As CEO & MD of Blue Star Infotech Ltd., Sunil focuses on formulating and executing strategies, value creation, profitable growth and achieving the company’s vision of becoming a high performance organization. He serves on the board of BSIL and heads BSIL’s Global Management Committee. Sunil has over 22 years’ experience in the Information Technology industry across the globe and in building and growing businesses with revenues exceeding US$500m. He has held leadership positions at global giants such as IBM, Accenture and Satyam, in the US and Asia. At Accenture, he served as a Partner in California, USA, in the Communication and High Tech businesses. At IBM Singapore, he has spent over seven years building the business and strategic relationships in the Financial Services Sector. At Satyam, he led and managed global strategic accounts. Sunil has also worked in India with Accenture Consulting in the Strategic Services Practice where he has advised several large Indian corporations on globalization, expansion and strategic reviews. He has wide exposure across multiple industries such as Financial Services, Communication, High-Tech, Industrial and Public sector. He is known for his expertise in developing strong client and partner relationships, passion for building outstanding teams that are global and diverse in nature, and his disciplined focus on execution. Sunil holds an MBA from Mumbai University. His professional qualifications include executive programs at Wharton & INSEAD. He lives in Palo Alto, California and is a charter member of TiE at Silicon Valley
Topic: Business Analytics
Q: Business analytics is emerging as a new opportunity for Indian IT-BPO companies? How big is this opportunity, and what are some of the key trends defining this segment?
Analytics is estimated to be a US$100B global market for hardware, software, and professional/consulting services growing at 8-9% per year through 2015. The key trends defining this segment include: Analytics fundamentally enhances the economic performance and competitive position of firms that use it effectively. The predominant uses of Analytics are in the area of Customer Intelligence---collecting and analyzing data on consumer behavior, demographics, and preferences, enables marketers to profile a customer, assign them to a particular customer segment, and then optimally price and target product and service offerings to them based upon their propensity to consume those offers, as well as their lifetime value to the firm.
Analytics can increase revenue and profit by dynamically adjusting pricing based on, for example, the real-time relationship between product supply and demand, seasonal variation, or the greater value perceived by one customer segment over another for a product who is willing to pay a premium. According to a Yankee Group report, enterprises have realized up to 20% profit improvement by using price management and profit optimization solutions. Analytics can reduce costs by optimally managing inventory levels that balance the cost of holding inventory versus the costs of a shortage or stockout, and increase revenues by stocking more of the goods that are most in-demand.
Q: How important is business analytics becoming to the growth of organisations? How it is different from business intelligence?
Business Analytics is rapidly becoming extraordinarily important to an organization's growth. Although the mathematics and statistics that underpin Analytics have been available for centuries, for the first time we have enormous amounts of transactional and consumer behavioral data, and inexpensive computing power and storage capacity, necessary to implement Analytics on an enterprise scale.
Corporations can now leverage Analytics to increase revenue and reduce costs by decision-making that is fact-based, and driven by real-time data. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, notes that "breakthrough results come about by a series of good decisions, diligently executed and accumulated on top of another---good to great companies made many more good decisions than bad ones, and many more good decisions compared to competitors, infusing the entire process with the brutal facts of reality", not gut instinct or intuition. Analytics drives that type of disciplined, structured, fact-based, and data-driven decision-making that makes good companies great.
The greatest difference between Analytics and BI is in the use of advanced, quantitative mathematical, statistical and computer science "models" to enable structured, fact-based decision-making, based on timely and accurate data. According to IDC, BI projects using Analytics generate a median ROI of 145% vs. 89% for BI-only projects. Catalina Marketing, the grocery POS data analytics firm, reports that offers, such as coupons or ads, that are backed up by Analytics are 10X more likely to be acted upon or redeemed than offers not underpinned with an analytical reasoning or justification.
Companies that manage and operate their enterprise using Analytics make better decisions that drive enhanced economic outcomes more than twice as often as companies that do not leverage Analytics in their strategic, tactical and operational decision-making.
Q: How important is business analytics becoming for Indian IT-BPO service providers? Is it going to become a key offering on the portfolio of companies going forward?
Business Analytics is critically important for IT-BPO service providers for three reasons: 1) customers are demanding more optimized, more cost-effective, and more efficient business operational performance and Analytics is one way to achieve those improvements 2) Analytics drives other high volume, high value-add underlying work streams that provide the infrastructure to support and enable Analytics, such as data warehousing, BI, and Master Data Management (Data Integrity & Data Quality) 3) Analytics in and of itself is a powerful tool for generating significant, tangible and measurable economic value that can help extract benefits from other IT investments, like ERP, CRM, SFA, and Mobile Computing.
Given the measurable impact of Analytics on a company’s bottom line, market share and competitive market positioning, Analytics should be a part of the portfolio. Unlike IT alone, Analytics generates economic value by linking data with structured decision-making Analytical models, supported by Analytical software and data infrastructure.
Q: What is the expertise that Blue Star Infotech is offering customers in the business analytics space? Can mid-sized customers, an important focus segment for Blue Star, leverage business analytics?
Part of the well-known $750m Blue Star Group, Blue Star Infotech delivers accelerated and cost-effective solutions to its clients in India, USA, Japan, Singapore, UK and Europe. Its delivery centers are located in India (Mumbai and Bangalore) and in US (Milwaukee, Wisconsin).
Blue Star Infotech provides expertise in data modeling, quality, integration, data warehousing, data marts, enterprise BI and Analytics. We help organizations design and implement focused analytics programs to realize critical business outcomes such as increased revenues, customer growth, operational efficiencies, increased regulatory compliance, reduced risks and gain competitive advantages.
Our large and growing Analytics practice of skilled professionals provides substantial expertise in business analytics, including mathematics and probability & statistics, applied in the areas of Customer Intelligence, Marketing Analytics, and Marketing Campaign Performance Management, in vertical industries such as Travel, Healthcare, Retail/CPG, Insurance, Telecommunications, and Manufacturing.
We offer these in conjunction with our strategic partners, SAS and QlikView, with whom we go to market on a global basis.
Mid-sized customers can most definitely leverage business analytics using our pre-built Solution Frameworks and Accelerator Kits that provide advanced starting points for solving problems involving dynamic pricing, revenue, and yield management, customer profiling, segmentation, and propensity to consume products, services, and offers, as well as marketing campaign management and optimization.
Q: What are the solutions that you have made available in the area of business analytics?
Our solutions include:
- Customer Intelligence - customer profiling, segmentation, targeting, propensity to consume, lifetime value estimation, analytics-driven ads, coupons, offers, made available to clients in travel & hospitality, telecommunications and banking, financial services & insurance (property & casualty, life, and health)
- Pricing Optimization & Revenue ("Yield") Management - varying price dynamically, in real-time, as a function of supply and demand, as well as customer profile, segment, and perception of product value & utility, to increase revenue and profitability using a combination of mathematical optimization, statistical analysis, and forecasting, made available to clients in travel & hospitality, as well as retail, CPG, media & entertainment, and advertising
- Marketing Analytics & Campaign Management - measuring the effects of different marketing message content & form distributed to a variety of customer segments through media including direct mail and email, made available to clients in Retail, CPG, banking, financial services & insurance (property & casualty, life, and health),/li>
- Big Data Analytics - using tools like MapReduce/Hadoop MPP (massively parallel processing), we measure brand awareness, consumer reaction to new products, services, and a company's handling of various situations as described on the Interent and within various social media properties, made available to clients in travel & hospitality, retail, CPG, and media & entertainment
- Predictive Analytics - predicting the profitability of large industrial construction projects based on historical data regarding profitability and the factors that influence it, like suppliers, geography, project type, customer, weather, season, etc using correlation analysis and regression analysis made available to clients in industrial construction; predicting the demand for consumer hard goods based on a combination of actual demand data, macro-economic data, seasonality using time series analysis made available to clients in manufacturing; predicting the outcome of customer field service calls relative to an SLA as a function of several variables including the product involved, part involved, nature of the service call, customer, customer geo-location, season, time of day, and traffic conditions using correlation analysis and regression analysis made available to clients in service industries
- Operational Analytics - optimizing inventory levels as a function of product demand, and a combination of shortage and holding costs using inventory modeling made available to clients in retail, CPG, hard goods manufacturing & distribution.