Atanu is an economist with a background in development. He did his doctoral work at the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to going back to school for his PhD, he worked at Hewlett Packard in the Silicon Valley in their computer systems division. While he enjoyed working for HP, he realised that he was more interested in understanding why India was poor and he quit to travel India, US and Europe. His travels gave him the insight that economics informs the question of poverty better than any other discipline.