Kishore Rajgopal, Founder and CEO of NextOrbit, represents the spirit of enthusiasm, perseverance and inspirational leadership to build startups that impact businesses and society. Kishore holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, both from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India.
In 2014, Kishore started NextOrbit and understood the power of Data Sciences and Predictive Analytics to transform the way businesses run. He saw the endemic problem of out-of-stock in the Retail industry. After all, retailing is about creating the “moment of truth.” All of the efforts in creating the moment of truth are of no use if the product is not available on the shelf or on the website when the customer needs it. Kishore and the team crafted the algorithms and models to predict when an item will go out-of-stock. This enables Retailers to be proactive in merchandising their products on their shelves or their websites.
Understanding and addressing lost the opportunity and latent demand is critical for Retailers, now more than ever. Kishore believes that Retailers can enhance same-store-sales by 4-10% by mitigating out-of-stock. The opportunity for fashion and apparel Retail is even larger. Critical to the NextOrbit is the cloud platform that crunches not only data from the Retailer, but also external variables such as local events, holidays, weather, and growth of the local economy.
Prior to NextOrbit, Kishore co-founded CROWDAnalytix, a start-up that focused on crowdsourcing of analytics in an orchestrated manner. His corporate experience included a nine-year stint at Infosys where he lived in Plano TX and built the technology consulting practice for Retail. Kishore realized that technology by itself does not solve problems, and business knowledge and business process only go so far. It is when they apply technology to solve real business problems that magic happens. In his consulting work, Kishore and his team helped clients craft IT Architectures, enhance online conversions, enhance data driving decision making, and build high-performance systems. After his stint in Infosys, Kishore moved to India and took up the position of Global Head of Business Intelligence and Analytics. In the period of 2 years, he encouraged a culture where clients are engaged through thought leadership.
Kishore takes the keen interest in self-help, spirituality, and meditation. Kishore teaches yoga, and meditation course called the Art of Living – a course that helps participants to let go of stress, experience higher levels of energy and enthusiasm and is more effective at work and home.
NextOrbit: A Cloud Platform to Predict and Migrate ‘Out-of-Stock’ for Retail and CP brands
NextOrbit’s platform enhances the operational effectiveness of a Retailer’s merchandising and planning, and that helps discover and service latent demand. The primary feature of NextOrbit is a granular understanding of ‘Out-of-Stock’ of each item, at each store every day. The company predicts out-of-stock which enable a Retailer to take proactive action before losing sales and impacting the customer experience.
The store allocations created by NextOrbit enable right-stocking of products –to meet full price customer demand, no more and no less. “We make our clients serve their clients better,” says Kishore.
The demand forecasts created by NextOrbit, especially for the fashion industry, enable procurement/manufacturing of the right quantity of each product – to maximize full-price sell-through, and minimize markdowns. The early warning signals of their fashion platform enable the Retailers to understand how a new product is behaving.
Their OOS (out-of-stock) alerts enable store staff to effectively replenish store shelves – in a way to meet customer demand.
Uniqueness of NextOrbit
NextOrbit works with the Retailer to enhance same-store sales by 4% for groceries, core apparel, and 10% + for fashion. Charge a simple monthly subscription – driven by many stores and SKUs. No huge upfront payments. Assure them they will never feel stuck – they are free to quit anytime if NextOrbit is not adding value. Stay away from gain-share models. You keep your gains. Just give us a good testimonial.
“I want that NextOrbit grow to be an extraordinary global company and become a great brand associated with thought leadership, Intellectual Property, and genuine client impact,” asserts Kishore.
Kishore sees the growth of NextOrbit like a bamboo tree. The first year and a half were to build foundations based on rock solid platform, successful onboard clients, and obtain testimonials, and a typical testimonial will be like:
“Because of NextOrbit and a supportive team, we have improved same-store sales by 12% and enhanced full price sell-through to 90%. The diagnostic helps us to understand the extent of the lost opportunity we were sitting on,” assures Kishore. The biggest benefits that our clients see are improved customer experience and loyalty. Clients often see a same-store-sales improvement between 4 to 10% and store inventory reduction of 5-10%. On a continuous basis, NextOrbit ensures optimal operations and foundations for scaling Retailer operations, he added.
Flourishing Future ‘Secret of Globalization’
NextOrbit is headed to create a unique category. “We believe the genre of the product we are envisioning does not exist today. Creating a category requires leading with thought leadership, working closely with academia, building a global brand and a brand that creates pull demand. I see us creating IP, being written about in well-known publications and obtaining patents,” says Kishore.
NextOrbit is becoming a cloud system of record for most retailers worldwide. The synergy arising from such a situation will be tremendous, and the value created will be shared by all parties – Retailers, CP brands, and others.
The next two years will build the foundations of the above vision; Kishore creates the change by leading from the front, constantly in touch with clients, understand exact client needs, and ensure that it gets backed into the platform. And most of all is to hire and inspire a good team.