Alex Rahin joined Cervest as Chief Product and Technology Officer in very unique circumstances, in the middle of a pandemic! That meant a completely remote onboarding process and meeting everyone else virtually. Here we’re introducing you to Alex and his thoughts on Cervest.
Why did you join Cervest?
Climate change is our No. 1 problem as a species. It’s motivating to work on, not just because of the importance, but also the problem’s complexity. What inspires me to work at Cervest is the mission & vision, but everything also needs to get done – from strategy to execution. That’s where my skills come in.
As CPTO I’ll lead the engineering, science and product teams. My role is to bring focus and a clear strategic direction to our innovation: clarify the mission and execute it. I believe customer centricity and being product-driven is key. Everything else is in support.
What’s your background?
My background is in maths & physics and I actually wanted to be an astronomer! Until a project on neural networks at UC Berkeley, where I realised two things. First, that I love to build things and tackle technical problems. Second, I don’t want to be a researcher for life. So I transitioned to engineering.
I’ve previously worked on creating scalable data products but that is only the starting point at Cervest. Part of the excitement for me is to bring those learnings to create an end-to-end AI platform for earth sciences, which brings together science, engineering and product… and it’s all the things I enjoy tackling!
What will your work at Cervest look like?
Building an end-to-end platform means thinking at different levels of abstraction and complexity: 1) data is hard to find & to manipulate, so anything our engineers do and have done to make it usable is a valuable foundation, 2) then comes the science team’s modelling to get new insights from the data, 3) finally that needs to be fed into products. And always start with the customer!
Leading cross-functional teams with many different people often comes down to the company & team culture: that’s the engine for the vision to become a reality. Once you have a team with all elements, it’s magic.
Finally, what fun fact can you share with us?
My genuine true passion is mountaineering. I have many stories about that – including a few very close encounters with death at high altitude. But when you wake up at high camp, it’s usually above the clouds and that’s truly a beautiful feeling.