It is usually interesting to meet business leaders and hear their views on whether they perceive analytics as a cost center or profit center? While most of the leaders would want their analytics practice to be a profit center, a lot of companies struggle to make it into one!
Convergytics aims to help organizations make this journey by delivering high impact analytics. Recently, we got a chance to meet Mr. Sanjeev Mishra, CEO of Convergytics. This meet turned into an amazing discussion on various concepts of analytics and its ever increasing usability across various industries.
Below is the transcript of this inspirational conversation:
AV(Analytics Vidhya): Thanks Sanjeev for devoting time to us! To begin with, what made you embark on this journey of exploring ‘analytics’?
SM(Sanjeev Mishra): Convergytics, as an organization is geared to fill the gap between creation and usage of analytics. We as a company believe in the creation of analytics or business solutions while keeping a focused view on how the solution will be consumed across business processes and having a framework for measuring the impact to correct for future actions. At Convergytics we have frameworks to fuse multiple data sources at each stage of Creation, Consumption and Correction of Analytics which not only helps to understand the customer better but drives sustainable growth.
To enable & empower organizations to get the bigger picture of their businesses through Big Data. And in the process to transform analytics from a cost-center to a profit-center by offering high-impact analytics that deliver value.
To help organizations adapt to the constantly changing market landscape by going beyond traditional analytics to make actionable data-driven decisions and achieve decision-driven ROI.
AV: Getting into a startup is always full of good stories. Tell us about your initial days? What were the challenges you faced initially?
SM: It has been an enriching experience. I still remember the days when we use to work from a Garage office in Randhir’s (co-founder) home. There were days when we will wait for that one call from a prospective client for the whole day. With every ring, we had our adrenalin rushing just to realize that it was a call for credit card marketing. Moreover, we never went together from the office since we did not want to miss that “ONE” call. It was at times frustrating but then it also taught us the value of persistence and patience.
AV: Tell us about your products & services? How do you plan to position your products in the market?
SM: We do not want to be slotted as a product or a services company. We believe we are here to provide solutions that could be either or a hybrid. Most of the solutions that we have are a combination of services such as for creation of analytics and measurement of the impact / ROI, tools and simulators, accelerate consumption during implementation as self help tools for the clients.
We believe we are here to provide solutions that could be either or a hybrid. Most of the solutions that we have are a combination of services such as for creation of analytics and measurement of the impact / ROI, tools and simulators, accelerate consumption during implementation as self help tools for the clients.
We focus on domains like Marketing, CRM, Pricing and Merchandising, Social media and Web Analytics. Some of the solutions we offer are:
AV: I see you serve diverse industries such as CPG, Retail, Healthcare, Banking and Telecom. Which industry has the highest penetration of analytics and which one is evolving?
SM: Retail, Telecom and Banking have been the pioneers of analytics globally. Most of the players in these industries are quite mature from analytics perspective and have in-house analytics teams. They are also complemented with offshore models adopted by many analytics companies in India today. This has happened because traditionally, the existence of analytics has been subject to data availability. But with increased pressure on bottom lines, industries where we do not have data have also been looking at analytics to improve ROI.
So industries like CPG, Media, Production houses etc are the new evolving industries. We have conceptualized and created solutions that use lot of publicly available data, syndicated data as well as internal client data that can be used to solve various business problems. For example, we have used Social media data quite smartly to create the measure of brand equity in a competitive environment. This enabled the clients to make best use of social data at their disposal even though they might not be very rich in customer data.
AV: How do you plan to expand? Will you target more industries or you will focus on expanding your product verticals?
SM: As I mentioned earlier, our vision is to move Analytics from being perceived as a cost center to a profit center within organizations. So we do not want to be a “Factory” of churning statistical models. Our plans are to provide ROI based analytical solutions to the clients. For this, we will continue to focus on industries like Retail, CPG, Media and hospitality but increase the depth with each client. We want to be seen as “Business enablers” and not just “analytics vendors”.
AV: How do you see the growth of analytics in coming years in India and globally?
SM: USA has been the biggest consumer of analytics. Other countries are catching up fast. Europe is a big market but has lot of entry barriers like cost, language, local presence etc. Australia, Singapore and other SE countries like Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia are more lucrative and evolving. India is still a product based market. It will take some time for India to evolve and embrace analytics. There are very few organizations who have jumped on the Analytics wagon and are reaping the benefits. In my view others will catch up sooner or later.
AV: I see you are in a hiring mode right now. What set of skills & competencies you look for in an ideal candidate for data analytics job?
SM: We look for few things when we hire, and in that priority:
- Aptitude to solve a problem
- Attitude to learn
- Domain knowledge
- Past experience and accomplishments
- Statistical knowledge
Any candidate that has the inquisitiveness to understand business processes and ask questions on “Why” we are doing what we are doing is an ideal candidate. In my view there has been too much of hype created around analytics being a field for statisticians and mathematicians. I do not agree with this. Math and statistics are tools. At the end, the client will not be happy if we are not able to give direction to their business, no matter what “Rocket science” methodology we use.
AV: What would be your advice to aspiring young folks seeking to build their career in data analytics/big data analytics and other related domains?
SM: My advice for those who aspire to be a part of this wave is:
Analytics is NOT a “Math” shop. Those who want to build their careers in analytics should realize that understanding domain and business application of solutions is more important. I have seen lot of potentially good candidates who lose the edge because they think statistics is the “be all and end all” of Analytics. Remember, all the tools and techniques are just tools and anyone with bit of training can use them. If you want to have the edge over others, you should be able to translate numbers into actions for the business and show the clients how to improve ROI/ Revenue.
AV: Thanks Sanjeev for interacting with us. It was indeed a pleasure for ourselves to get acquainted with your life experiences & learning lessons. We wish you all the best for your start up and the following future endeavors.
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