former student, Diana Mao. Nomi’s focus is on helping survivors and women at risk of trafficking. The initial idea grew out of conversations about how supply chains can help link women that are the most at risk in countries like Thailand and India to retailers in the West.

A keen and curious collaborator
Seshadri is also a prolific author and editor, published on topics as varied as inventory systems and pricing, crop diversification and risk management, supply chain design and carbon penalty, and inventory sharing in commodity markets.

He has authored or co-authored four books, numerous book chapters, and many scholarly journal articles; he won Manufacturing & Service Operations Management’s Best Paper Award in 2008. He is also a 2018 Fellow of the prestigious Production and Operations Management Society (POMS), which acknowledges contributions to research, teaching and service.

More about Seshadri
Prior to joining Gies College of Business in 2018, Seshadri was a faculty member at New York University, University of Texas, Austin and, most recently, the Indian School of Business. He received his PhD in management science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1993; his postgraduate diploma in management from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, in 1980; and his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, in 1978.