Focus on Europe in FY24, calculated bets in APAC, says Latent View Analytics CFO Rajan Venkatesan | Interview

focus on europe in fy24 calculated bets in apac says latent view analytics cfo rajan venkatesan interview img

Data and analytics is clearly emerging as a core activity for enterprises to stay relevant and stay ahead of competition, Venkatesan said.

After making a stellar IPO listing in November 2021 with listing gains of 169%, the Latent View Analytics stock is now trading lower than its listing price of Rs 530, closing at Rs 370.70 on the BSE on Monday. Rajan Venkatesan, chief financial officer, Latent View Analytics, talks about the data analytics market, growth strategy and focus markets in an interview with Ayushman Baruah. Edited excerpts:

How mature is the Indian market in terms of adoption of data and analytics?

Recent studies in the Indian market reveal that almost all enterprises have realised the importance of data science. All organisations are leveraging analytics at some level to improve their decision-making and automate/operationalise processes for better productivity and cost-effectiveness. Banking and retail seem to be at the forefront of adoption. However, studies also suggest that in terms of maturity of analytics function, Indian enterprises are still significantly behind developed countries. This is poised for change as data and analytics become mainstream and data availability, planning and storage get better, and become a part of CXO’s remit to use data to drive decision-making.

What is your growth strategy, including hiring plans, for FY24?

Going into FY24, we feel confident about the growth opportunities and the market potential. Data and analytics is clearly emerging as a core activity for enterprises to stay relevant and stay ahead of competition. We have set ambitious targets for growth and our hiring plans will be commensurate with the growth plans. We will look to hire between 400 and 500 through a combination of campus, off-campus and lateral hiring in FY24 which will translate to about 40% increase over our current headcount levels.

What about your plans for inorganic growth? Which type of companies will you be interested in?

We are actively looking at inorganic opportunities and evaluating companies that will add capabilities across supply chain, data engineering on the capabilities side, serving Fortune 500 clients in retail, consumer and financial services, and having exposure to European markets. Ticket size would be companies between $5-25 million in revenues.

Are you planning to focus on markets outside of the US and which ones?

Europe will be a big focus in FY24 and we will also take small calculated bets in the APAC region, including Singapore, West Asia and India.

Do you see a cut in spend in data and analytics in view of an economic downturn and Covid fears?

We continue to closely watch trends on the ground and work closely with our key clients and stakeholders. While there could be some short-term sluggishness in new initiatives, the medium- to long-term outlook is still positive and on an upward trajectory. We also have the experience of working through a few economic cycles and we believe we are making the right investments in both capability-building and domain expertise that will help us add value for our clients. We have not heard of any substantial cut-backs within our client set. We also believe in an uncertain environment, enterprises will look to optimise spends and will leverage data and analytics even more.

Which sectors are expected to drive growth in the next few quarters?

For us, consumer, retail and financial services will continue to drive growth. ESG (environmental, social and governance) initiatives are also picking up pace and enterprises will leverage data and analytics to drive compliance and reporting.

Source: Financial Express