“Follow your dreams, believe in yourself and don’t give up – that was a piece of advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out.” – Archna Wadhwa, Founder & Managing Director, Analytics Saves at Work.
Archna Wadhwa – a renowned name in the field of Analytics industry, forswore her corporate career to do something creative and started Analytics Saves at Work (aSaw) as a bootstrap company in the year 2015. Prior to setting up her own venture, Archna worked as Chief Data Officer in HSBC in London and as Senior Vice President & Head of Analytics at HSBC, India. Backed with deeply ingrained passion and over a decade of experience in Analytics, she scripted her own success story in today’s new age world.
aSaw is an Analytics Consulting firm with offices located at London and Bangalore along with a partner’s office in Hong Kong. Born with a vision to be a leading Analytics firm known for value creation through innovation, the company help firms on the journey from data to strategy and monetizing the data in the process. aSaw’s distinctive combination of products and Analytic services help clients improve their top line and bottom line. The company works with a wide range of clients and some of its biggest clients include a Fortune 100 insurance company in U.S., and in Hong Kong; Fortune 100 Global bank; and one of the largest Casino/Gaming company in the U.S. and Australia.Under her esteemed leadership, the enterprise has grown from three to ten full-time employees, 15 partners, many sales and freelance consultants spread across the globe.
“I saw a huge amount of data getting created on daily basis and there was no one to claim it. It was a great opportunity for me to come up with something innovative which will help the corporates, mid-sized and small companies to leverage data, get business insight and help them do businesses. I was blessed with job roles like Head of Global Analytics Centre & European Risk Analytics Centre, which helped me to execute the idea and bring it to completion. This gave me the much-needed courage and confidence to kick-start my own dream project.” says Archna.
Archna observed that the Analytics space is increasingly becoming crowded and at the same time opens the doors for boundless opportunities. Thus, to carve a niche and stay one step ahead of the game, she came up with two state-of-the-art products: SoldiT™ and SPyDER.
SoldiT™ is a platform used for market research and lead generation to assist companies improve their customer reach and acquisition. The tool captures intent of individuals on various platforms based on the business requirements. In addition to a list of potential leads, SoldiT™ also provides additional details about them that would help companies build a more personalized relationship with the client. It reduces the follow-up time to close the deal.
SPyDER is a highly efficient Anti-Money Laundering (AML) platform that provides companies with Due Diligence and Customer Validation. It includes financial and Criminal background checks for their customers, leveraging social media data and publically available data, to build a 360-degree profile of an individual. aSaw has developed this product mainly for the Gaming industry, however, it can be tweaked to suit a company’s requirement.
Battles Won Over
Life wasn’t easy for Archna when she let her brainchild out-of-the-box. Among the several challenges, setting up an enterprise without a co-founder and venture funding were the major ones. She always reminded herself not to take the easiest path. She was testing herself, her limits and all it takes to build an enterprise. She gracefully turned down the VC offers as she is waiting for the right time and right offer. “I firmly believe that one should not take initial investment because you get deviated from the vision. You need to first build it, test it and win a couple of clients, then you have a bargaining power to negotiate better with VC on your terms rather than you buying their vision and building the company that they want,” she adds.
Building the right team was also a major challenge. But, Archna took initial years to build a great team who were creative, competitive with an in-depth knowledge of the domain and crystal clear understanding about client’s demand. She says, “For a start-up, the first year is about ideation, the second year is about building the product and the third year is piloting and finding clients. We have completed the entire cycle of building the company and have managed to make our operations profitable this year.”
Pillars of Strength
Her family, ex-colleagues and friends, spiritual mentors all have been a great support to Archna in building her company and have been the pillar of strength. She believes that startup is like a baby and one needs an entire village to raise a child. And fortunately, she is blessed to have them all in her life. Her mother has been the first woman she looked up to who inspired her to dream big and gave her the wings to fly. At a point in her previous job role, Archna felt she was losing the balance of work and life responsibilities. And for her daughter, she wanted to setup the company that could give her perfect harmony between her personal and professional life along with flexibility and the freedom to chalk out her own life plans.
The Future Rollout Plans
With an in-house team of data scientists, software developers, consultants and industry experts, aSaw ensure that the data works for its clients and support data-driven decision making for competitive advantage. The company takes good care of its people by nurturing and developing their functional skills along with soft skills. Also, Archna believes that creative people with certain core skills must be given a chance to hone their skills. Hence, she has been providing Internship Opportunities to such individuals and helping them take first steps towards building their careers.
aSaw plans to grow 250 percent year on year. The company is also planning to open new offices in different countries. In the upcoming years, the company is looking forward to making its presence felt in 5 different countries.In terms of the sectors, aSaw is pioneering in Banking and Insurance industries. Archna wishes to explore the huge opportunity of doing Analytics and carve a niche in the Casino/Gaming industry. “I want aSaw to be known for its innovative products and services for it’s clients. We have big expansion plans, but I don’t want to go at a pace where we stop delivering for our existing clients. It has to be a perfect balance between the two,” she concludes.