Interview – Sushant Gupta, CEO at SG Analytics

Analytics India Magazine: What are some of the main tenets (philosophies, goals, attributes) of analytics approach and policies at your organization?

Sushant Gupta: SG Analytics provide solutions in analytics domain to its clients which add value to their business and enable them to become more insightful decision makers. We work across multiple domains – BFSI, retail, CPG, telecom and healthcare providing wide range of services ranging from consulting, technology, research, social media and analytical framework development.

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

SG: We provide multiple services and business analytics solutions across industries like BFSI (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance), retail, CPG, telecom, healthcare. SGA provides business solutions in Customer Insight analytics, Pricing analytics, Market campaign analytics, sales force optimization, social media analytics etc. We listen and understand both said and unsaid needs of the client and design a comprehensive solution to delight the client.

AIM: How does a typical requirement gathering to delivery cycle looks like for you?

SG: The delivery framework is customized as per specific project requirements. The overall delivery framework has following components – understanding the client requirements, robust transition and solution design, right staffing of onsite and offshore employees, process documentation, stringent quality check and an effective communication process.

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

SG: Our core leadership team is involved directly with all clients and projects that we work on so that we’re more adaptable to innovation and creativity. The SBU is headed by an AVP supported by Project Managers who manage a team of 50+. The team has wide and diverse background such as data scientists, Business analysts, statistical analysts, ETL analysts and MIS analysts.

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

SG: SG Analytics (SGA) provides data analytics services to Commercial banks to develop deeper customer relationships, identify new business opportunities with customers, enhance profitability, optimize channels and improve ROI of lead generation campaigns. Following insights were identified which had a positive impact for our clients

  • Upsell and cross sell opportunities based on business analysis
  • Credit card analytics using spend data to identify possible customer attrition and defaults
  • Reduce cost of servicing customers through insights generated from data analytics of customer channel usage (like Branch, ATM and others).
  • Improve effectiveness of marketing campaigns through statistical analysis of campaign data and identifying niche customer segments.
  • Enhance overall profitability of divisions by focusing on high value customers

AIM: Do you think it’s possible to become too married to the data that comes out of analytics? Where do you draw the line?

SG: We don’t believe that any real value is added just by collecting the data and presenting the information. Analytics is an approach to solving defined business problems and we don’t think that there’s any need of getting married to data. With selection of right variables and improved analytical information, relevant data can be filtered out.  The perfect line to draw would be to classify the business objectives and evaluate the important areas before proposing different solutions. That way we can optimize our data requirement for analytics (volume/Variety) and generate better solutions to complex problems.

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

SG: Organizations need to have a robust analytics strategy in place to drive the analytics practice. It is important to cross sell to existing clients in other business units and hence analytics should not be branded as a separate division but a practice which cuts across different divisions. Analytics service providers should invest in continuous learning programs so that latest technologies, best practices are integrated in the organization.

AIM: What are some of the data measurement points that are becoming more important for organizations?

SG: Analysis of web, social media (including sentiment), CRM data – both quantitative as well as qualitative are important data points tracked by the companies. Data availability is not the concern nowadays but challenge lies as how to analyze the data in an effective way to produce the results in terms of high ROI and profitability.

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

SG: Data sharing and confidentiality issues with the client can also hinder the growth prospects especially in financial sector where confidential data is involved.  Other important challenge is lack of skilled talent which is very hard to come by in this industry.

AIM: How did you start your career in analytics?

SG: I graduated from IIT Delhi in 1989 and while working with Schumblerger, I was exposed to analytics. Post my MBA from INSEAD, I worked in management consulting firm, Monitor consulting companies in strategy and analytics.

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?

SG: We look for management graduates with varying degree of experience in analytics and consulting domain. Basic comprehension, reasoning and personality check is done using our online test module. Technical expertise along with soft skills is assessed in subsequent interview rounds. Experience in building models along with domain expertise (retail, BFSI, pharmacy, retail etc.) is an additional advantage.

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?

SG: Analytics would get more matured with companies gathering more data in much sophisticated manner and vendors coming with creative and user friendly service offerings. Companies would be more demanding over time and this would require analytics providers to provide high value differentiated services and products.

AIM: Anything else you wish to add?

SG: While no one disputes the potential of big data, it is imperative for companies to have an analytics strategy in place which will enable them to build competencies and build a sustainable high value analytics business.

Sushant Gupta is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SG Analytics. Sushant worked initially with companies such as Siemens, Schlumberger and Monitor in India, UK, Norway and Middle East. Since 1999, he has developed a successful track record as an entrepreneur in UK and India in the Information and IT sector. His diverse industry experience gives him the expertise to lead the growth of SG Analytics where the grasp of different markets and sectors is essential in understanding client requirements and conceptualizing solutions.Sushant is also an investor in Aavishkaar ( a pioneering rural venture capital group and board member of Sampark (, an NGO focused in helping poor women through the promotion of self help groups.

Sushant has done his B.Tech from IIT Delhi and MBA from INSEAD.

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Bhasker Gupta
Bhasker is a Data Science evangelist and practitioner with proven record of thought leadership and incubating analytics practices for various organizations. With over 16 years of experience in the area of Business Analytics, he is well recognized as an expert within the industry. Earlier, Bhasker worked as Vice President at Goldman Sachs. He is B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi and MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow.

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