In this fast pacing tech-world, innovative thinking and swift moves are the traits to self-discovery. Success comes to those who create their own benchmark in presence of the established market players. One such trailblazer focusing on generating measurable business value from data is Venkata Narayanan. He is a seasoned entrepreneur having innovative prowess and broad experience in delivering Business Intelligence & Analytics solutions for strategic and tactical applications.
Apart from seminar circuits, Venkata has flatteringly dedicated the initial days of his career to preaching and building systems that leverage data and provide competitive advantage to the organizations. A vital start to his journey also includes a long stint at Institute of Systems Sciences, National University of Singapore (NUS) where he was an adjunct faculty. He continues his teaching activities as Adjunct Faculty in Singapore Management University (SMU) since 2012. Acknowledging his teaching experience, Venkata asserts, “I find these teaching experiences a two-way street – interacting with students is rewarding with different perspectives brought by them. I probably learn as much, if not more, than what I am able to share my experiences with them!”
In India, after having an experience at Wipro from 1984 to 1991, Venkata moved to Middle East (Muscat in Oman) in order to work with a private airline. With a passion to do something on his own, he came to Singapore and launched his first startup Knowledge Dynamics in 1997. Wherein, he worked with a vision to provide ‘Business Class’ experience at ‘Club Class’ pricing in the context of leveraging data for competitive advantage.
Knowledge Dynamics acquisition by an NYSE listed Global IT major in 2005 brought him back to corporate life where he held various portfolios in the domain of Business Intelligence and Analytics. His last role involved including incubating emerging technologies like Cloud and Mobility. Witnessing an inflection point in enterprise adoption of Cloud led Venkata to be the Founder and CEO of BigTapp Pte Ltd in 2013 with a vision to provide global-best-in-class analytics solution at affordable price points leveraging Cloud. Today, his thirty years of phenomenal experience in the field of management and consulting helped the company to establish itself as a trustworthy brand amongst the existing players.
BigTapp is a technology company generating value through Big InFo ActiV platform and providing affordable Big Data & Analytics solutions to companies irrespective of the scale and size. This AI-based platform identifies customer intent by processing transactions & interactions. Adding more insights to the intent, BigTapp enumerates customer profiles by determining personal attributes, relationships, life events, sentiments and buzz. As such, the company gauge the customer needs through a Knowledge Graph and delivers effective marketing solutions to the digital enterprises. The platform is also used to customize the customer experience based on data driven insights.
The company’s business model comprises license sale of its products and associated services using Analytics. He has been instrumental in embracing every single opportunity and helping BigTapp to grow at a steady rate of more than twenty percent year-over-year in terms of revenue. Also, his determination and constant efforts has assisted the company in achieving several milestones including the recognition of its IP and business model amongst the world’s 50 most innovative tech startups by TieCon Silicon Valley in 2017.
The Dynamic Techie
In the initial years of entrepreneurship, Venkata was inspired by Richard Branson, the business magnate and founder of Virgin group which helped him to deliver value at affordable price. On the other hand, he also discovered the efficient use of capital by idealizing- renowned e-commerce baron- Jeff Bezos, CEO at Amazon.
Vastly experienced by age but young at his thoughts is the best way to describe Venkata. His leadership skills helped him in supporting various management roles including the Senior Vice President & Head of Strategic Initiatives in Tech Mahindra. He consistently works hard with an aim to democratize analytics and make it available to large corporates as well as the SMEs.
Over the years, Venkata has helped BigTapp in overcoming various challenges and deliver best-in-class products and services. He played a vital role in catching the waves of business analytics and crossing the hurdles of secured cloud and data. Being the driving force behind company’s success, he states, “Mitigating these challenges often involves education and consulting on best practices. Some examples of knowledge & skills we need to pick outside our core competency are: Contract Law, PDPA Act and Customer Communication Management.”
Exploring the Philosophy
Venkata considers analytics industry as fast approaching peak of overinflated expectations. He believes that while machine learning and AI are playing an active role in developing innovative solutions, unrealistic expectations on the outcomes are frequent. He expects a ‘correction’ soon followed by more realistic expectations on what can be achieved using Analytics.
Igniting the Flames of Entrepreneurship
Venkata believes that the youngsters should focus on keeping the costs low while providing a scalable solution to a real problem in order to withstand the market complexities and attain profitable outcomes. He also believes that pivoting based on market reaction rather than holding on to initial vision is necessary for an individual to navigate the cornerstones of the entrepreneurial voyage and the startup enterprise. He proclaims “Entrepreneurship is a rocket science – similar to a rocket that needs an engine to move it from one orbit to another, you need an engine to move the startup from one orbit to another higher orbit! That engine could be new market, new product, new people or new investor etc.” He further added, “Often the engine that propels a rocket to the next orbit is jettisoned once the rocket moves to the next orbit. Similar thing can happen in your entrepreneurship journey. At one point in time – even you (the founder) may no longer be relevant. The venture may require someone with a different set of skills to take it to the next level – that’s the time for you to cut the umbilical cord and exit.”
Focusing proactively in ASEAN and India, Venkata is all set to expand its horizons in the US. These US engagements would grow efficiently in the future due to the focused sales & marketing efforts of Venkata and his team of professionals. His further plan is to continue investing in building more capabilities to the products and increase support for more non-english languages.