The massive amounts of data generated by modern organisations are influencing organisations to adapt to data-centric research where ready-made data is available for analytics and harnessing business intelligence. Understanding the right data and tracking the effectiveness of processes and strategies, offers relevant insights across marketing, consumer, sales, and operations, and supply chain management.
In an exclusive interview with Analytics Insight, Sushant Gupta, Founder & CEO of SG Analytics, shares how competitive intelligence, in accordance with machine learning-based automated classification models are key to empower crucial business decisions. Below are the excerpts from the interview-
Kindly brief us about the company, its specialization and the services that your company offers.
SG Analytics, founded by me in 2007 is a leading provider of data-centric research and contextual analytics services to Fortune 500 companies across the globe. Headquartered in Pune, the company has presence across 7 locations in India, the USA, UK & Switzerland.
At SG Analytics, we understand our clients’ businesses. We offer research and analytics services that deliver holistic rather than just functional solutions. Our contextual understanding of our clients’ businesses, data and sector expertise helps us provide actionable, ‘differentiated’ insights to our clients which help them scale faster and develop new products and bring them to the market faster.
With what mission and objectives, the company was set up?
SG Analytics was founded with the overarching vision to enable positive change by collaborating with its customers, employees and the society.
Quality is at the centre of our service focus and we continuously strive to align all our individual efforts to deliver services to our clients across sectors and help them scale and grow by providing them data-centric research and contextual analytics solutions.
Brief us about your role in the company and your contributions toward the industry.
As the Founder & CEO of SG Analytics, I have tried to create a front leading, global company that cares for its people, clients and society. Over time, SGA has grown from being an investment research focused company to a full-stack, data centric research and contextual analytics company serving its clients across the spectrum.
In SG Analytics, I have created a company that is invested in the well-being and growth of its people and its clients; some of the oldest employees of SGA are still with the company having risen to strategic senior leadership positions. At the centre of SGA’s DNA lies the continued focus on quality and personalized service extended towards SG Analytics’ diverse, global clientele, several of whom have been long time clients of the company, now inextricably sewn into SGA’s growth story.
Being a socially conscious entrepreneur, I have been one of the early investors in Aavishkaar, the world’s first rural venture capital fund that pledged to harness the entrepreneurial spirit at the bottom of the pyramid to create inclusive economic development. In SGA, we have created a socially responsible company that is at the forefront of positively impacting the society through several CSR initiatives.
Only recently, I, along with the company, have launched the ‘Ek Nishchay’ initiative that aims to touch the lives of nearly 35,000 Covid-19 affected individuals in Pune and surrounding villages by providing them Ration kits and medicines. (You can find out more about Ek Nishchay here: https://www.sganalytics.com/ek-nishchay/)
Kindly share your point of view on the current scenario of the Big Data Analytics and its future.
Big Data Analytics takes regular BI processes a step further, as the technology can access a variety of both structured and unstructured datasets. With the advancement of tools, it becomes easy to bring this data together with historical information and build BI or perform advanced analytics and machine learning tasks to solve specific business problems.
The cloud has also shaped analytics practices today as businesses, large and small, can have instantaneous access to infrastructure and advanced technologies with just a few clicks. We have seen this happening with our customers in M&E industry significantly. The adoption of big data analytics is going to increase due to the rapid change in business scenarios. As businesses want insights quickly, we see that data and analytics groups are automating the analytics processes, bringing more self-service tools to access data faster.
Kindly mention some of the major challenges the company has faced till now.
SGA was started in one of the rooms in my house in Pune. The founding story of SGA has been a testament to the persistence and focus it took to grow the company against several odds. Soon after the company started, the financial crisis hit, and the company’s survival was threatened. However, SG Analytics has managed to grow from humble beginnings to being a global brand owing to its relentless focus on providing differentiated services to its valuable clients. With no external investment and growth driven purely from its cash flow, we are now proud to have created a company that attracts the best of the talent as well as satisfies the requirements of its very discerning clients.
What’s your growth plan for the next 12 months?
We plan to move deeper into the Technology & Healthcare sector, Data Governance, ESG and Productization; we plan to further grow in the US & UK and develop a talent pool that is global in nature.
What have been the most significant challenges that you have faced at the forefront of analytics?
Some of the more significant challenges we have faced as a company at the forefront of Analytics include:
1) Getting access to the right data and the complete analytics exercise to generate insights in the shortest possible time remains the biggest challenge.
2) Making sure that the business insights are getting delivered and consumed by the business stakeholders in a simple and easy to understand manner.
3) The third biggest challenge is a shortage of talent. Experienced data engineers and data scientists who are proficient in data engineering and Machine Learning, who can quickly understand the business context are not easily found.
Please share some major achievements of SG Analytics under your leadership
Strong financial results coupled with a strong set of values:
While tangible growth is a great measure of success, and in that we have witnessed the company growing steadily over the years (now close to 18 mn USD in revenue). I would also like to attribute SGA’s success to the way we have grown as a company in terms of identifying, sustaining and developing a strong set of values. Our values are modern and inclusive in nature with no differentiation between people, along with emphasis on both commercial and ethical personal growth.
Continuous innovation and development of related set of services:
As part of our growth story, despite facing some limitations and odds, SG Analytics has continuously innovated through the years – from being an investment research company to integrating research and analytics as part of our offering, we have moved up the value chain and are being recognized as a preferred partner of choice for our clients who comprise some of the world’s most respected names in the Financial services, Technology and Media & Entertainment sectors.
Sharing our success with our people:
Our profits and success are shared with our employees. In fact the entire ownership of SG Analytics resides within the company, with many of the employees being co-owners including those who started as freshers and are now in senior positions, as well as dividend earners.
High degree of social awareness and impact:
At the core of SGA are its people and our commitment to positively impact the society, and SGA leads from the front in creating positive social impact that goes beyond just the company’s CSR mandate. Over the years, SGA has been proactively supporting several NGOs & Foundations and has been an ardent supporter of causes like Isha Foundation’s Rally for Rivers, Isha Vidhya, Clean India initiative etc. More recently, in the ongoing Covid -19 crisis, SGA has been proactively involved in the Covid relief efforts by supporting initiatives by Isha Foundation, Sampark NGO, Panchshil Foundation and The PM Cares Fund. We have also partnered with Shri Kshetrapal Pratishthan and Pune Platform for Covid-19 Response for pandemic relief efforts. In fact, only recently, we launched the ‘Ek Nishchay’ Initiative wherein we will be directly impacting the lives of 8,000 – 10,000 affected families (nearly 35,000 individuals) by providing them ration-kits and medicines till they can get back on their feet.