Data Analytics and Business Intelligence platform Qlik has recently announced the appointment of Ankur Goel as its Managing Director for India. Below are excerpts from an interview with him, on his own experiences and further, plans the new company.
1. Tell us about yourself and the company, today and from the past
Over a career of more than 20 years, I have worked with many leading organisations in the IT and telecommunication sectors in leadership roles. I am currently serving as the Managing Director of Qlik’s India operations. In my role, I am responsible for driving the company’s growth, overseeing business operations, and defining the long-term and short-term strategy in the country.
Qlik is a leading organization in the global data integration and analytics space. We work with over 50,000 customers across industries. Our customers in India include Bajaj Auto, Cognizant, HCL Technologies, HDFC Life, Mahindra and Mahindra Limited, Samvardhana Motherson Group, and Sitel, amongst others.
What differentiates Qlik from other domain players is its ability to provide an end-to-end data integration and analytics solution which allows businesses to make sense of all the data they have, no matter where this data is located. This unique approach helps enterprises break down the traditional information silos that exist across storage environments and use all of their enterprise data to generate contextual insights. These insights can then be accessed and used by authorised users across the board to drive more accurate decision-making and better business value.
2. What about your own previous leadership experiences?
My time in the communications industry has been an extremely fulfilling learning experience. Before joining Qlik, I have worked with many domain-leading communications players such as Poly, Ericsson, Cisco Systems, and Siemens. Through these associations, I have gained extensive expertise in leveraging data to enable businesses and partners to gain deeper insights into customer behaviour, reinvent business processes, discover new revenue streams, and balance risk and reward.
During my association with Cisco Systems, I handled multiple roles and spearheaded functions such as Service Provider/Cloud Collaborations and Strategic Partnerships. I led the ‘One Cisco Team’ and was responsible for creating and executing the Collaboration Architecture Business Plan that required cross-functional collaborations with all key stakeholders. I also built relationships at the Senior Executive level with partner organisations and implemented innovative go-to-market strategies, in addition to influencing funding to support Architecture Alignment, Roadshow, Programs and Marketing activities.
As a Business Development Manager in the Global Collaboration Sales team, I was also responsible for driving big bet growth strategies globally, as well as creating and executing market development plans for high-potential target markets. I worked closely with key business leaders at tier-1 partners such as Wipro, Datacraft, IBM, and HCL to help them understand the market and form the right strategies to accelerate their growth.
All of these measures helped maximise profitability, market competitiveness, and business opportunities for Cisco. My contribution to the success of key business initiatives and accelerated business growth for Cisco Collaboration Sales in India saw me felicitated with ‘Rock the Globe’ award.
3. Throw some light on your earlier role as MD of Poly, wherein you were in charge of the India and SAARC business for the company?
I joined Poly in March 2014 as the Head of its Government, Corporate & SMB business and, over the next five years, rose through the ranks to become the company’s Managing Director. Before I left Poly to join Qlik, I was leading the organisation's business and growth across multiple business verticals in India and other SAARC countries.
Throughout my time at Poly, I was responsible for business planning and strategy, as well as creating programs, driving bookings, and managing revenues and gross margins. I also created, managed, and led multiple teams, consistently aligning various marketing, channels, and services initiatives to drive business success and growth. Managing relationships with external stakeholders such as distributors, value-added distributors, channel partners, ecosystem partners, and consultants was another key responsibility. I also spearheaded critical business initiatives such as the launch of cloud consumption models and MSFT alignment, amongst others.
My contribution to Poly’s business in the region saw me named the Polycom ‘CEO Award Winner’ in the financial year of 2015 and drove the company’s market share up by 4 per cent, while also delivering a CAGR of more than 50 per cent in bookings.
4. How are you going to build momentum and develop even stronger ties with Qlik customers and the wide ecosystem of partners?
The way I see it, Qlik is uniquely positioned within the global business landscape as an enabler of intuitive, end-to-end data integration and analytics solutions. This is important. Growing digital penetration and constant technological evolution have led to an unparalleled data explosion.
Businesses and individuals are inundated with data on all sides. It boils down to a classic case of ‘swim or sinks’ – you either identify, extract, and use the relevant information from the ever-expanding data ocean to drive optimal decision-making, or you get overwhelmed by it. At Qlik, we aim to leverage advanced technologies such as machine learning and AI to empower our customers by enabling the necessary visibility, governance, and agility within their data operations. We are pushing aggressively to develop stronger channel partnerships and expand our clientele to more businesses, both within India and on a global level.
We are also targeting to raise the level of data literacy across the board through initiatives such as the Data Literacy Project and Qlik Academic Program. For instance, we have partnered with over 150 premier institutes across India for the Qlik Academic Program. This includes prominent names such as IIM Bangalore, IIM Lucknow, IIM Indore, SP Jain School of Global Management, NIT Karnataka, IIM Ahmedabad, Loyola Institute of Business Administration, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, NIT Patna, IIM Guwahati, IIM Raipur, and IIM Kozhikode. Through such initiatives, we want to create an end-to-end ecosystem that enhances the data readiness of stakeholders within the corporate infrastructure as well as at the grassroots level.
5. What are some exciting things going on at Qlik?
What we are seeing in the market is that a customer’s ability to run analytics on all data and in any cloud is a key requirement today. However, with most analytics solutions you only get to make that choice once. With Qlik we don’t care where your data is, or where you want to run your analytics. With Qlik we allow you to run on-premise, in our cloud, in any cloud of your own choice and any combination of these. This unique hybrid multi-cloud capability is based on Qlik being a first mover in the analytics market to a micro-services architecture and use of containers and orchestration technology like Kubernetes. By building this architecture, we give customers the value of ongoing choice and have created a unique built for the cloud product set that allows them to get started quickly and easily in our cloud services, reduce cost and drive immediate value.
As our business grows, so does our commitment to customer and partner success. Our brand is supported by more than 1,700 committed, experienced partners around the globe. This includes leading system integrators and business consulting partners such as Accenture, Deloitte, KPMG, and PwC, as well as our original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners, solution providers, technology partners, authorized training partners and master resellers. In India, we work closely with TCS, Accenture, L&TInfotech, NTT and KPMG to provide best in class solutions and services to our customers.
Further to working directly with our partners, we have platforms like Qlik Market, Qlik Community and Qlik Branch. At Qlik Market (market.qlik.com), our partners offer their solutions, including applications, connectors and extensions for Qlik Sense and QlikView. We now have a Trusted Extension Developer (TED) program, accrediting partners who actively develop high-quality, commercially viable extensions. Extensions built by TED partners adhere to Qlik’s standards for supported functionality, security and completeness.
Our partner ecosystem and customer resources are extended by Qlik Community (community.qlik.com), an active forum where more than 1,00,000 participants share ideas, data, and knowledge. At Qlik Branch (developer.qlik.com), a collaborative workspace and open-source exchange, customers, fans, developers and partners get access to the open APIs for Qlik Sense and QlikView, for better and easier integration with homegrown and third-party web technologies and applications.
Qlik Branch is home to over 30,000 developers that produce extensions, mash-ups, web applications and more – with access to Qlik Playground, a free programming environment that allows them to explore and quickly test ideas using the Qlik Associative Engine and APIs online.
We will continue to build an ecosystem to support our 50,000 customers worldwide....