First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Vivek Debuka: COVID-19 has been a life-changing experience for the entire world, including my family and me. Despite its negative impact, I would say something positive also surfaced. Speaking for my personal spent, I actually got to a lot of time with my entire family. The lockdown phase of COVID-19 here in India actually took us back in time, bringing the entire neighborhood together like a family. My relations with my family, my spouse, has deepened. Moments of frustrations were there, but being together with loved ones compensated for everything.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Analytics.
Vivek Debuka: I have been with my organization DexLab Analytics right from its startup days, and I must say I feel fortunate to be a part of the core founding team. In a nutshell, it has been an enriching experience. Hailing from a family business background, I had the business acumen regarding sales, marketing, operations, and people management needed to launch a successful career.
I started my career in Sales and as I progressed in my portfolio started expanding. My understanding of the human way of thinking enabled me to be a good marketer and people manager too. This eventually has led to my current position of being the Business Head (Sales, Marketing & Operations) at DexLab Analytics.
We are in the field of Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, along with providing training, content development. Over the last few years, the organization has also diversified itself into business consulting and solutions, specifically in Risk Analytics. It takes immense pride for me to say my team and I was able to successfully venture into the MENA region providing risk-based solutions related to Scorecard Development, BASEL regulatory models, and risk reporting for Banking and NBFC organizations. Today, we are probably the only organization in the nation that can boast of having dedicated full-fledged risk related implementation based training and solutions. Our evolution from offering training and development to handling business consulting has been phenomenal.
In the training industry, we are one of the industry leaders in Data Science, Analytics, Machine Learning, and AI space. In the last couple of years, we have trained professionals of more than 40 brands. We have been in collaboration with international organizations as well as with startups in Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, etc. We are spreading our wings.
It’s been almost 6 years, and today I feel proud to be the Business Head (Sales, Marketing, and Operations) at DexLab Analytics, which has risen so high from its nascent stage. I looked after the strategy, business operations, and together we envision taking our organization higher.
How does DexLab Analytics innovate?
Vivek Debuka: Innovation has been one of our core values ever since we started our journey. We believe that the only way to grow is to innovate, and innovation becomes possible only when you: Research – Learn – Develop – Implement. These are the four pillars of innovation at DexLab Analytics. Continuous research leads you towards a new direction, and when you learn something new, you develop new ideas, and when you implement those ideas, you innovate. Be it, Data Science, Machine Learning, AI or, Risk Analytics, every single sector is evolving at a fast pace, so we at DexLab Analytics observe the changing trend and innovate a solution.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Vivek Debuka: The pandemic brought in a lot of chaos, but I have to admit it exposed us to a new set of challenges which helped us relearn and reshape the way we function at DexLab Analytics. We had a physical setup, and we had to completely migrate to the digital platform. The business had to go through a setback, but we learned to cope with new challenges, started working remotely, dealt with a few hiccups, and started sailing smoothly. The pandemic gave our team an opportunity to develop a deeper bonding with each other even when we were far. Our collaboration, motivation levels are at an all-time high.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Vivek Debuka: Initially, there were challenging moments when the business stopped all of a sudden. There was no revenue coming in, but we ensured that there were no pay cuts or resource cutting measures taken. However, the time has its own way of deepening the wound. Eventually, the organization did come to a stage where we had to take certain cost-cutting measures and had to let a couple of our amazing people go. For us, the pandemic gave the word ‘critical’ a new definition. Earlier in the pre-pandemic phase, what we perceived as critical didn’t remain so when the pandemic hit. That was a big lesson for us, and we are in the process of restructuring and realigning at DexLab Analytics. I am glad to report to you that we are now getting back on track. In fact, we look forward to bringing back the resources we had to let go of. We are settling in this new normal. If anything, the pandemic has only helped us understand the truest potential of us as an organization. More importantly, I learned a great deal about my own beliefs and values in the pandemic.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Vivek Debuka: The pandemic taught me how not to stress! During the pandemic, I was stressed as I was worried about what would happen if I got infected, especially now when my wife and I expect our first child. But, when I was detected to be COVID positive, the stress was gone for some reason. The days I spent in self-isolation was the days when I ended up introspecting. It was for the first time since the pandemic when I read a book, listened to music, caught up on TV shows only to realize that there was so much time I used to give myself earlier, which I stopped since the pandemic. I realized I was being stressed out for no reason at all, and I came out as a winner defeating not only stress but COVID-19 as well. I would say stop stressing, be realistic, and spend time with yourself and your loved ones. It is always a good idea to give yourself a mental break.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Vivek Debuka: No naming here! No, on a serious note, I think we are all doing great in our own unique ways. Pandemic did bring in some changes that intensified the competition in the market, people lost jobs, and companies are taking steps to cut resources. There are changes and challenges. However, we at DexLab Analytics have never shied away from a challenge or change. We have always brought in the change by being proactive and taking measures well in advance. As l mentioned before, the fields of Data Science, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence are fast-evolving fields. We keep an eye on the change and introduce solutions that always keep us ahead. We have a dedicated team, insight, and vision to remain relevant.
As we went digital with our training, we only realized that our audience loved us even more. We were performing and offering our solutions to the clients to a greater degree of satisfaction. Our training and solutions are under continuous research, development, and evolution. We stay ahead in the game on a daily basis. We have a dedicated team for the development of content related to Credit and Market Risk Analytics, which is one of a kind training solutions available to risk professionals worldwide. Innovation has always been our only plan to stay ahead in the game.
Your final thoughts?
Vivek Debuka: Machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science are no longer futuristic words, especially in the post-pandemic world that is bound to remain digital. The market scenario has changed and would continue to change with new risks emerging. We at DexLab Analytics are highly motivated to embrace the new challenges and continue to innovate the digital space as that is the only way forwards. It is a time for us all to adapt to the changing time, instead of letting stagnation stop our growth.