SmartAnalyst Eyes Indian Market

by Sonal Desai    Nov 29, 2006

Research and analytics firm SmartAnalyst will start a development center in Gurgaon for developing artificial intelligence tools to speed up information gathering and analysis.

The tools will be enhancements to the existing basic frameworks and will be developed over six months. These will enable researchers to filter dashboards, gather information transferred to database from Internet, and make available relevant data to the researcher.

The artificial intelligence solution to be developed will complement the company’s Business Intelligence (BI) tools, which are developed in-house.

The company is looking at Indian firms for developing a technology platform. It also has plans to set up sales and marketing programs here. Employee count will increase to 300 by next year with most of the employees being analysts and researchers.

Manu Bammi, CEO, SmartAnalyst details the plan, “Eventually, we would like to talk to people like TCS, and build tech platforms. However, we have not yet spoken to them. We want to acquire more clients in India, and plan to have atleast ten clients by April 2007. Having gained experience in the pharma and marketing segments, we would like to expand our base in the engineering, consumer end and other sectors in India. We are talking to some companies in these segments.”

The expansion will be funded through a portion of a venture capital investment of about $4 million by the US based investors Edison Venture Fund and Milestone Venture Partners, said Bammi. Rest of the venture capital fund would be utilized to expand the company’s sales and marketing offices in New York and London.

Bammi explains, “BI should quantify business assumptions that were earlier too costly and time consuming for an enterprise. These could be used to identify business opportunities, cost competitiveness, etc.”

He feels Indian companies do not tend to value research and information the same way as companies overseas. There is a general belief here that information is free and that there is no need for real time analysis of information. “Our research helps people make not only right decisions, but good decisions based on understanding of market dynamics, trends, technologies etc,” he notes.

Though SmartAnalyst mainly serves multinationals in India, it is assessing patents for a pharma company here. It is also doing quantitative and analytical work for a marketing company.