Christopher C Doyle, India head of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a B2B intelligence arm of The Economist Group, says risk analysis and forecasting help businesses validate assumptions and ensure that decisions are taken based on facts.In an interview to FEs Saikat Neogi, he talks about analytics, power of innovation and new challenges for businesses. Excerpts:
What are your key areas of research and what kind of analytics are most sought after by Indian companies?
Our core service provides business enterprises with data and analysis on the business environment, risk analysis and forecasts, which help businesses understand their environments better and help them make more informed business decisions. This research can be delivered in two ways. First, through reports that are updated monthly, which cover over 200 countries and six key industries. Clients can subscribe to them for access to data and analysis on an annual basis. Second, through research which has been commissioned by clients specific to their business and customised to their needs.
How do you customise your analytics for divergent needs of client companies?
For example, there was this Indian company interested in expanding into Africa, but had not decided on the country. We suggested to them that they use our country reports to narrow down the choice of countries to a final shortlist of three to five countries, and we would then do a customised research project for each of these shortlisted countries to help them interpret trends critical to their business, understand current and future risks impacting their business and make forecasts that would enable them to decide on which country or countries they should enter into. In addition, we do research for thought leadership, which enables our clients to position their brands as thought leaders in a particular space and helps them associate their brands with our brand as well as with cutting edge research on topics that are critical for business. Finally, we organise and provide content for high level conferences aimed at C- suite executives, CEOs and the government, seeking to add value through debate and discussion on business critical issues.
How can Indian companies strike a balance between short-term risk management and long-term growth plans in these tough times?
It is important for companies to gain better visibility of their operations. This can be achieved through better and frequent internal reporting (sales, cash flow, inventory etc), changing or strengthening internal controls and processes, ensuring forward