Subhra Bishnu: Edging off the Knowledge Gap in Business Analytics Space

Subhra Bishnu | Director & Co-founder | OrangeTree Globa
Subhra Bishnu | Director & Co-founder | OrangeTree Globa

Business analytics, with the amount of data created and consumed by the individuals and organizations, has become a game-changer for the industries. Business Analytics has become a go-to support solution for the businesses. But the knowledge gap remained between the fresh talent and what the industries require.

The industry scenario demanded a mediator who could equip aspirants with the essential knowledge, tools, and techniques of business analytics. Subhra Bishnu, Director and Co-founder of OrangeTree Global recognized this serious demand early in his career. And in 2009, he co-founded OrangeTree Global as a prominent training and consultation solution in Data Science and Business Analytics space.

“No one really inspires me to wake up. I just love my job”

In this latest edition of Insights Success, Subhra Bishnu got candid about leaving his high-paid job to start something new, the challenges the company faced to make analytics education widely available, and the effects of current pandemic. Read the following interview to know more about his inspiring journey.

Describe your professional journey as an inspiring CEO.

I do not belong to a business family. My parents are both doctors who have lived in India and Britain. I completed my Post Graduation in Political Science followed by a Master’s in Business Administration. Post my MBA, I had a pleasure of working with strong brands early in my career, The Telegraph, Exide Industries, ICICI Prudential, and HDFC Life. While working in BFSI I gained interest in MIS Management and Data Insights and Analytics. There was a serious shortage of guidance, awareness, and knowledge about Data Science and Analytics in East India around 2007-2008. It was this knowledge gap in Analytics and Data Science skills that laid the foundation stone of OrangeTree Global.

The organization was founded by my wife Priyadarshini who single-handedly managed the operations for a year. My wife and I invested our savings for procurement of the necessary infrastructure and office. It was only after a year once the organization started to grow rapidly, that I left my job as Regional Head for Channel Development East for HDFC Life and joined OrangeTree Global full time.

Who inspires you to wake up every day and keep making a difference in the respective industry you are catering to?

I love the fact that Analytics, Data Science, and Machine Learning are impactful and relevant areas of study and research today more than ever before. I consider myself fortunate to be in the thick of things right in the center of action.

As the CEO of your company, what challenges have you faced while establishing and running the business?

Challenges at each stage of the Entrepreneurship Life Cycle take up different forms. Initially, it was Emotional and Psychological, “Should I take the plunge?”, “What if I fail?” Leaving a high paying job where you have already attained a level of seniority is never easy. Suddenly, I was not receiving a regular salary. There are good months and there are bad months.

After about a year, we were clocking respectable revenues and a consistent pace. This began to attract people and investors. It is never easy to say ‘No’ to people who want to invest in your organization. Like most Entrepreneurs, I constantly seek and align myself with investors who are on the same ideological plain. It is not about who has the most money, but who has a will to invest along with a plan and vision aligned with the company. These individuals will eventually be instrumental in helping your vision and company to grow.

There will always be bigger players with more money to offer your employees when you are a start-up. Selecting the right individuals to work for you is crucial. Understanding what motivates them is the key. Am I in a position to offer them what they expect? How long can I sustain their interest? Can I help them enjoy their time in the organization? These are constant challenges we face.

Brief us about the operations of your company, its mission, vision, and core values.

Our business operations span across two broad verticals – Training and Consulting. Our training philosophy is clear. We have embarked upon an ambitious journey to make Analytics Education available to professionals who display an aptitude for this field but lack the requisite skill sets and knowledge. Our Data Science and Analytics Training Deployment is executed at three levels.

  1. Retail Training – Individual and Professional
  2. Institutional Training -Educational Institutes (College and Universities)
  3. Corporate Training Engagements (India and Abroad)

Our Consulting Expertise is focussed in two areas.

  1. Predictive Analytics and Real-time Data Visualizations in Healthcare (Malaysia)
  2. Data-driven Policy Making Initiatives for the Government of India (There are only a few Data Science Exponents with Exposure in Public Policy, Political Science, and Sociology)

How has the current pandemic affected your business and what steps have you taken to safeguard your employees while catering to your clients?

We are a lean, nimble, and quick-thinking organization. These aspects clearly helped us reduce a lot of stress which has unfortunately impacted the Industry. We have been involved in online training since 2010. We were in Noida delivering a training when the news of the pandemic started to spread. We closed our physical locations on March 17th before the Government Lockdown protocols were announced and shifted to a work-from-home regime. Online training demand skyrocketed during the pandemic. We are planning to reopen our physical offices and resume travel for corporate training engagements from 1st March 2021.

What creative ways have you employed to make the work environment of your company vibrant?

I believe that small companies need to go all out to ensure that their employees are engaged physically, mentally, and emotionally. Apart from starting training and consulting six years ago, we started the NAAS (National Analytics Awareness Seminars) across India. In two months, senior managers of the OrangeTree Global would be travelling across the country delivering free seminars and workshops on the benefits and careers options in Data Science and Analytics.

What would you like to share with the young generation of entrepreneurs who are looking to step into a leadership role in their respective businesses?

Stay true to the reason why you wanted to become an Entrepreneur. Remember if you have an affordable product or idea which can impact the livelihood and overall sentiment of people in a positive and cost-effective manner, you will succeed. Invest in your relations with people and your clients. Money and advertising can only do so much whereas a happy client is your first step towards impacting hundreds of lives.

In terms of future growth, where do you see yourself and your company?

We have our eyes set on South East Asia, Kuala Lumpur where we will be setting our first office outside India. We are also finalizing an aggressive hiring plan across all verticals which we plan to roll out soon.

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