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Travancore Analytics

Innovation Beyond Digital

Interview with Anwer Sadath, CTO - Travancore Analytics

Anwer Sadath Interview on

Anwer Sadath  linkedin

CTO, Travancore Analytics

Give us a quick overview on Travancore Analytics. When and how did you begin this journey and what were your motives to be successful?

Travancore Analytics (TA) has been a significant part of my professional journey since its inception. My connection with the organization traces back to its founders, who were my mentors and managers at the start of my career in 2001. Particularly influential was Mr. Harikumar, a late founder of TA, who was a mentor and a dear friend. I officially joined TA in 2009, drawn by its unique culture that champions the freedom to innovate. This ethos allows our team to explore and experiment with new technologies and processes under the guidance and support of our senior leadership. Such an environment doesn’t just foster technological innovation; it cultivates personal growth and success for every team member. Our philosophy at TA extends beyond mere scaling. We are committed to solving our client's problems and offering optimal solutions. This dedication is rooted in our core values emphasizing knowledge and learning, enabling our engineers to be rapid learners and adapt to the ever-evolving tech landscape. Notable achievements like developing our first mobile application in 2009 without a physical device and creating a full-fledged OTT platform for Apple's unreleased Vision Pro devices are testaments to our capability and forward-thinking approach. My progression from a senior developer to the CTO at TA reflects the organization’s impact on my career. It has shaped my focus not on personal career milestones but on ensuring that our clients always receive the most effective solutions to their challenges.

What is your role in the management and development of Travancore Analytics?

In addition to bridging strategic and technical realms, my role involves team building and ensuring excellence in our delivery processes. I actively create and implement policies that enhance our project delivery capabilities. This involves setting high standards for quality ensuring that our solutions are innovative but also reliable and scalable. A key initiative under my leadership is establishing and managing TA Labs, our dedicated research and development wing. TA Labs focuses on exploring emerging technologies and tools, which are instrumental in empowering our customers and our development team to build superior solutions. My involvement with TA Labs is strategic. I oversee their projects to ensure they align with our broader business objectives and provide cutting-edge tools and technologies to our development teams and clients.

Tell us about your biggest achievement in the industry.

One of my most significant achievements in the technology industry, among many, was our collaboration with with a Fortune 500 company on the Winter Olympics project. This endeavor involved creating many mobile apps, SDKs, web apps, virtual reality experiences, and robust backend software. Notably, our team accomplished this within a concise span of seven months. This suite of applications was not only a technical feat but also reached millions of users globally during the 2018 Winter Olympics. It's a testament to our team's dedication, innovation, and ability to deliver complex solutions on a tight deadline.

How do you schedule the development phases of the app design and development projects to promise the timeline to your clients?

In our project scheduling and delivery approach, we prioritize flexibility and professionalism to meet diverse client needs while ensuring on-time delivery and quality. We engage our rapid development process for clients requiring expedited development to demonstrate their ideas in a short timeframe. This streamlined approach leverages our library of reusable components and our preferred technology stack, enabling us to deliver functional applications swiftly. For more extensive projects, we adopt the Agile project management methodology. This iterative approach allows us to respond highly to client feedback and evolving requirements, ensuring that the final product aligns closely with their vision. By balancing speed with adaptability and rigor, we consistently meet and often exceed our client's expectations in terms of both timelines and quality.

Which framework, programming or scripting languages do you prefer for web development? How do you convince your clients to do the same?

Our web development team boasts expertise in various technologies, including .NET, Java, Python, Node.js, React, and Angular. The selection of a particular technology stack is primarily influenced by our client's specific requirements, focusing on the scalability and security of the applications. For projects that necessitate rapid development, such as proofs of concept or minimum viable products, we often recommend Node.js for its efficiency. Additionally, for these expedited projects, we utilize our in-house Solution Accelerators. These accelerators are designed to enable the development of scalable and secure applications within a minimal timeframe, ensuring speed and quality. When it comes to more complex systems that demand high performance and scalability, our preference leans towards Java or .NET, given their proven capacity to handle extensive requirements. Communicating these choices to our clients depends on their level of technical expertise. For technically savvy clients, we engage in detailed discussions about our solutions' technical merits and potential. For those less versed in technology, our approach is to articulate the advantages and disadvantages of the technologies clearly in layman's terms. Additionally, we offer our professional opinion on the most suitable technology that aligns with their application's needs, ensuring they make an informed and confident decision.

How do you scheme your pricing model? How do you fix your budget?

Our pricing strategy is designed to accommodate the diverse needs of our clients, featuring two primary models: the Fixed Price model and the Time and Material model. In the Fixed Price model, we determine the project cost upfront, based on a detailed analysis of the client's requirements. This model is ideal for projects with well-defined scopes and deliverables, offering clients a clear budget and timeline. Alternatively, the Time and Material model provides greater flexibility, billing clients based on the time spent and resources used. This model is suited for projects where the scope is not fully defined or is expected to evolve. In addition to these models, we occasionally engage in joint development projects. Though rare, this collaborative approach allows for shared risks and rewards and is considered case-by-case. Moreover, recognizing the unique challenges startups face, we offer startup-friendly rates. This initiative is part of our commitment to support emerging businesses by providing accessible, high-quality technology services.

How helpful are the web design and development made by Travancore Analytics for your clients in enhancing their business?

At Travancore Analytics, our primary focus is developing software that significantly enhances user experiences and simplifies life. We are particularly proud of our contributions to socially impactful projects. For instance, we developed mobile applications that assist visually impaired individuals with navigation. Another notable project involved creating web applications that streamline the process for people with disabilities to register their service animals for travel. These developments embody the meaningful impact of our work and reflect our commitment to inclusivity and accessibility.

On the business front, our services are designed to provide our clients with the most reliable and scalable solutions. This focus ensures they can expand their business operations without concerns about scaling their digital infrastructure. We specialize in crafting cost-effective, user-friendly software using the latest technologies. Doing so enables our clients to concentrate on their core business areas and ensure that their digital needs are effectively managed. Our goal is to be a technology partner that understands our clients' immediate needs and contributes to their long-term success.

What according to you are the best practices to attain client satisfaction?

I believe the cornerstone of client satisfaction lies in effective and honest communication. Setting realistic expectations and maintaining transparency throughout the project lifecycle is crucial. This approach fosters trust and understanding, essential for a strong client relationship.

Another vital aspect is ensuring that our services meet the required quality standards and are delivered on time. We recognize that timely delivery is critical to our client's success and strive to uphold our commitments.

It's also important to understand that clients become more familiar with our working style after initial interactions. Openness to feedback and adaptation to their specific needs is key. In unforeseen delays or challenges, we prioritize giving clients an early heads-up and a clear alternative plan of action. This proactive communication helps manage expectations and demonstrates our commitment to their project's success.

Lastly, we view our clients not just as customers but as partners. We believe in building solutions with them rather than merely for them. This collaborative approach ensures that we are aligned with their vision and goals, leading to mutually satisfying and beneficial outcomes.

What emerging technology do you think will have the most significant impact on your industry?

In my opinion, Generative AI and Spatial Computing, particularly AR/VR technologies, are poised to impact our industry significantly.
The integration of Generative AI represents a transformative shift in how we approach solution development. Traditionally, there has been a noticeable gap in the industry: individuals with academic knowledge in AI/ML often lacked the practical experience to apply these concepts effectively in solution-building. At the same time, those adept at creating solutions might not have had extensive AI/ML expertise. However, the advent of Generative AI has begun to bridge this divide. These tools democratize AI/ML utilization, allowing developers without AI experts to integrate advanced AI functionalities into our applications. This not only enhances the capabilities of our solutions but also significantly boosts developer productivity. Combining the power of Generative AI with human creativity enables us to craft innovative solutions that simplify and enhance our lives.

Spatial computing, or AR/VR technology, is another area that will have a profound impact. With companies like Apple, known for setting trends in technology, introducing devices like the Vision Pro, there is a clear path towards integrating augmented reality in everyday applications. This development opens up new possibilities for enriching real-world experiences with digital information, paving the way for groundbreaking advancements in this domain.

How do you update your business system to be in pace with technological advancements?

To stay abreast of technological advancements, we have implemented a multi-faceted approach at Travancore Analytics:

●    Continuous Learning and Training: Our dedicated Learning and Development (L&D) division plays a pivotal role. They periodically assess team members, incorporating feedback from their managers, and provide targeted training in necessary areas. We utilize an AI-based tool, Graderly, to ensure the effectiveness of our training programs. Additionally, we hold weekly seminars to keep our team updated on the latest industry trends and technologies.

●    Innovation and Adaptation: We adopt a hands-on approach to new technologies by integrating them into our internal projects. This practice allows us to assess their efficacy before recommending them to clients. Our process team continuously explores and integrates industry-leading processes into our workflow, ensuring we remain at the forefront of innovation.

●    Talent Acquisition and Development: We prioritize hiring top talent from premier institutions, and our L&D team provides them with an extensive 3-6 month training program before involving them in projects. For specialized skills that we don't have in-house, we have established partnerships with companies in similar industries to collaborate on projects.

●    Specialized Development Areas: For emerging technologies like AR/VR, we have established a dedicated lab equipped with the latest hardware and devices. This allows our engineering team to experiment and develop cutting-edge solutions for our clients.

●    Feedback Mechanism: Post-project, we use a CFF tool to gather client feedback. Our senior leadership reviews this feedback to make necessary improvements and enhance our customer experience.

●    Research and Development: Under the guidance of the CTO, our TA Labs division is dedicated to researching and developing solutions based on the latest trends and technologies. The insights and products developed here are then passed on to our engineering teams to propose innovative solutions to our clients.

What are your thoughts about AR, VR and Internet of Things (IoT)?

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

We are highly optimistic about the potential and future of both AR and VR technologies. Our journey with VR began in 2014, starting with early VR headsets like Google Cardboard, which has given us a profound understanding of its capabilities. Through our experiences, we've identified training as a particularly effective application for VR. VR-based training modules allow for immersive learning experiences, enabling trainers and trainees to simulate various scenarios in a safe, cost-effective, and risk-free environment. This is especially beneficial for industrial training, such as forklift operation or underwater pipeline repair, where practice in a controlled virtual space can significantly enhance confidence and safety.

Moreover, advancements like Meta Reality Space (our solution accelerator to enable metaverse) can make VR training solutions "metaverse-ready," allowing for remote, global participation in training sessions. This represents a transformative step in educational methodologies, making training more accessible and economically viable.

When it comes to AR, we foresee its largest impact on consumer experiences. AR has the potential to revolutionize the way we access information, moving beyond websites and mobile apps to provide contextually relevant data overlaid on the physical world around us. With devices like Vision Pro and XReal, information can be presented directly on physical objects in real time, enhancing everyday activities with a layer of digital interaction. Whether displaying recipes above ingredients as you prepare a meal or offering historical insights when viewing landmarks, AR integrates digital information seamlessly into our physical environment. This ubiquity of application suggests that AR could surpass VR regarding business opportunities, transforming how consumers interact with their surroundings.

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT technology has been a cornerstone of our offerings, enabling us to deliver sophisticated solutions across product lines. The advent of 5G and advances in edge computing are set to amplify the impact of IoT, particularly in industrial settings. These technologies facilitate data's rapid transmission and processing, which is crucial for optimizing operations and implementing predictive maintenance. The capability of IoT to gather comprehensive data in real time is instrumental in advancing software-defined manufacturing (SDM). SDM represents a paradigm shift in manufacturing, where production systems are dynamically configurable through software, allowing for unparalleled flexibility and efficiency in response to market demands or operational conditions.

Furthermore, integrating AI with IoT, especially at the edge, unlocks new dimensions of productivity and decision-making. By processing data on edge devices, we can achieve faster response times and more localized, intelligent actions, enhancing operational efficiency and reducing reliance on central data processing.

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