At Clustr, our vision is to bring the power of information and analytics to the hands of the MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise) sector and thereby, fundamentally change the way these businesses run and drive developing economies.
Globally, Big Data has been heralded as a big deal for some time now and has a wide variety of applications across many use cases. But not all kinds of businesses, big and small are able to reap its benefits equally. While large businesses can afford to pay big bucks to gain business value from established Big Data analytics providers, the MSMEs are left out of the game.
There are millions of MSMEs and they form the backbone of emerging economies like India. But they don’t have access to the type of information that can allow them to make data-driven business decisions and grow at scale. Moreover, the information is usually in the form of complicated reports and charts that the typical MSME finds hard to consume.
But what if the MSME could access this information in a simple, usable format, and in a regular, timely manner? What if they could have access to just the kind of information that is key for their own business? If they could leverage more than just their own historic data and could get deeper insights into the industry they operate in? Or how certain factors outside of their immediate market could affect their business?
All of this could revolutionize how they do their day to day business.
So, we are here to democratize the access to information and help the MSME get more value for their businesses. By providing information that is consumable, affordable, reliable, relevant and timely, we can help them make better business decisions in a faster, more efficient and scalable manner.
In a country like India that is inherently vast, diverse, chaotic, multi-cultural and multi-lingual, the needs and business processes of MSMEs are just as varied and complex. Every small business is unique, with its own set of constraints and operational challenges.
Moreover, when we focus on the Big Data analytics market, we are invariably faced with two major challenges:
True, these are problems faced by every other Big Data company today. But what makes Clustr’s journey both challenging and unique is that not only are we looking at solving these very problems but more importantly, we are delivering business value to the millions of MSMEs that are the very drivers of the economy.
And when we look at the problem landscape particularly from the lens of ‘volume’, ‘variety’ and ‘velocity’ of Big Data, the underlying problem is that of ‘Diversity’, a major roadblock for emerging economies such as India.
First, there’s diversity in data sources: Large amounts of data comes in various forms, formats and from a variety of sources. It could be gathered across different sources – such as a business’s own historical trends or general industry insights. Sometimes, a large variety of data can be collected from within a single source itself. Take social media data, for instance – you will find that this data exists in various formats – as images, long form and short form texts, video and voice clips, to name a few. Sifting through a wide variety of data from even a single source can be a huge task in itself. And most of the data gathered, often lacks structure and consistency.
Second, there’s diversity of data representation: Data entry can be a tedious task for most small enterprises owners when they are primarily focused on running their day to day business. And they may maintain data records as per their comfort and competence. For example, a grocery store owner from Tamil Nadu may choose to enter the name of a Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) in Tamil for easy reference. Another grocer from West Bengal may find it convenient to enter the same SKU in his/her mother tongue, Bengali. With diverse languages and dialects across the length and breadth of the country like India where the same SKU may be represented by a number of local names, we can only begin to imagine the nature of the problem at hand. Sometimes, the name of a brand may be the same as that of an item, creating confusion about its categorization. Plus, typos and general errors during data entry may also create problems of inconsistency and misrepresentation.
And these are only some examples of diversity that affects small businesses.
At Clustr, we understand the unique problems of the MSME, the nuances of their business and the environment they operate in. So we aim to make their life as easy as possible by building an ecosystem with the right frameworks, talent and technology that they can rely on.