Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Following the company’s endeavor to launch a new data center of excellence (COE) in response to the digitalization of the company’s business decisions for the used car industry, Carsome has recently appointed Piyush Palkar as the company’s latest chief data officer.

The former head of data at iflix and subsequently WeTV iflix brings to Carsome a vast experience in data and analytics across banking, energy, media and entertainment, and retail. Despite being a construction engineer by qualification, he ventured into data since his varsity days.

Palkar will lead data maturity, data engineering and management, ML/AI-based data-driven innovations, business intelligence, insights and data analytics in Carsome. He will also embed data culture in the organization to support organizational efficiency and agility through data.

Speaking about his announcement, he stated, “I am very excited to be part of the team that digitalizes the used car industry, now further strengthened by cutting-edge data technologies, as democratizing data and providing near-real time insights to different business functions are vital in driving innovation and efficiency. We will leverage data to improve customer experience via personalization, customer segmentation and propensity models.”

Palkar’s appointment by Carsome will also aid the company in its quest to use data, which allows Carsome to power its business at all stages while supporting strategic decisions. The combination of auction and market data, and machine learning (ML) model backs Carsome’s proprietary vehicle pricing optimization and inventory support system. It also helps the company in understanding different user personas and their journey as a customer, and allows for analytics-backed inventory acquisition and liquidation strategy.

Carsome co-founder and group CEO Eric Cheng explained that the company has amassed a wealth of data after six years in business, where data of hundreds of cars pass through Carsome’s platforms every single day. “By setting up our data COE, we are on full throttle in implementing data science solutions, along with data-driven insights to increase operational efficiency.”

“Our in-house data capabilities and machine learning automations increase work efficiency and enhance timely, evidence-based decision-making abilities, which in turn helps our customers get good quality services from Carsome,” Cheng added. 

The company also believes that data helps in digitalizing workflows and processes by improving internal products with artificial intelligence (AI) and ML capabilities. Application of AI and ML include automating various operations tasks, such as car number plate masking and car scoring engine; these reduce the time an inspector takes to inspect a car and therefore promote better efficiency internally while providing faster car-selling process for consumers.

Carsome is on track to hit an annualized US$1 billion in revenue by the end of the second quarter (Q2 2021). The company is also expected to complete a number of major merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions that will further cement its market leadership position in the next six months.

Mumbai, India – Dentsu International has roped in Chief Data Officer and CEO of Dentsu Programmatic for South Asia Gautam Mehra to lead the APAC unit anew. He will be assuming the title Chief Data & Product Officer for the larger region.

The appointment comes as the marketing communications company moves to build a stronger and more unified APAC data and product offering across the network. Based in Mumbai, Gautam will report to Zhengda Shen, APAC president of Dentsu’s data-driven performance marketing agency Merkle.

Gautam joined Dentsu in 2013, where he later assumed the South Asia leadership three years after. In his recent role for the region, Gautam was responsible for driving the data quotient in the market both internally and with clients. Most notably, he led the unification of the Dentsu’s data sciences team and the team of programmatic marketing service Amnet to create Dentsu Programmatic.

Gautam also led the creation of Dentsu’s proprietary adtech product, the Dentsu Marketing Cloud ecosystem, which is a cohesive system that brings together a slew of Dentsu proprietary ecosystems such as the Facebook Marketing Partner (Ad-Tech) Badged DMC Explore, Dentsu Play, Dentsu TrueValue and other proprietary martech tools used in over 32 markets globally.

On the appointment, Ashish Bhasin, Dentsu Asia Pacific CEO said that data is central to the company’s business strategy as it ensures that advertising efforts are in the right direction.

“Having Gautam drive this data agenda for us is crucial in the era of data explosion. He has earned a reputation of developing and delivering highly innovative data-led initiatives while embodying the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurism. This is a well-deserved promotion and I look forward to working closely with him,” said Bhasin.

Merkle APAC president Zhengda Shen also commented, “Organizations are constantly challenged to evolve with agility and speed and adapt to ever-changing consumer dynamics. Providing leadership for clients by integrating data, media, content, and technology to navigate through this shifting landscape is a critical function of agencies. Gautam’s track record for driving innovations and developing globally scaled solutions makes him perfectly placed to help our clients in the region and to ensure that Dentsu International continues to lead through innovation.”

Meanwhile, Gautam, on his new role, said, “There are almost no limits to what we can uncover by studying consumer behavior and their interplay with brands. I’m excited to apply my leadership, knowledge, and experience in delivering globally adopted tech-driven products and solutions to further the data-driven culture of Dentsu International and to build the practice across APAC, further cementing our dominance in this area within the region in using cutting edge technology to solve everyday client challenges.”

Very recently, Dentsu announced its rebranding from Dentsu Aegis Network to now Dentsu International. The new brand will see the union of thousands of global employees under one Dentsu name.