Ashwin Reddy, founder & CEO of Singapore based startup Fisheye Analytics — post the company’s acquisition by WPP Group, world’s one of the largest advertising, PR and market research company — has all plans to give another shot at entrepreneurship. But for the time being, he will don the role of ‘Chief Social Media Strategy Officer’ of Kantar Media, WPP’s wholly-owned data investment management business.
As Fisheye becomes a part of Kantar Media, Reddy’s duties will include growing the social media business of the company in Europe and Asia Pacific.
Founded in 2009 by Reddy in Singapore, and an R&D office in Hyderabad (India), Fisheye Analytics did social media intelligence for businesses and government agencies from the EU to MINDEF (Ministry of Defence, Singapore). It also boasts of having some of the biggest names like the IOC, FIFA among others as its clients.
“We catered to all Olympic Games in the past four years and will be catering to FIFA World Cup coming soon,” Reddy told e27.
While Reddy is excited about his new profile, he hopes to return to entrepreneurship again to action his plans of building larger companies over the next two decades. He feels that the acquisition means a lot for the startup scenario in Singapore.
“I am sure, you will agree that it (the acquisition of Fisheye by WPP) will inspire Singaporean youth towards pursuing entrepreneurship,” he said.
The current Fisheye team (of 14 people, besides Reddy) will continue to play its role and more people will be added to the team. Also, Kantar Media will be partnering with Chinese social insight expert company CIC (acquired by Kantar Media in 2012) to pool its strengths in the Asia pacific markets and offer unified solutions across the region.
“The acquisition allows our products and services to be made available to a much bigger global market by a company (Kantar Media), which has the means to execute sales in a large scale,” Reddy said.
“As a small company, we had limited reach. I am looking forward to seeing our online platform called Media Lens used by thousands of enterprises globally,” he added.
The acquisition brings into light the increasing demand of analytics startups amongst media and internet giants. “The weakness of large companies in general is the ability to innovate quickly. Large companies want to expand to new markets and bring in new products by acquiring smaller companies that have proved to have strong products and local market expertise,” added Reddy.
According to an official release from WPP, for the year ending October 31, 2013, Fisheye’s unaudited revenues were SG$ 782,871, with gross assets as at the same date of SG$ 332,162.
WPP has been on an expansion spree through both organic and inorganic means and boasts of generating revenues around US$350 million (figures includes earnings from associates too) in Singapore and employs over 2,000 people.
“Big Data is the buzz word now. It is important for analytics startups to be able to handle Big Data, and extract valuable intelligence from it,” explained Reddy. “The startups that are able to extract valuable intelligence in the field of analytics will shine.”
With the amount of data being generated every day, be it on social media or in corporate databases, the ability to analyse this data and extract ‘business value’ is essential for large businesses thus increasing the scope and importance of analytics.