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Interview – Sudarshan Gangrade, Head of Analytics at hoopos.com

Sudarshan Gangrade talks with Analytics India Magazine on his experience with analytics and how it is being used at Hoopos.com.

[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 Hoopos?

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[dropcap style=”1″ size=”2″]SG[/dropcap]Sudarshan Gangrade: Analytics is approached as being an inherent part of business. We work with almost all business functions directly with the clear goal to solve business problems. We also aim to enable the business managers to lead analytics for their functions. Our engineering team has thus created a portal where all the functions have real time access to any report they want to view. Similarly, for any analytics solution that we build, we try to create a tool and train the user, so that the manager can then analyse themselves on a continuous basis.

AIM: Please brief us about some business solutions you work on and how you derive value out of it.

SG: We work across functions: with the online marketing team to optimize the digital marketing spends; with the category team on inventory management, range selection, pricing strategy, with the operations team to improve delivery time and optimize delivery costs; with the marketing team for sales planning and promotion effectiveness.

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

SG: We have a lean team consisting of a core team of 2 people, liaisoning with the various business functions. We separately have the Business Intelligence architect in the engineering side who helps create the data structures and views.

AIM: Would you like to share any example of an Insight that generated a huge positive impact for your clients?

SG: We worked with the operations team to understand the end to end process from consumer placing an order to it getting shipped from our warehouse. Using a combination of time-motion studies and detailed mapping of the processes, we were able to refine the internal processes. This led to a reduction in processing time by about 20% from the day we implemented the new systems!

[pullquote align=”left”]Another issue faced is the fact that organizations often end up mixing up technology and analytics, thus making the analytics function less effective.[/pullquote]AIM: What are most significant challenges you face being in the forefront of analytics space’?

SG: Today, there is a good understanding and need for analytics that organizations feel. However, one of the biggest challenges faced is lack of talent that can talk and work closely with business functions. That is the only way analytics can permeate within organizations successfully.

AIM: Customer data collection process is still in a very nascent stage in India. How do you see this evolving in the near future?

SG: Data collection in the online space will continue to face challenges in the near future given the nascent stage that Indian online consumer behaviour is at. The challenge further is that there is no historical data to be able to extrapolate the offline consumer behaviour data to online behaviour. Having said that, with the kind of advanced web analytics tools today available, ecommerce companies will do well to build their own understanding of shoppers by tying browsing behaviour directly with end conversion data.

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

SG: While you could get away with some amount of general skills 3 years back, today the demand is for specialization. So, make sure you build specialized skills in some part of analytics – be it usage of tools, reporting, statistical techniques, domain expertise etc. Also, try to always solve an analytics problem from the client’s point of view, whose sole aim is to use the insights to solve a business problem.

[divider top=”1″]

[spoiler title=”Biography of Sudarshan Gangrade” open=”0″ style=”2″]

Sudarshan has a wide breadth of experience in Analytics industry – Analytics across the E-commerce domain, Setting up an Analytics and Reporting function within an organization from scratch, Leading an Analytics services Business for Fortune 50 clients, Onsite Client Account management and Leading Delivery on Analytics projects.

As Head of Analytics at Hoopos.com, he is responsible for Analytics across all internal functions of the E-Commerce domain (optimizing online marketing spends, supply chain analytics, catalog and inventory management, pricing and promotions optimization etc). Additionally he is involved in business directly through leading the marketing planning and execution.

He has done his B.Tech from IIT Kharagpur and Post Graduate in Management from IIM Bangalore.[/spoiler]

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Bhasker is a techie turned media entrepreneur. Bhasker started AIM in 2012, out of a desire to speak about emerging technologies and their commercial, social and cultural impact. Earlier, Bhasker worked as Vice President at Goldman Sachs. He is a B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow.

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