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With the holiday season quickly approaching, digital resources continue to make it convenient for companies to reach current and potential customers about their latest offerings, even when people are busy on the go.

But whether they’re in the market to catch a deal on an affordable streaming service package to view their favorite TV series, trying to replace an essential household appliance that suddenly stopped working, or sprucing up their apparel options for an upcoming event, it’s not always easy to captivate and keep their attention.

To effectively meet shoppers in real-time, eight Fast Company Executive Board members are experiencing the benefits of direct marketing through interactive shoppable videos on social media. Here, they explain the impact of this type of engagement and how it is helping them to educate consumers about their brand and build on the company’s reputation.


Shoppable social media posts are a game changer for us. Historically, the measurement of sponsored content stopped at the click. Now that we have the technology to embed shoppable links directly within social media content, we can measure from impression to purchase. This dramatically improves our ability to track progress. This is especially a game changer for food brands that are new players in the D2C game. – Danielle Wiley, Sway Group LLC


We created an impactful brand influence through short videos and posts. Interactive and shoppable videos and social media posts have enhanced business growth potential by allowing customers to engage more easily with products. By providing an interactive experience, customers can better understand the product and its capabilities. This engagement often leads to increased sales and brand loyalty. – Candice Georgiadis, Digital Agency, Inc


Anytime you implement interactivity on your platform, your dwell time spikes. Higher dwell times in every case will increase your stickiness and probability of converting a customer from a visitor to a lead or paying customer. In one of our B2B businesses, our interactive video chat using videoask by Typeform has increased leads by 300%. This has had a direct impact on the company’s bottom line amounting to thousands in new revenue. – Tyrone Foster, InvestNet, LLC


Partner with multiple brands to create a desirable giveaway to kick off the holiday season. Followers from each company’s page will be introduced to new products just in time for the seasonal shopping rush. This strategy can be repeated throughout the year with different themes as well. – Kelley Higney, Bug Bite Thing


The landscape is shifting from social media to social commerce. Moving people from the Meta and Google ecosystems to a brand’s shopping experience is crucial to future success. Smart companies are moving away from renting success from the duopoly to owning success through unified data strategies housed in an owned customer data platform. – Patrick Goggin, Jacobson Rost


In all transparently, the rise of social commerce has impacted our business for the better. It’s the reason why our business as a technology provider is thriving. Companies must realize that it’s no longer enough to only gauge success around views and engagement rates. – Jessica Thorpe,


In our work for clients, we have seen a significant shift in how the consumer is consuming content. The ability to interact and shop on videos helps leverage the “moment of truth” to become a “moment of decision.” – Krishnan Venkata, LatentView Analytics Corporation


Through interactive and shoppable videos, business leaders can create digestible snippets of content to capture short attention spans. However, the key is to produce content that is compelling enough for the viewer to want more. – Britton Bloch, Navy Federal

Source: Fastcompany

To go above and beyond, client service organizations should prioritize experience and quality of work in the long-term over churning through projects as quickly as possible.

Enterprise organizations continue to react to challenges spawned by COVID-19. The pressure to innovate remains as business leaders navigate personnel changes in the wake of the Great Resignation and feel the economic pressure of an impending recession. For many, the end of 2022 is crunch time and the expectation is that every team, internal and external, is positively contributing to larger business goals.

For both B2C and B2B organizations, there is a renewed focus on customer experience. I’ve noticed vendors and solutions providers are expected to act as business partners zeroed in on driving business impact. Sales, marketing, and customer service are slowly merging into a single function as enterprises seek to build lasting client relationships.

To keep in lockstep with our clients’ changing expectations, we at LatentView Analytics regularly deploy a Voice of Customer survey. In analyzing responses from more than 80% of our customers, we learned that although the working world continues to evolve, customer sentiment has remained in line with a few core values.

Here are three key next steps you can take to prepare for economic instability and strive to provide excellent customer service:


At the beginning of the pandemic, many managers were forced to abandon the assumption that excellence can only be achieved when employees work together in the office. Today, distributed teams are the norm, but how can leaders maximize knowledge-sharing and ensure ideas are cross-pollinated? First, start by defining goals and objectives for your distributed team. Every member should understand what the team is trying to achieve for the client. Next, ensure your team has access to the proper tools for work management, communication, and collaboration.

However, proper management goes beyond just having the right technology. As a leader, you should also ensure meetings are managed strategically with clear agendas and action items. With remote, distributed teams, it’s easy to end a video meeting with no clear tactical delegation or timelines. In addition to having team meetings, encourage and participate in regular one-on-one meetings. Some team members may not be comfortable in larger settings and smaller meetings can open the door to more ideation that can ultimately benefit the client.


We have found clients prefer variety in where their teams work and continue to see value in diversely staffed teams. In the past, clients placed value on highly experienced teams that were able to drill down into complicated subject matter. However, we’ve found teams with lower average experience can perform better than teams that index heavily on experience. As a leader, try building teams that prioritize relevant skills over tenure.

Teams that have long-term experience but are stuck in legacy processes or mindsets can hamper innovation. Newcomers who may have not taken the traditional path (e.g., a developer who went to coding boot camp vs. getting a four-year degree) could provide a much-needed fresh perspective. Look to balance soft and hard skills when building teams. Having a team that is all experts in tactical work but is unable to communicate effectively with the client or approach situations with empathy is a recipe for failure. Look for team members with T-shaped skills who have both deep expertise and are also adept at collaborating and communicating with others.


Across client-facing industries, staffing teams appropriately is a challenge. Do you increase the size of your teams but have employees work on more projects at once? Or do you staff client teams with a smaller number of employees that have a pointed focus on that client’s needs? According to LatentView clients, overall project management was 10% higher when the team had a minimum of 10 members, compared with smaller teams of less than six members. But is bigger always better? Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has a rule that if two pizzas can’t feed the whole group, the team is too big. What is best really depends on the organization and project.

Team size is not black and white, and leaders should understand the value of building different-sized teams. The challenge is if you add too many people, decision-making can be hampered—especially if the team is top-heavy with managers all vying to be in charge. If you add too few people, you may miss out on the valuable knowledge of someone who is left out. Clearly define the project scope and determine what tasks and skills are needed to accomplish the objectives. Next, estimate the time and budget it will take to accomplish all of a project’s individual tasks, which you can use as a barometer to dial the team size up or down.

In contrast to previous quarters, we are seeing the definition of going above and beyond change for clients. In the past, a responsive team that occasionally went beyond the scope of work, and cross-pollinated ideas from other projects, was considered excellent. Today, these client-focused experiences are table stakes and have become the expectation for most.

To go above and beyond, client service organizations should prioritize experience and quality of work in the long-term over churning through projects as quickly as possible. To be considered an excellent client partner in 2023, deliver tangible business impact, encourage teams to frequently share ideas, and excel in project management. This, in turn, can support enterprises’ changing preference for solutions providers to be a part of the business, committed to driving organization-wide goals.

Source: Fastcompany

Venkat Viswanathan is Founder and Chairman of LatentView Analytics, a marketing analytics and decision science company.

It was a hectic summer. From individual industries like retail and travel to the economy as a whole, we’ve seen unprecedented global events place new and intense pressures on businesses.

Geopolitical conflicts disrupted fuel supplies and grain shipments. High rates of inflation have lowered people’s living standards and caused much consumer upheaval across the world. Governments from the U.K. to Italy to the U.S. have seen recent leadership changes or will soon go through elections.

With so many interlacing challenges, it can be difficult to zoom out and understand the state of global business on a macro level. One of the prudent ways to get a grip on the situation is to study the behavior of the world’s largest companies—business titans whose decisions have follow-on effects for the rest of the economy.

Over the past few months, Fortune 500 companies have consistently taken certain specific approaches that point to some broad trends in the current economy. Here are five takeaways about the state of global business this summer and where things might be headed in the future:

1. There’s no stopping digital transformation.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to a dramatic acceleration in digital transformation efforts, and we’re all now familiar with McKinsey’s assessment that businesses achieved three to four years’ worth of progress in just a few months.

But even with the pandemic receding, it’s clear that the focus on digital innovation is here to stay. This trend is particularly evident in the boardrooms of America’s biggest companies, as more and more organizations turn to technology leaders—former CTOs and CIOs—to fill vacant CEO positions.

As CNBC reports, recent CEO hires at Microsoft, Twitter, IBM and Intel came up through technology leadership positions. Even companies with little to no technology identity are recognizing the role that digital innovation will play in their future success: Well-known grill manufacturer Weber appointed Alan Matula as their interim CEO in July, following decades of work in technology organizations.

2. Company culture is more important than ever.

This summer’s turmoil wasn’t limited to external pressures. For many organizations, burnout and turnover led to internal drama, and the concept of “quiet quitting”—doing the bare minimum to achieve a better work-life balance without being disciplined or fired—became one of the hottest topics in boardrooms and HR meetings across the world.

Quiet quitting follows on the heels of the “great resignation,” and despite the growing likelihood of a recession, businesses are still fiercely competing for talent with the unemployment rate at 3.7%. Fortune 500 companies recognize the importance of continuity to their business success, which is why more than 70% maintain mentoring programs and other activities to promote a culture of growth and development. As employment trends remain unpredictable, expect these leading companies to continue investing in an employee-centric culture.

3. Even those with strong results fear a recession.

Not every event this summer was bad news. Ford’s second-quarter earnings, reported in July, easily exceeded analyst expectations, while Costco’s strong results led the company to maintain subscription fees at current rates. But despite strong performance, many companies are still bracing for the worst. Macy’s earnings easily beat estimates, yet the company still lowered its guidance for the period to come.

Many large companies seem to be expecting the cost-of-living crisis to lead directly to a reduction in sales. After years of rampant growth, organizations are now preparing for an extended bear market.

4. Hybrid work options are a must-have.

While company culture plays a major role in employee retention, the current deciding factor for many skilled employees is whether they can maintain the flexibility to work from home that they enjoyed during the height of the pandemic. On the other hand, business executives are keen to see employees back in the office, as they believe it leads to improved efficiency and stronger growth prospects for young talent.

As a recent Fortune article highlighted, major companies like Marriott, Spotify and Capital One have invested heavily in upgrading their offices for the future of work. However, the most notable takeaway from that article isn’t the list of new amenities for in-person workers—it’s the fact that even these companies are only expecting employees to spend two or three days per week in the office. Hybrid work is here to stay, and Fortune 500 companies are responding accordingly.

5. Large retailers face inventory headaches.

During the early days of the pandemic, a tangled supply chain led to a wave of out-of-stock notices and shortages of popular products. Two years later, major retailers are facing a different challenge. The cost-of-living crisis led to a dramatic change in consumer behavior, with many shoppers reducing spontaneous spending to instead focus on the essentials. As a result, large retailers like Walmart and Target find themselves with mountains of unsold inventory taking up space in warehouses and on store shelves.

In the short term, these companies have had to slash prices to clear space for new products. In the long term, companies will need to keep an eye on how these retailers reorganize their logistics to maintain agility and resilience.

As summer turns to fall, the global economic and political situation seems unlikely to stabilize any time soon. Businesses must be willing and able to make quick decisions and adjustments, relying on their own data and analysis to stay ahead of the curve. All companies should continue to watch the choices of the world’s largest and most influential companies to determine how they will influence the rest of the economy.

Source: Forbes

Though valuations are a little down since its historic IPO, Sethuraman says LatentView is chugging along smoothly. It’s exploring acquisitions aligned with verticals and geographies it focuses on.

Anuradha SenGupta:

We’re at the Ramanujan IT City in Chennai. It’s the headquarters of a small company that made a big splash last November when it went public. Its IPO was subscribed over 300 times (a record) and its shares listed 169 percent above the offer price. I am going to talk to the founders as well as the top management team at analytics firm LatentView about Life After Listing.

Rajan Sethuraman (CEO) and Rajan Venkatesan (CFO), it’s good to see you here in your headquarters. Were you surprised by the kind of valuation you saw on listing?

Rajan Sethuraman:

Yes, pleasantly surprised. We knew that there was fairly strong demand for our kind of business given the work we were doing and the type of problems we were solving. But we were overwhelmed by the kind of response we saw from the retail market. It felt fantastic to be the most oversubscribed issue in the history of the Indian stock market.

Anuradha SenGupta:

That’s what everybody says, but I’m sure you have an eye on it.

Rajan Venkatesan:

We don’t.

Anuradha SenGupta:

You can’t afford not to have an eye, come on.

Rajan Venkatesan:

If there are wild fluctuations, we do monitor it, but on a day-to-day basis, I don’t think it’s something we need to bother about. And we’ve said this in the past as well. The focus is purely on planning and executing well. Valuation is ultimately a by-product of how well you execute your plans. That’s something we firmly believe in.

The overwhelming response to the IPO, the listing price, plus the initial valuation spurt that happened — it was almost surreal for us. But thereafter, where we are today, it is a reflection of how the public sees us being able to take this business forward, and also the excitement in the space itself. Data analytics is a huge space today. It reaffirms our belief that there is a significant runway ahead.

Anuradha SenGupta:

You had said that one of the reasons for the IPO was to raise some money for acquisitions. I think about Rs 100 crore was meant for that. When will this acquisition happen? Why hasn’t it happened so far?

Rajan Sethuraman:

The space is still quite fragmented with a number of very small players. You’ll find many sub-scale firms with revenues of Rs 5-10 million. We want to make sure that we are acquiring the right company for the right purpose, and in the right fashion as well. Thus far, we have been an organically grown company, and any kind of acquisition, big or small, carries with it a certain degree of responsibility, not only to the acquiring company and its shareholders, but also the company you’re acquiring. At the end of the day, we are all in the people business.

We have evaluated almost two dozen-plus companies so far, and found some of them quite interesting. But we want to make sure that we are doing things the right way. There are a few opportunities on the table.

Anuradha SenGupta:

This will be outside of India, isn’t it?

Rajan Sethuraman:

We are looking at firms aligned with the verticals we focus on: banking & financial services, and retail. From a geography focus, it’s north America and Europe — those are the growing markets. From a capability standpoint, we are looking at supply chain analytics and data engineering work. These are our sweet spots in terms of where we intend to focus from an investment standpoint. If we can find assets aligned with that, they’ll be the ideal candidates.

We can share at this point that while the initial 6-8 months post the IPO  were more of an organic process of reaching out to our contacts to find out which are the opportunities in the market, we have since engaged two outside partners to help scout for the right kind of opportunities on a fee-based arrangement.

We are starting to see a larger number of deals come to the table and expect things to fructify soon. The macro-economic environment is even more uncertain for a smaller firm. We are expecting to see more deals on the table at the right valuation.

Anuradha SenGupta:

Does the geopolitical situation in Europe, one of your key markets, have any bearing or impact on your businesses? I believe the Netherlands, Germany, and the UK are your key geographies, where your subsidiaries are, isn’t it?

Rajan Sethuraman:

These markets are impacted by the war and all its attendant uncertainties. But in some sense, we are just at the starting point. Our current business in that region is so small that we shouldn’t really be worried about whether the market size is changing dramatically. We are a $2 million business (in Europe) at this time, and expect to grow at a fairly rapid clip over the next three-four years, with Europe eventually contributing about 15-20 percent of our revenues.

Even when we get there, it’s not going to be a number that will break the market. Given that backdrop, we believe that if we do the right things from a strategic standpoint and execute well, then we will have opportunities ahead of us. We may not be a very well-known service provider, but we are working with a few Fortune 500 companies in the European market. We’re looking at leveraging those relationships, as also the relationships we have in the US.

Anuradha SenGupta:

How is it in the US? You work with very large companies in the US.

Rajan Sethuraman:

We need to be cognisant of the market. We need to understand what is driving the thought process of the (client-side) stakeholders we’re interacting with? What kind of initiatives do they want to enable using data analytics?

We’re more interested in initiatives that can directly impact the P&L (profit & loss statement) in some shape or form, whether it is revenue growth or margin enhancement or cost containment. Such initiatives are being prioritised over marginal operational improvements.

We are also pivoting to a more value proposition-based approach. So rather than showing up and asking the client what his top initiatives are, and then saying how we can help him, now, given the client’s context, we talk about what is happening within the industry, and what are the two-three things we can do to help with their revenue growth and cost containment initiatives.

These conversations are resonating much better with clients. So if we take the right kind of ideas and value propositions to the market, our growth will continue apace.

Anuradha SenGupta:

How is this year looking so far?

Rajan Venkatesan:

The year is shaping up quite well. The good work we’ve done in the past several quarters has resulted in a fairly healthy pipeline. Also, we’ve had some larger deals, and the average ticket size of our deals is going up.

Anuradha SenGupta:

I know that India forms a very small part of your revenues. Why is that?

Rajan Sethuraman:

It has just to do with the limited leadership and management bandwidth that was available, given that we saw a very large and profitable opportunity in the north American market.

Anuradha SenGupta:

So it’s not a demand issue?

Rajan Sethuraman:

Not at all. We have focused mostly on Fortune 500-companies in the US. If we bring the same approach to India, then the data analytics maturity (of the client) is not very dissimilar. You have companies with the right kind of thought process in terms of how they want to leverage data analytics.

On the other hand, you also have companies who don’t have too much of a viewpoint on that. They may have transaction processing and IT systems in play, but are they really utilising the power of all the data to drive decision-making? So you have to pick the kind of companies you want to work with. Till now, our bandwidth has been the constraining factor. But on the back of the IPO, a few things are going well for us. We created a lot of buzz and excitement in the Indian market.

Anuradha SenGupta:

Yes, a lot of visibility for sure.

Rajan Sethuraman:

Yes. Whether it’s the client or the talent, a lot more people are aware of our name. Which helps, because we’re a quiet little company doing good work in the background, and not very prominent in the media.

Anuradha SenGupta:

It’s also the nature of the business, isn’t it? I mean, it’s not quite front and centre, is it?

Rajan Sethuraman:

Yes, it’s not like we are the face of what is happening in the client organisation. More often than not, we are working with the analytics departments of our client organisations, and we don’t want to be seen to be competing with internal teams that have been set up. We want to be seen as collaborators, who can come in and help accelerate the client’s data analytics initiatives.

The buzz created in the Indian market due to the IPO has been pretty helpful. Now when we talk about what we bring to the table at events and conferences, there’s a lot more traction.

Anuradha SenGupta:

In November, it will be a year since you would have gone public. Do you feel there are things your retail investor needs to understand better about your business?

Rajan Sethuraman:

One of the things we have been trying to explain to investors and analysts alike is that ours is not a typical IT-type of a business model.

Anuradha SenGupta:

Yes, I have heard you say that and I must confess I don’t understand what that means.

Rajan Sethuraman:

A lot of IT work that has been happening in the last two decades is about using the power of technology to automate processes that are well understood. Whether you’re talking about financial processes, or supply chain processes, or even simple HR processes. But how do you manage performance using the power of technology? What we are tackling is more about optimisation and decision making. Not just about running processes and collecting data.

Anuradha SenGupta:

So LatentView is higher in the value chain than a traditional IT company?

Rajan Sethuraman:

Higher up the value chain might connote something different. A lot of the IT work that’s been done over the past few decades, starting with the Y2K problem, implementing-client server technology, ERP (enterprise resource planning), and so on, has created a very good stack in terms of the technology that is already in place, a lot of which is about automating existing processes and collecting data.

But how can you optimise and improve your decision-making? That is largely seen as a manual exercise even now. When it comes to critical decision making, people still pull the tons of data available and use their spreadsheets and their grey cells. That is where we come in. Because these are complex, fuzzy problems. We do not aim to replace human decision-making, but to augment it.

Every technological advancement has been accompanied by fears of machines taking away jobs from people. However, we have seen that technology creates more opportunities for people to apply their unique capabilities and skills. So, in a sense, we are helping push into the future.

Anuradha SenGupta:

So the message for the stock market is?

Rajan Venkatesan:

We will continue to put our head down and execute well.

Anuradha SenGupta:

And don’t look at us as an IT company?

Rajan Venkatesan:

Yes. We deliver our work using technology. So obviously, there are coders using Python, etc. But don’t look at us as a regular IT services company.

Rajan Sethuraman:

Our product is not the dashboard or the model we have built. Rather, it is the decision-making we have enabled. That is really the differentiator.

Anuradha SenGupta:

Pramad Jandhyala (Co-Founder and Director), Venkat Viswanathan (Chairperson), it’s lovely to be here in your headquarters. It seems that when you started in 2006, you did not know that data analytics was going to be the next big thing. How important is harnessing data today?

Pramad Jandhyala:

Every crisis presents an opportunity. See how the technology revolution happened after the dot-com boom and bust. We thought we spotted an opportunity when we saw companies drowning in data, because they had invested so much in technology systems but didn’t know what to do with all the data. Business leaders were always complaining that it took them days to put all the data together. LatentView got its lucky break just after the financial crisis, when we signed up our first customers.

Anuradha SenGupta:

This is after 2008?

Pramad Jandhyala:

Right. That’s when we signed up our very first customers in the US.

Anuradha SenGupta:


Venkat Viswanathan:

We were clear right from the beginning that our focus was analytics. It’s there in the name of the company. We incorporated that name in 2005. But I confess, we had no idea of the kind of data explosion that was going to happen, because at that time it was more numeric data that we have in rows and columns.

Today, data is entirely different. This video is data. We didn’t think it would become such a mainstream thing for businesses to harness. But we did see the potential and the opportunity. In many ways, we stumbled upon a good place and things got better and better.

Anuradha SenGupta:

Between 2006 and 2022, so far as business is concerned, how would you say the understanding and utilisation of data has changed?

Venkat Viswanathan:

I think the consumer businesses probably had a better handle on what data is and how to use it. Online retail, which had emerged in the first wave of innovation when the internet came to town, clearly demonstrated the potential of data, and everybody woke up to it.

What has changed in the recent past is that large industrial houses and traditional B2B companies are also saying, hey, we can also collect data, and maybe rethink our business.

Anuradha SenGupta:

Would you be able to illustrate that with an example?

Venkat Viswanathan:

Today, when you buy a car, it comes with tyres. You use it for a certain number of years. When you need to replace them, you go and purchase a new set.

Today, the tyre company is thinking about offering tyres as a service. The tyre manufacturer is contemplating putting sensors in the tyres, so that they can talk to the onboard computer in the car, which talks to the app on your phone. And so they get streaming data, which tells them how you’re using this tyre.

They can study the data and see if the rubber seems to run out faster in certain segments of people. Are they driving differently? Is the terrain different? Is it the weather? There are many different factors. Earlier, they used to get some of this data only when they tested the product. But they didn’t know what was happening once they sold the tyre. They don’t see you for five, six years because you’re not in the market to buy a car for a certain period of time.

But today, their relationship with you can be dramatically different. They can know every day what you’re doing with the tyre. That gives them insights into their product, the customer segment, how to sell to them, etc. This is just an illustration, but it is happening across businesses.

Anuradha SenGupta:

And across industries.

Venkat Viswanathan:

Across industries. Every business wants to know how to leverage data, which is where we come in.

Anuradha SenGupta:

There’s a lot of user data out there which is being harvested by firms for free. What are some of the ethical issues that you’re seeing businesses grapple with on this front?

Pramad Jandhyala:

The good news is that companies are grappling with striking a balance and not going overboard. It’s good that consumers themselves are asking these questions. One of the things we do when we analyse data is that we don’t look at the personally identifiable information (PII).

What you’re really trying to understand is human behavior. And using that understanding, you try to make your products and services more relevant. In which case consumers may be willing to part with some of this data for a better product or service.

Anuradha SenGupta:

For the sake of convenience.

Pramad Jandhyala:

For convenience. The ecosystem is slowly maturing. Smartphone manufacturers are themselves saying that they want to put some guardrails to ensure the protection of data and privacy. We are in a good space as everybody’s trying to find a balance.

Anuradha SenGupta:

Pramad, in 2014 you all decided to get professional management into the picture. Why did you make that decision?

Pramad Jandhyala:

Even as we were building LatentView we were clear that the firm should go beyond its founders. If you want to build a professional organisation, you have to get a fantastic set of people to come together and join the mission. I have seen the role professionals play in taking the company forward. We were clear that if LatentView was to have a life of its own, it was not to be determined by just a few individuals who were there right from the beginning. This helps set the tone for the larger group of employees who feel this is a company where they can aspire to the top roles.

Anuradha SenGupta:

There was an Offer for Sale component in your public issue, you were selling. O​n selling the shares, you at once shot into the list of richest Indians. How does that feel, and what do you make of wealth? How do you see it philosophically, what value do you put to it?

Venkat Viswanathan:

That is not a list that I ever aspire to be on, so we don’t pay attention to such lists. I think we’ve been very fortunate that we grew up in a generation where we didn’t have a lot of cash at home. We were five siblings, My parents are very humble. Whatever little money we had was conserved very carefully and spent on the right things.

That set the tone in terms of our relationship with wealth and aspirations, and how to manage life. We were told to do what felt important to us as an individual, and not worry too much about what others think. That stayed with us all our lives.

By my mid-30s I had reached a point where I had enough money for anything I wanted to do, and that was even before I had started this company. In that sense, this, all the new wealth that has been talked about, is not really material for us. Yes, it’s good to know this is possible. But we’re not in the market to buy a plane or anything. We’re going to employ this wealth. Aside from that, it’s just a number on a paper somewhere and if somebody wants to look at it, let them.

Anuradha SenGupta:

Pramad, let me rephrase that question. What is your biggest indulgence and what excites you most outside of LatentView?

Pramad Jandhyala:

Relationships for one, and travel. I love to visit new places. I have discovered a wealth of places in India, mostly national parks of late. There’s so much you can learn from visiting these places.

Venkat Viswanathan:

My indulgence is gadgets. I buy all kinds. I buy things which can measure the state of my mind, things that can measure my posture, the speed at which I am running. But these don’t cost a lot of money. Most people can afford it and I’ve been doing it even before I had any money. It’s just what you’re passionate about. For me, it’s numbers and what can I do with these numbers.

Anuradha SenGupta:

Numbers, and what you can do with numbers. Well, I guess LatentView is testimony to that. Thank you Venkat. Thank you Pramad. Good talking to you. Wish you a lot of good luck.

Venkat Viswanathan:

Thank you. Nice meeting you, Anuradha.

Pramad Jandhyala:

Thanks so much.​


Chennai-based pure-play analytics firm ‘LatentView’ recently announced its second-quarter results for FY23. The company reported a revenue of INR 132.4 crore, growing at 40% YoY. Last quarter, it recorded revenue growth of INR 120 crore, growing 10 per cent QoQ. Similar to the last quarter, the growth came in from CPG, retail and BFSI sectors.

LatentView’s EBITDA margin for the quarter witnessed a slight drop to 28.2 per cent, compared to the previous quarter, which was at 29 per cent, and a quarter before that was at 30.5 per cent. The reason is that the company has been actively hiring via campuses. In the recent quarter, the company onboarded 102 campus hires and has ended the quarter with a headcount of more than 1,050 – the highest in the company’s history.

Deal-wise, LatentView has added five new clients this quarter, a couple of which are part of the Fortune 500 list. “On other accounts as well, we are seeing fairly interesting engagements across the different spectrum of work like, supply chain, customer service, marketing analytics and data engineering and so on,” said Rajan Sethuraman, chief executive officer, LatentView Analytics, in the earnings call. He said that this quarter they saw the first $2 million plus annual revenue contract, which is fairly high, indicating that the space is maturing with data and analytics engagements becoming more mainstream.

Recently, the company also partnered with Neo4j and ArangoDB for both graph database and graph theory. “It brings some interesting products and approaches to the table,” he added. In addition, LatentView recently signed a partnership with IBM, Snowflake, and DataBricks, to serve its customers better.

Revenue by geography

In the backdrop of the macroeconomic environment concerns, Rajan Venkatesan, chief financial officer LatentView Analytics, said in the US, with the rise in inflation, they are likely to see an impact on the discretionary spending, for instance, by some of their large customers.

However, at this point, the company said it is closely monitoring the situation and has not seen any changes. “We have not seen any immediate signs of any slowdown or any immediate impact to our order book for the next few quarters,” he added on an optimistic note.

Revenue by geography
Revenue by geography

For LatentView, nearly 95 per cent of the revenue comes from the US. However, it is looking to expand into Europe aggressively in the coming months. Regarding geographic diversification, LatentView said that Europe is a big bet, and they are already doubling down on making investments in terms of adding both front-end and delivery, alongside the backend capabilities. “We will continue to do that and will continue to accelerate that in the coming quarters,” said LatentView chief Rajan Sethuraman, adding that in the next three to four years, Europe will contribute between 15-20 per cent of their revenues.

Further, he said, “Of course, there will be nuances in how we sell and build relationships, and that is something we will tackle as we go along. So we are committed to bringing in more diversification from a geography perspective.

What about India? 

Rajan Sethuraman told Analytics India Magazine that they have kicked off with a small core team for India at the beginning of this year. “We were not focused on the Indian market in the past just because of bandwidth and other limitations,” said Sethuraman. However, he said given the IPO buzz and excitement, they will start looking at the Indian market. “We actually won our first engagement with this,” he added, saying it also corroborates the need for data analytics consulting services.

Talking about the market maturity in the AI and analytics landscape in India, Sethuraman said there are similarities in terms of spectrum, which clients are displaying with respect to using data and analytics for driving businesses. “We are seeing something similar in India as well, just like what we see in the US,” he added, and said that they will fine-tune it with every market and are confident there will be traction in the coming months.

Sharing the strategy for the India expansion, LatentView said it would be working with large multinationals (Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Coke, etc) and MNCs that have back offices in the country and are looking at India as a market. “India is a big market, and they will want to leverage the power of data analytics to address the Indian market itself,” he added. Further, he said that they would also be exploring global capability centres (GCCs) of large multinationals that need not necessarily have an India business, but do have a back office to serve the global business.

However, LatentView said that it is not keen on MSMEs and SMEs as it depends on the propensity to spend. “We always look at whether we can actually be involved in a substantial initiative because, at the end of the day, sales and business are going to be similar,” said Sethuraman.

Revenue by AI & analytics 

Previously, LatentView chief Rajan Sethuraman had told Analytics India Magazine that about 10-15 per cent of the revenue comes from its analytics consulting business. Meanwhile, 25 per cent of its revenue comes from data engineering, data platforms and architecture, and deploying data solutions. Overall, these two areas make up for about 40 per cent.

The remaining 60 per cent of the revenue comes from prescriptive and predictive analytics, aka ‘look ahead’ services (20 per cent), alongside diagnostic and descriptive analytics, aka ‘look back’– which contributes about 40 per cent of their revenue.

Revenue by AI analytics

Revenue by AI analytics

Growth way forward 

In the coming quarters, LatentView said they would continue doubling down on the addressable organic growth and focus on inorganic growth and m&a. For the inorganic growth side of things, the company has collaborated with a mid-sized investment bank, which specialises in cross-border acquisitions, alongside a startup helping them identify potential targets – more towards the advisory side of things.

As a marketer, I am obsessed with customer experience. And the underlying challenges of CX remain the same across all organizations: How do we provide experiences that transcend the transactional? How do we put ourselves in the shoes of our customers and prospects?

We’re in an interesting time between a global pandemic and an uncertain economic future. Yes, price matters (especially in a time of inflation), but experiences that are carefully considered and well crafted are tangible and timeless. They are the backbone of long-term loyalty and a catalyst for positive word of mouth. Customer behaviors and preferences have changed dramatically in the past two years; it is more important than ever for companies to put CX front and center.

At the highest level, CX is about brand perception. It’s how a company communicates and delivers on its stated mission and values. And there’s an element that’s essential for powering good experiences: data. Without data, it’s impossible for companies to deliver the highly personalized experiences that customers demand today. This is true whether in a marketing email or in the metaverse.

When it comes to data, there are three important things for companies to implement as part of any successful CX transformation initiative. These three musts for any digital-transformation leader—which formed part of a larger conversation that we tackled during LatentView’s recent analytics roundtable, “Achieving Next-Level CX in a Post-Pandemic World”—are:

  • Adopt a data-first culture
  • Prioritize data trust and security
  • Break down data silos

Adopt a Data-First Culture

Too often, data is viewed and leveraged at a tactical level only. Enterprises grab and use data for one-off campaigns and initiatives. Worse yet, if it’s unknown where specific data lives or how it can be used, it simply goes to waste. In order to truly achieve next-level CX, companies need to promote a data-first culture. This means baking data across the entire analytics value chain into a larger CX strategy. Data must serve as the connective tissue that brings together and balances out a company’s initiatives with the needs of its customers and employees.

A data-first culture must exist as a framework for organizations to be both customer- and employee-focused. According to Ashfaq Mohiuddin, vice president of data and analytics at Procore, a SaaS solution for construction management, companies that want to ensure a data-first culture must be able to answer three key questions:

  1. Is data fueling our core business?
  2. Is data igniting new business and helping us retain current customers?
  3. Is data helping to enrich and scale our company?

“Leaders must make the distinction between being product-focused and being customer-focused,” said Mohiuddin. “[They must] use persona-based data to help fuel growth.”

Companies should map out customer, employee, and partner personas to understand the journeys of each respective group. When it comes to growth, companies must understand all the elements that can contribute to new revenue. In particular, companies must look to the data that their customer touchpoints generate in real time—and use that data to systematically enhance CX. This real-time data allows organizations to glean customer patterns and micro-level insights that will ultimately help them create additional revenue opportunities.

“Historically, this was done by gifted people who just knew in their guts what people wanted,” said Richard Kestenbaum, partner at Triangle Capital LLC. “Now there is science, and that is at the cutting edge. We are only at the beginning of that.”

Prioritize Data Trust and Security

Peace of mind plays a significant role in positive customer experiences. It’s true that what customers experience isn’t data, but the content (physical or virtual) that a company creates using data. While data may not be at the top of a customer’s mind in the midst of a brand experience, every modern customer knows that their data is being used to power that experience.

Customer data is everywhere, and data integrity and governance are areas that require constant attention and continual refinement. To manage data effectively, companies must have secure processes for how data is accessed, stored, and used. Companies must trust their own sources and methods of data collection—especially if using a data vendor—while also ensuring security to prevent data breaches.

In that sense, trust works both ways.

“If customers don’t trust you with the data, everything else is lost,” said Mohiuddin. “Without trust, no company can be either customer- or data-first.”

Customers today have no appetite for their data to be abused, and there is little to no margin for error when it comes to using customer data to provide one-to-one personalized experiences. Businesses must prioritize their security measures by implementing verification processes, conducting risk assessments, and implementing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to detect fraud.

Break Down Data Silos

Customer experiences aren’t limited to marketing. Every customer touchpoint—from marketing and advertising to call-center inquiries and chatbot interactions—plays a part in the overall customer experience. Disjointed data makes for disjointed experiences.

To this end, data management continues to be a pressing challenge for companies. Data is no longer something used solely by IT teams. Many departments in a modern enterprise need data insights. Many organizations, however, don’t fully understand how to correlate specific data to solving relevant business problems. Therefore, data democratization needs to be baked into a company’s culture to empower it to become fully data-driven.

This means breaking down data silos. To do so, a business should deploy a modern, enterprise-wide data platform to allow easy data management (ideally with a flexible, cloud-first setup and a user-friendly business-intelligence dashboard). Such a data platform can help democratize access to data, helping users to both discover and analyze data such that they can tie it to specific business objectives.

And, as highlighted earlier, security, privacy, and governance must underpin all of these components.

Data for the Long Haul

The market demands that companies deliver better CX. The value propositions of quality and price will never go away—but in a post-pandemic world, CX can be the single thing companies can use to differentiate themselves.

Customers have made it clear they want to be treated as individuals, and companies today can use data to make this happen. To further this mission, companies must not limit their concept of data to that of a series of tactical “sprints,” but instead adopt the mindset that data-driven CX is a marathon with an undefined finish line. There will always be new technology and new data—and therefore new CX goals and KPIs to achieve.

As marketers, our obsession with CX should never wane; neither should our pursuit of the right data to bring those experiences to life. With the right strategies and tools to leverage and connect data across the enterprise, digital leaders are well positioned to help their organizations navigate through our post-pandemic world and forge the foundations for long-term success.

Keep learning

  • Get up to speed on digital transformation with TechBeacon’s Guide.
  • Download this free IDC white paper, “Enabling End-to-End Digital Transformation”.
  • See IDC’s Futurescape: Top 10 predictions for digital transformation.
  • How important is digital transformation to your org? Take our survey and find out how you stand next to the competition.
  • Thinking of making a change? TechBeacon’s Careers Topic Center provides expert advice to prepare you your next career move.