Suhale Kapoor, Executive Vice President and Co-founder, AbsolutData, leads the India Operations wing of AbsolutData Research and Analytics. An MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Suhale spent over 5 years with Mitsubishi Corporation where he led the re-engineering of a major business process. He comes with significant experience in international trade, industrial marketing, logistics and information management systems.
AbsolutData is an award-winning, consulting-oriented, Analytics & Research firm with a number of Fortune 500 clients in a wide variety of industries across more than 40 countries. We are based in San Francisco Bay area with local offices throughout the U.S. and a delivery center in New Delhi, India. AbsolutData enables its clients to leverage the power of intelligent analytics to drive superior business results. The company is named as one of the top 10 companies for outsourcing marketing analytics by IAOP (International Association of Outsourcing Professionals) in 2010.
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Suhale Kapoor says, “The need for using Analytics varies in developed and emerging economies….in emerging economies marketers use analytics for foundational marketing techniques like targeting the right customer and customer segmentation.”
Explain to us your business model.
AbsolutData Analytics an award-winning, consulting-oriented, Analytics & Research firm providing advisory services to a number of Fortune 500 and other prominent companies in a wide variety of industries in more than 40 countries. We have offices in across US and Europe with delivery centre in Gurgaon, India. Our business model is ‘Marketing Analytics’. We assist our clients with Analytics Solutions (Marketing Effectiveness, CRM) and Research (Marketing Research and Business Research). The details of the same can be seen at www.absolutdata.com. A brief presentation with our capabilities has also been attached.
How did the founders get together to start this company? What is the common link?
The founders of the company met through common friends back in 2000. At that point in time they decided to start an ecommerce company but due to the dot com burst they decided to pursue the Marketing Analytics which was a much larger opportunity, and started AbsolutData.
What are the changing trends in the industry and how is AbsolutData geared to meet the same?
The need for using Analytics varies in developed and emerging economies. Analytics plays a crucial role in facing the competition by using techniques like Marketing Effectiveness, Customer Retention, and maximization of ROI. Whereas, in emerging economies marketers use analytics for foundational marketing techniques like targeting the right customer, customer segmentation.
AbsolutData is well equipped to help companies understand all of the above - we have been investing in talent and then training them to cater to the specific requirements of the customer. We have also been building the right infrastructure, tools, techniques and products to churn quicker and insightful results.
Give us some examples on how you help clients make decisions.
The clients use analytics for taken decisions on pricing their products, understanding consumer requirements, targeting right segments, acquiring and retaining consumers and most importantly maximizing ROI. AbsolutData helps in all of the above some of the examples of the same have been attached herewith.
Who is your typical customer? Comment on your top 5 clients. How much revenue do they bring?
Our typical client is a senior level decision maker in the management. We cater to fortune 500 clients. Some of them are billion dollar companies in CPG sector, banking, insurance etc. Our top five clients are:
A multinational consumer products company
A leading hospitality chain
A leading liquor brand
Two of world’s leading management consulting firms
What is IndiaSpeaks all about?
IndiaSpeaks is an online web portal where consumers join hands to shape and develop products, services through surveys launched by brand-owners. The IndiaSpeaks respondents are primarily from India, and represent a wide spectrum of age, income, demographic profile and professional attributes. Marketers generally use IndiaSpeaks for Brand Health Studies, Ad Evaluation and pricing checks.
What is the vision of your company?
We want to be seen as an authority in Analytics industry, helping marketers and brand owners meet their analytical requirements.
Our corporate vision is “To become the most respected, most impactful, and most powerful, analytics firm that has ever existed”.
What are the opportunities and challenges in this business?
Companies are realizing the criticality of analytics in running a profitable business
Availability of trained manpower in India to address the requirements of global companies
Drawing meaningful insights from the data provided.
What is your employee strength? Are you able to find good talent for your business?
Our current employee strength is 275. We are growing at a fast pace and looking at doubling the head count in the near future. The manpower is not trained. There are no courses on Analytics in colleges in India. Hence, the manpower is a generalist profile which required client specific training based on our robust internally developed training processes.
To combat this challenge we have created a 3 week rigorous training program for both freshers and lateral hires to adapt to the requirements of the industry.
What is your revenue mix? Brief us on your financials. What is the outlook?
Majority of our revenue comes from Marketing Analytics and the balance from Marketing Research. Most of our clients are based in US and Europe. The outlook of the company is very positive and we are growing at a good pace.
What are your expansion plans? How would they be funded?
We have an aggressive expansion. We are envisioning at doubling our headcount, we have invested in new office space and infrastructure, efficiency enhancing software. We are investing in developing product. Right now all these initiatives are being funded by internal accruals.
What is the shareholding pattern of the company? Any plans to sell stake?
The company is privately held.