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Interview – Chetan Manjarekar, Head of Strategic Offerings Group at Syntel

Interview – Chetan Manjarekar, Head of Strategic Offerings Group at Syntel

Mr.Chetan Manjarekar, Head – Strategic Offerings Group, Syntel Inc.[dropcap style=”1″ size=”2″]AIM[/dropcap]Analytics India Magazine: What are some of the main tenets (philosophies, goals, attributes) of analytics approach and policies at your organization?

[dropcap style=”1″ size=”2″]CM[/dropcap]Chetan Manjarekar: Our focus on industry verticals, where we have clear strength, and our differentiating solutions have worked for us.  So analytics solutions for Healthcare and Life Sciences, Insurance, Banking, Payments, Capital Markets and Retail resonate well with our customers.  Our specialty around Customer Analytics cuts across these domain areas.  We focus on Analytics solutions that clearly showcase business advantage by leveraging our domain knowledge and technology expertise.  For most of the leading technologies including Analytics and Big Data we take a solution-centric approach, so we come across as a business partner that hand-holds a customer towards delivering a solid business value. Depth of knowledge and thorough know how of the customer’s business is an absolute must before we approach them with any Analytics solution. If we are not convinced about a solution’s ability to create a compelling value proposition we go back to the drawing board and revisit the solution.  Needless to say, it takes conscious effort and planning to succeed.


AIM: What is your approach to face the challenge of meeting the needs of so many clients across vast geographies with limited resources?

CM: We target very specific industries and play in areas where we have established our strength and can deliver a positive impact on the business.  Our tools and accelerators help us to quickly move through some of the processes.

While the above approach definitely helps, not every organization is mature enough in terms of availability of quality data or integration of business processes that gives us the playing field to conduct serious analytics that result in business advantage.   Clearly, clients have different set of needs and hence, we need to be selective, keeping in mind the main objective of delivering an undisputed business advantage.

AIM: What are the key differentiators in your analytical solutions?

CM: Our strong Data Solutions foundation, deep data mining expertise, in-house tools and accelerators, and most importantly our domain expertise are the major driving factors. Customer centricity is at the heart of everything that we do, we strive to deliver a unique customer experience while they engage with us.

AIM: What are the next steps/ road ahead for analytics at your organization?

CM: These are exciting times in the field of BI and Analytics. With the emergence of Big Data there is scope for new possibilities, which seemed to be impractical in the past. Some of the solutions that were simply put aside as economically unviable have now fructified through use of Big Data technologies. We will continue to invest in the areas of our strength – technology leadership and business knowledge. Consumer analytics, processing and analytics on unstructured data, text mining, and sentiment analytics, social analytics will be some of the areas we will continue to build on. In the future we believe the area of data exploration and discovery will be key to successful analytics for any organization.

AIM: What are a few things that organizations should be doing with their analytics efforts that most don’t do today?

CM: I still find the usage of Analytics limited and restricted to a few people/departments. Organizations need to invest in this area and make their data more accessible and open to use for various initiatives. Analytics is fast becoming main stream so any effort on part of the enterprise to have their employees better trained to work with Analytics tools will go a long way in making the business agile, responsive, and competitive.  On a separate note Data Quality is another area that needs attention. Analytics is great but is only as good as the amount of data you have and its quality. Hopefully, with storage and processing becoming cost effective the first issue can be tackled, but data quality still continues to be an under invested area.

AIM: What are the most significant challenges you face being in the forefront of analytics space?

CM: Helping customers to use the right tools and apply it for the right purposes. Many times the “what next” question becomes a nasty hurdle even after the analytics results are compelling and match business observations. What it means is that just providing a great analytics solution is not the end of it. Customers are now demanding actionable output to actually direct them with necessary steps that need to be taken. These actions could be in systems and applications that are beyond our scope but it is essential to provide the broad-spectrum analysis of what levers they have at their disposal to make the right changes to improve business.

AIM: What do you suggest to new graduates aspiring to get into analytics space?

CM: Analytics is becoming main stream. Due to data explosion they need to learn to leverage this data as an asset to counter competition. The demand for talent that can help organizations to make the most of their data is growing. There are a lot of opportunities to exploit. While knowledge of statistical analytics will come through education, it is important to fortify that with domain knowledge.

See Also

AIM: How do you see Analytics evolving today in the industry as a whole? What are the most important contemporary trends that you see emerging in the Analytics space across the globe?

CM: A lot is happening around Consumer Analytics. Aided by Big Data solutions it has become essential to capture as much information about consumers and their digital footprint as possible. Every click, every search, every purchase, online behavior, in-store behavior, tastes, and choices are monitored to create a digital persona of as many customers as possible. This is not new in analytics capability, what is emerging is the use of Big Data solutions that now allows vast volumes of information, variation in data captured and processed at an unprecedented speed. This change is profound in its effect. Businesses are spending more to become truly customer centric. The concept of Digital Enterprise brings together the power of Cloud, Big Data, Analytics, and Social Media to help organizations reach that goal. Analytics plays a key role in the transforming any business to a Digital Enterprise.

On the technology radar we have in-memory analytics, real-time analytics, and visualization that are evolving and soon becoming powerful value adds for any analytical tool. In the future I see enterprises armed with real-time analytics making use of every data element coming from industrial sensors, to CRM systems, to online stores, to vehicles, clickstreams, and so on. This will trigger events that are processed by smarter business processes, driven by use of Business Process Management (BPM), Business Rules Management Systems (BRMS), and Business Events Management technologies. For that matter the lines between operations and analytics will blur. Thereby transforming to a highly adaptive enterprise.

Speed at which analytics is available will continue to accelerate. Newer technologies and database architectures support this. Platforms such as Vertica that are built to enable high-speed analytics and new generation columnar databases such as Cassandra, Infobright, and Paraccel make analytics superfast. These are very effective in fields such as clinical healthcare, pricing, and fraud detection.

Getting GenY on board is important, as the line between internet and social media is soon blurring making the two synonymous. As, enterprises would want to engage with their young customers, their spend on social media analytics is bound to increase. This generation will be more likely to buy, influence buying, or switch decisions, based on what happens on the social media. Getting to know trends on the social media, understanding market sentiment about a business’s products and services, and even feedback that goes into making better products will all be driven by analytics.

[divider top=”1″] [spoiler title=”Profile of Chetan Manjarekar” open=”0″ style=”2″]

Chetan is appointed as the Vice President and Business Unit Head of Strategic Offerings Group at Syntel. The Strategic Offerings Group is responsible for Syntel’s business in the areas of Business Intelligence/Data-Warehousing, Big Data, Analytics, Mobility, BPM, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Integration Solutions, ERP and Enterprise Architecture Solutions.

Chetan has more than 25 years of experience in the IT industry across India, USA, Europe, Japan and South Africa. He has successfully executed various leadership roles and brings rich experience gained by working with some of the leading global corporates. He has a proven track record of bringing in transformation within the organizations that he leads. Through his rich experience in areas of Enterprise Solutions and packaged-product implementations he has successfully delivered numerous solutions across diverse technologies across industries. He specializes in BI/DW, Big Data, Analytics, ERP and BPM solutions and has implemented complex business transformation projects with Fortune 100 companies. With his focus on business value he has led several successful teams to marry business processes and cutting edge technology to deliver clear competitive advantage to customers.

Chetan holds a Master of Engineering degree from Faculty of Engineering & Technology, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, India, with specialization in Microprocessors & System Applications.[/spoiler]

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