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Interview - Sandeep Mittal, Founder & MD at Cartesian Consulting


Interview - Sandeep Mittal, Founder & MD at Cartesian Consulting


sandeep cartesianCartesian is a global consulting firm specializing in Marketing Analytics.

At its core Cartesian works on customer analytics to help drive repeat, retention, lifetime value, and enterprise-wide decision support. Our work spans segmentation and profiling, customer lifecycle management, predictive model builds, association and recommendation engines, campaign testing and impact measurement, relevance building in communication.



Beyond the usual CRM goals the company also help clients use data across multiple functions such as pricing, location planning, channel performance measurement, product lifecycle management, assortment and merchandising.

Cartesian is a 60 person organization in Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and Singapore, servicing clients in over 10 countries.

In an interview with Analytics India Magazine, Sandeep Mittal of Cartesian Consulting talks more about Cartesian Consulting.

[dropcap 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 size="2"]SM[/dropcap]Sandeep Mittal: Our vision is to be the best blend of marketing and analytical thinking you can get on this planet earth. We’re pretty serious about that – the blend bit (and, well, the planet Earth bit too). It means being more than data driven, it also means being customer obsessed.

AIM: Can you brief about some of the services you provide?

SM: Loads of customer analytics – segmentation, models for response, repeat, churn, cross sell etc, customer journeys and product lifecycles, LTV and engagement measures. In addition we’re also doing some very new work around Pricing, Assortment and Merchandising for retail clients, Scheduling and marketing spends optimization.

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

SM: I think the key is that we really get Direct Marketing. It’s in our DNA. So we don’t just build models but we converse wide and deep with clients on the messaging, the offer, the testing, the things that make campaigns successful and also fun.

AIM: Please brief us about the size of your organization and what is hierarchal alignment, both depth and breadth.

SM: We’re 60 people in 4 offices – Bombay, Bangalore, Delhi and Singapore. Growing quick.

AIM: What are the planned next steps/ road ahead for your organizations?

SM: We’re a rare domestic-focused analytics firm who, having built up our capabilities and reputation with some solid domestic clients are now headed outward – so that’s one. The other is to shrinkwrap some of our stellar work into solutions that are more easily taken across clients – as against doing things bespoke all the time currently. What we won’t change however is the consultative approach, and the fact that we need to constantly get the marketing/ business side of things.

Sandeep Mittal, Founder, Cartesian Consulting
Sandeep Mittal, Founder, Cartesian Consulting

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

SM: Mature marketing departments amongst prospects and clients who get how to use us, and then use us well. And people, of course, that old grouse – we have a superb team and have very good retention of staff but hiring new is always tough.

AIM: How did you start your career in analytics?

SM: I didn’t. I started it in CRM and Direct Marketing where the data side was always very important. One lived and breathed it before one thought of it as “analytics”. The more analytical side of it all came easily enough though when one got into the deep end of it.

AIM: What kind of knowledge worker do you recruit and what is the selection methodology? What skill sets do you look at while recruiting in analytics?

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SM: It’s a mix really – lots of Engineer + MBAs, lots of MSc Stats, lots of BTechs. Finally smarts and attitude matter, and in our work where everyone is client facing so do communication skills and the ability to manage client relationships. I really believe in bringing in people who haven’t necessarily been in our industry all their lives, we’ve had some super hires from unlikely places.

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?

SM: The main evolution is the visibility and noise the industry is getting. The principles and what is eventually delivered is slower to change… especially if you’ve been doing this for a while. More data and better tools are great, but the end delivery of either great insight or great action still needs the very basics of smart people giving the data plenty of quality time. To me the best outcome of all the visibility is that a lot of smart people will come to the industry and lift what it delivers across the board.

AIM: Who do you think your main competitors are?

SM: IT departments with BI projects that are also expected to deliver customer insight and CRM campaigns. Seriously! As for the handful of other folks doing what we do one thinks of them as peers first and competition next –we’re all helping educate and grow the market after all.

AIM: Anything else you wish to add?

SM: I cringe a lot in conferences. There’s too much buzz-word and framework speak with too little real experience sharing. And I truly cringe at the big “B” word too. Down in the trenches, little has changed for smart folks working on tens of millions (perhaps) of rows of data to deliver better value from the customer base. It’s still rooted in having a good blend of (direct) marketing and analytical thinking and that’s where we love to play.

[divider] [spoiler title="Biography of Sandeep Mittal" style="fancy" icon="plus-circle"]

Sandeep has over 14 years of experience advising clients across industries on their CRM, Loyalty and Analytics initiatives. He has been a driving force in the development of an analytics practice across over 80 client engagements ranging from large Telecom organizations, retail brands with hundreds of stores, online businesses, financial services companies, luxury hotels and resorts, and restaurant chains. He plays at the intersection of direct marketing thinking, advanced analytics and integrated marketing management technology. An advisor to the heads of over 30 client organizations currently, Sandeep helps them be data driven and customer obsessed, and take that obsession across the enterprise.

Sandeep is the founder and Managing Director of Cartesian, a global consulting firm specializing in marketing analytics headquartered in Mumbai, India. He is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.

Sandeep can be reached on +91 9820343301 or smittal@cartesianconsulting.com[/spoiler]



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