Costarch : Transforming data into knowledge

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Data analytics or decision sciences is a new emerging field. Its contributing the most to overall development to the business world.
Apart from helping businesses to take better decisions it is generating a huge amount of new jobs. According to the “Harvard   Business Review” this is termed as “Sexiest job of the 21st century”.

If we see it from a business perspective, your organization will have large amount of data but you don’t know that how to use it?
This is where data science comes into picture.

It solves your problem using your data only. It can tell you why your customers are behaving like this? Who are those customers? What you should to tackle some problem e.g., churn? etc.

In today’s digitized world where data storing cost is going down and computing ability is going up, its important to leverage data analytics to be ahead in competition.

If we talk about startups, they don’t have much amount of data. So, can’t they use the power of decision science?

There is a huge amount of data spread around the cloud, you can leverage this data to improve the pace of your startup.

Apart from business, data science has entered into the field of healthcare, banking, insurance and even the sports. Costarch is a fast growing Indian analytics firm, which has build a soccer prediction model which can estimate the outcome of a match with 78% accuracy.

Techaloo got an opportunity to have a chit chat with Ashish, Founder @ Costarch. Let see what he wants to share with us?

Techaloo : How the entrepreneurship journey started? Or who inspired you to start business?
Ashish : After graduating from IIT Bombay, I got placed with a multi-national company in UAE. I was hired as an R&D engineer for their waste-water division. Everything was good about the company except that the pace of their execution was very slow. I decided to come back to India and do something of my own. I came back to India and I started working as a research assistant with a premier business school. It was here that I got introduced to the area of data analytics. I developed interest in this area and I started exploring the opportunities. I draw my inspiration from movies. There are a couple of movies that continue to remain m source of inspirations. Iqbal, 3-Idiots, Man of Honor, October Sky, Guru, and Sarkar 2.

Techaloo : How did this idea come to your mind?
Ashish : During my association with a premier business school I got introduced to the area of data analytics. I explored the area further and found that there were not many companies that provide statistical consulting and data analytics services to small and medium enterprises. This was the motivation to start a company in the area of data analytics for Small and Medium Enterprises.

Techaloo : Why the name “Costarch”?
Ashish : COSTARCH stands for Consulting and Statistical Research. I was looking for some good name for my company and this was the best name that aptly summarized my business.

costarch

Techaloo : What was the vision mission of the Costarch? What exactly you wanted to do when you started your business?
Ashish : I started COSTARCH with the vision of being the most trusted and respected company of statistical research and consulting.

Specifically, when we started we wanted to develop services and products that will smoothen the decision making process.

We are still committed to our goals and vision. In the past, we have developed world’s most advanced soccer prediction model. The prediction accuracy of the model stands at 78%. In addition, we have developed India’s first Social Media Prediction Engine.

Techaloo : What kind of difficulties you had faced while starting/doing business?
Ashish : Entrepreneurial journey is not easy and it was not different for me. I faced many difficulties while starting/doing business. The first problem was convincing my parents about my idea of doing a business. Secondly, I had financial difficulty in running my business. Lastly, there was lot of peer pressure.

Techaloo : What domains are you providing services in?
Ashish : We are working in the area of Sentiment Analytics, Web Analytics and Sports Analytics. In addition, we are also exploring the area of Healthcare Analytics.

Techaloo : Which countries you have clients from?
Ashish : At present we have clients from India, United States, and United Kingdom. In addition, we are having discussions with potential clients from Australia and Malaysia.

Techaloo : What is the fact which makes you different from other data analytics firms?
Ashish : The very fact that we are working in areas that are relative new makes us different from other analytics firms. Our main focus is in the area of Sports Analytics and Sentiment Analytics. These fields are still in their nascent stages. Our focus is to develop innovative and state-of-the-art products in these areas. One of our products, Social Tota, is India’s First Social Media Prediction Engine that is aggregating, processing and analyzing pre-release Social Sentiments about upcoming movies.

Techaloo : The field of data analytics has the most critical problem of “Data Security”. What are your views and how are you tackling this?
Ashish : Yes, I agree that “Data Security” is one of the most critical problem in the field of data analytics. However, we have taken some preventive measures to minimize “Data Security” issues. We do not allow employees to use their electronic devices, while in office. In addition, we screen and monitor all the digital content that goes out of the company. Lastly, all the employees, upon joining, are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement with the company.

Techaloo : This field has most scarcity of talent. Do you agree? Are you contributing to build talent as well?
Ashish : Yes, I totally agree with this. But we have in-house mechanism to train our employees. We have lot of training material that we shared with our employees in order to develop the required skills and build their talent.

Techaloo : Why do SMEs use the decision sciences?
Ashish : The big companies are leveraging the power of data analytics to improve their work efficiency, their employees’ productivity, and their bottom lines. I believe that the SMEs too should leverage the power of data and incorporate data analytics in their decision making process. I am of the opinion that in future those companies who are able to use data analytics more efficiently, will have the competitive advantage.

Techaloo : Talking about startups, they don’t have much data to be analyzed. How can they be benefitted from decision sciences?
Ashish : It is not necessary that the data has to be generated in-house. There is lot of data scattered on the internet that can be used by the startups to improve their decision making. The only point I want to highlight here is that startups should include data analytics in their decision making process.

Techaloo : Would you like to share some insights, which you came through during your work and found interesting?
Ashish : During the last couple of year, I came across some interesting observations. Firstly, I found that many companies are sitting on large volumes of data, but they are not sure how to extract insights from their data. Secondly, I observed that many companies are not storing the data that is being generated today and which may be useful in future.

Techaloo : Have you got any kind of funding?
Ashish :We never tried to get any kind of funding for our business and our model is completely boot-strapped. We are able to meet our expenses from the income that we generate from our consulting services.

Techaloo : What are your future plans? Or now what is your vision for next five years?
Ashish :We are working on an India’s First Social Media Prediction Engine. This prediction engine is designed to extract useful insights from the big data that is scattered across the social media. You can visit our website www.socialtota.com to learn more about our product. This is a big data project that we want to develop in the coming years.

Techaloo : What will be your advice/suggestion for new entrepreneurs for starting new business?
Ashish : The best piece of advice I have received or read is “Stay Hungry and Stay Foolish”. I want to forward this advice to new entrepreneurs.

Techaloo : Few words about techaloo.com?
Ashish : I am a regular follower of Techaloo and I really like the information and news about the new startups. I sincerely thank you guys for making the Indian Startup ecosystem more accessible through your portal.

Meet the Founders:

Ashish_Soni

Ashish Soni, Co-Founder

Ashish is an engineering graduate from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. He started exploring the field of Analytics and Statistical consulting right after his graduation in 2007 and in the past had the opportunity to work with some of the best companies in the world. Working with data is one of his passions in life, other being extracting hidden information within this data. He also holds a master’s degree in economics and is currently looking after the consulting and data analytics team at COSTARCH. Ashish is very passionate about dramatics and likes listening music in his free time.

 

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Pritam Kumari, Founder

Pritam holds Post Graduate Diploma in Banking and Financial Management with close to 5 years of experience in Sales, Services and Human Resources. In the past, she was associated with with a leading private sector bank. At COSTARCH, she is responsible for making strategies for Business Development, Marketing, and Human Resources. Pritam is very passionate about Bollywood movies and likes reading in her free time.

 

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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