NEA & Orios backed retail analytics provider Intelligence Node Consulting Pvt. Ltd., raised Rs. 5 crores from Mumbai based specialized financing NBFC firm BlackSoil Capital Private Limited. Intelligence Node is also backed by marquee angel investors, viz. Gaurav Sharma, Sunil Varrier, Arindam Das, Anupam Mittal and Gul Mukhey.

Launched in 2012 as a consulting service, Intelligence Node is providing technology-based products and service providers to global retail players. It has a total customer base of 35 clients and covers over 1 bn+ unique products of over 130,000 brands. The company’s two products [InCompetitor & InOptimizer] enable the customers to get an overview of the competitive landscape in terms of pricing & visibility. It also suggests the client the most optimum pricing for its products. Its strong back-end analytics process is able to support a wide range of offerings in terms of refined data in the most efficient matter.

Sanjeev Sularia, CEO and Co-founder of IntelligenceNode said

IntelligenceNode has some great aspirations in reaching out to blue-chip MNC’s in global retail. The utility for our products & services is immense and with the help of venture debt provided by BlackSoil our business has got optimum fuel to run and grow faster in this industry.

Ankur Bansal, Director, BlackSoil Capital Private Limited. said

We found the products, the technology, the founders and the utility of IntelligenceNode very impressive & path breaking. The company has strong client traction coupled with zero client churn. We have great hopes from the company and wish the team all the luck for its future endeavors.

After investments in Cloud based telephony company Knowlarity, Indian arm of NASDAQ listed company Groupon Nearbuy, BlackSoil has completed its third Venture debt transaction with Intelligence Node. In six months of its operation, the NBFC has reached a INR 75 Crores loan book across 7 transactions and in process to expand their loan book to ~INR 100 Crores by March 2017.

BlackSoil is backed by the family offices of respected corporate houses such as: Gala family-Promoters of Navneet Education Limited, Shetty family-Promoters of Avvashya Group and Virendra Gala, a renowned real estate expert in Mumbai.

A lot has been said about the Narendra Modi government’s efforts to integrate information technology as an indispensable part of citizens’ lives. But IT brings with it, its own challenges. One of them is data security. In an increasingly digitized world, our vulnerability to the misuse of personal, professional, even national security data is a big issue.

While IT is playing a dominant role in the country’s economy, a key question being raised is: Is digital India prepared enough to combat the red eye of cyber security threat ?

Image Source – Security

We have to admit that white-collar crime has evolved into a smarter avatar in the last 5 years or so. Even on the terrorism front, India is witnessing a moment of change from the operational perspective as the country’s confidential data faces challenges of vulnerability in the cyberspace from international cyber goons.

While the government’s recent demonetization move, brings with it a huge opportunity for digital commerce, it throws up new challenges. As India moves slowly towards the goal of a cashless economy, there is bound to be a large numbers of ‘first timers’ whose lack of familiarity with technology, might result in security compromises and data leakages. We need to be equipped to handle the eventuality.

With the recent escalation of threats from neighbouring countries and incidents of ATM/debit card data breach, the Government is setting up a cyber security research and development fund of Rs 1,000 crore to be spend over the next five years. It will be administered by a Committee headed by the National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval.

Why it Matters

The Ponemon Institute, which conducts independent research on privacy, data protection and information security, recently reported that the average cost of global cyber breach has reached as much as USD 3.8 million. With reports of data breaches every other day, most of them leading to grave financial losses, it’s time to sit up and take note of the threat. People and organizations are nowadays becoming increasingly concerned about the rampant use of IT networks for spying, data leakage, or other similar threats, capable of putting their reputation at stake.

To combat this, there is today, a growing demand for trained IT security professionals. Data security is fast becoming a promising career option and training in this field is growing hugely in importance. Corporates as well as government organizations are now hiring data security experts for tasks such as fixing internal security loopholes, clinical investigation of computer frauds, outlining data security and networking fundamentals for organizations, remote firewall management and security auditing for standard management of IT systems.

Protecting Data

Protecting computer networks from illegal attempts of accessing personal or business-related information on the internet requires a lot of expertise. Recently, two apex educational bodies-the University Grant Commission [UGC] and All India Council for Technical Education [AICTE] have proposed that Indian universities and institutions introduce Cyber Information Security as a subject at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Graduates with a degree in computer science or engineering may opt for full-time or short-term courses, degrees and diplomas in cyber information security and network administration. Many academic institutions, in the recent past, have based their IT courses on internationally-renowned certifications like CompTIA.

An international certification as a data security expert can do wonders for a career in this domain. Such certifications are much sought after, today. An IT certification in data security enhances skills of individuals willing to enter this field, or professionals looking for customized knowledge, and thus help create an employable workforce with industry-relevant skills.

CompTIA Security+ certification, for instance, is a vendor-neutral certification dealing with key data security concepts such as application, data & host security; threats and vulnerabilities, compliance, identity control and cryptography. This certification is widely acclaimed by hiring managers as a great certification for a newbie or someone having about a year’s experience in network technologies.

With the upcoming release of their Cybersecurity Analyst [CSA+] certification in 2017, CompTIA is looking forward to provide an advanced logical progression in career pathway of people who have already done the Security+ course. CompTIA also has CASP [CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner] for senior security practitioners responsible for enterprise security, research and analysis.

Growing Specialization

With cyber-crime on the rise, the need for qualified professionals to protect data is on the rise.  In fact, data security is one of the fastest growing specializations in IT. You have chances of growth opportunities after just a few years of experience. When it comes to remuneration, cyber security specialists make almost 10% more money than their IT peers, states a recent job intelligence report. However, salaries may vary according to individual skill sets, experience, and geographic location of the employer.

Qualification Needed

Cyber security experts may come from diverse set of backgrounds that don’t necessarily include IT. Working in data security requires an analytical mind to solve data loss issues and design methodologies for preventing breaches. As a professional in this field, your job duties will involve ensuring data encryption, monitoring access to data, disaster recovery of important data and maintaining consistency in data security. Besides these, your responsibilities  will be also be to identify risk, participate in risk mitigation activities, provide infrastructure, application, information and operational security, apply security controls to maintain confidentiality, integrity and availability of data, troubleshoot security events and incidents and operate with an awareness of applicable policies, laws and regulations.

Opportunities & Prospects

Data security is among the most sought-after profession in the tech sector right now, outpacing demand for other IT-related jobs. CompTIA’s International Trends in Cyber Security research reveals that nearly 8 out of 10 managers responsible for network data protection expect data security to become a higher priority for their companies over the next few years. Persons interested in a career in this field may pursue their job profile as an ethical hacker, security administrator, cyber policy analyst, information security architect, data security analyst or specialist, information technology officer, or even cyber security consultant.

Besides, this Information security is a skill which is applicable in all segments of the industry. One can be an Information Security Specialist employed in an IT company, BFSI, retail, government and myriad of other industry segments. Since every organization today deals with electronic data, safety of the same becomes crucial and leads to a huge requirement of generic information and cyber security specialists.

The Road Ahead

According to a report compiled by Burning Glass technologies, postings for cyber security related jobs grew as much as 74% between 2007 and 2013 around the world. According to Forbes magazine, the cyber security job market is expected to grow to over $170 billion in the next 4 years. With netizens of world coming together as a result of digital convergence, we need more reliable communication and information security systems, almost everywhere. Today, there are international companies [like CompTIA] working overtime to eliminate the widening gap in the data security workforce.

Data security decisions can create sustainable impact on business operations. As a matter of fact, only companies with protected knowledge and resources can enhance their businesses efficiently. Training young professionals to work in this domain is the need of the hour and there are opportunities galore in this field. In fact, cyber security experts are today the new ‘super heroes’ of most organizations.

Pradipto Chakrabarty is the Regional Director, CompTIA, the voice of the world’s information technology industry. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through its educational programs, professional certifications and public policy advocacy. You can view his profile here

Trainman, the online platform catering to Indian Railway travelers by assisting them with various train related information and intelligence, has tied up with Datawind, a leading provider of low cost internet connectivity and wireless web access products. The partnership will mean that the Trainman app would be pre-installed in all Datawind tablets and mobile handsets, enabling easy access to information related to train travel and queries.

By virtue of this tie-up, consumers of Datawind tablets and mobile handsets will be able to access the pre installed Trainman app. Upon clicking the icon on the home screen, consumers will be directed to the app where they will be able to check vital information like PNR status, seat availability, train schedules, etc all at one go. With intelligence built over a base of two crore PNR numbers, Trainman’s core strength lies in its wait-list ticket prediction, with an accuracy of over 90%.

Talking about the tie-up, Vineet Chirania, Director & CEO, Trainman said

We are extremely happy with our tie-up with Datawind. Datawind which is the market leader in affordable tablets and smart phones industry has a widespread reach in terms of its customer base. Since most train travelers too are the ones that are on a lookout for affordable means of transportation, there is a clear synergy between the segments of people who we are aiming to tap with this tie up. We are positive that it will help us expand our presence in untapped territories, by being accessible on their handsets and tablets.

Speaking on the development, Suneet Singh Tuli, President & CEO, Datawind, said

Datawind devices are meant for the common man and taking the same vision forward we have tied up with Trainman, which also provides services catering to the common man on a day to day basis for train travel purpose. We believe that people will be greatly benefited through the association between Datawind and Trainman, wherein the customer will not have the hassle of downloading the app since it comes pre-installed on our devices.

With the advancement of digital platforms and the growing smart phone industry, Trainman has witnessed close to 8 lakh app downloads and receives over 3 lakh visits a day across its site and apps. For the ease of customers, Trainman has also tied up with Cleartrip to enable them to book train tickets, in addition to associating with Indian online transportation network Ola to solve last mile connectivity issues.

Trainman App is available on the Play Store and can be downloaded from here

About Trainman

The uncertainty of confirmation for waitlisted tickets coupled with the complex rules and regulations of Indian Railways paved way for the launch of Trainman, a smart and simple system that not only predicts the confirmation probability of waitlisted tickets but is one stop shop for all train related queries. Trainman’s core strength lies in its waiting ticket prediction functionality with over 90% accuracy. Apart from PNR status prediction, the constantly evolving platform also provides features like Automatic Trip Detection from IRCTC SMS, automatic Notification on Change in PNR Status, Seat Availability Calendar, Train Schedule and Running Status, Live Station Status and Platform Number and Coach Position among others. For more information, please visit Trainman

A person walks into a hypermarket on a busy weekend and shops a bunch of expensive merchandise. He carefully scans the checkout counters and selects a cashier who seems to be a trainee as he has done it many times in many stores. His turn comes and since total bill runs into a very high sum, cashier asks for a card. The person extends a shiny new card to the cashier but what happens next makes the person with the merchandise sweat even in cold winter. He was caught carrying a forged credit card and is asked to step aside. The fraud was detected thanks to a technology called Real Time Data Analytics deployed by the card company.

Image Source – LinkedIn

The next scenario – a home maker logs into her favorite ecommerce portal to buy the curtains for her living room. While browsing the curtains, she taps into a set of queen size bed sheets but goes back finding the right color of curtains as that’s her priority. For ecommerce back-end, the mere tap on the bed sheets were enough to know what the customer may like. She checks out with a set of curtains along with a nice matching set of bed sheets. What happened? In technical language, it’s called using clickstream data to help customer find what she likes in real time a.k.a Real Time Data Analytics. Based on the product clicks along with the recent browsing history of colors of curtains, the customer was recommended with bed sheets which she may like and ultimately buy. The customer is happy to find the items and eCommerce has sold one extra piece of merchandise without any investment in promotion.

Today, Newer innovations are changing the way technology based business is managed with advance developments in artificial intelligence, big data analysis and predictive technologies. IQLECT is leveraging its proprietary innovation in helping corporations add newer revenue streams which may not have been possible earlier or help in saving resources with real time analytics which may been wasted so far.

IDC predicts that by 2020, organizations who can analyze all relevant data and deliver actionable insight will achieve an extra USD 430 billion in productivity gains over their less analytically oriented peers.

Even though the need for real time analytics is on the rise, the technology options are limited and are not enough to support the needs adequately. Doing real time analytics could be tough especially when data ingestion, data analysis, pattern recognition, actionable insights extraction etc all should happen while the event is still happening. This could require responding to the interesting events in less than a second or sometime even less. There are only a handful of companies worldwide which are in high tech field of Real Time Data Analytics and IQLECT is a leading platform from ASIA.

IQLECT simplifies the overall proposition and offers a fully baked off-the- shelf software converged platform, either on the cloud or as a converged hardware-software all-in-a-box platform. The convergence of all necessary software and hardware in one box enables the users to get up and running in a few hours, thus making the proposition highly scalable, cost effective and easy to integrate and accelerates the time to market for enterprises. Enterprises can use IQLECT platform in various ways.

A representative chart as follows:

Looking ahead, Sachin Sinha, Founder & CEO, IQLECT, said

We are expanding across geography and many industry verticals. Over the last few years we have built and shaped a cutting edge platform and that gives us an opportunity to showcase our product to leading companies and Industry peers globally.

About IQLECT

IQLECT is a big data analytics company based in Bengaluru. IQLECT offers a hardware-software converged platform, for users to enable real-time data analysis for their businesses, in a cost-effective and process-efficient manner.  The company has raised US$2 million in seed funding from Exfinity Venture Partners. Exfinity venture partners is backed by software industry veterans such as TV Mohandas Pai, V. Balakrishnan, Deepak Ghaisas, Girish Paranjpe among others. The company has used these funds in expansion of team and product development. For more information, please visit IQLECT

Late on November 8th 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that 86% of the notes in circulation in India-Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes-will no longer be legal tenders after midnight. The move was aimed to curb corruption and black money, primarily. Hailed as a landmark move by some and unnecessary by others, the situation had a big impact on spending pattern of the Indian consumers & the e-commerce business.

India’s #1 cashback destination CouponDunia has come up with an infographic detailing about how Indian consumers’ shopping behaviour shaped up following the demonetization announcement. The infographic highlights online shoppers’ behaviour from November 8th 2016 to January 2nd 2017, comparing it to equal number of days before the demonetization announcement- 13th September to 7th November.

It covers everything from top performing brands during the post-demonetization period to how top brands and metro cities were impacted. There are also some very interesting insights in the ‘Other Insights’ category, highlighting the surge in ordering food and medicine online and booking cabs, too.

Detailed information about the effects of Demonetization on online shopping is below: