BI City

Rajeev Ranjan
Rajeev Ranjan
Head - SAP
The Journey: Early days to How I got here

I started my career with TCS, got a chance to work for SAP lab in Australia which was my steppingstone and from there on the growth was very fast. Even in SAP, we were working with a team that helped me learn crystal database. The exposure was very good and helped me build my confidence. After 6 years I took the responsibility of taking the BI Factors in Philips electronics. The team was new found, I was the second managing director of the department and we were basically given the responsibility to offshore the entire databank. It was a very challenging role way back then to get the data from offsite team and get the work done from the onsite team. There were a lot of restrictions and lot of hardworking in certain adverse situations.

Decisions that mattered

When I was working with SAP labs I was working on CRM (Customer Relationship Management). I became close to BI, started liking it and thought why shouldn’t I get into it? I asked my team to change my module, so that I can pursue my career in BI because of my interest. I lost 4to 5 years of my SAP experience to get into BI.

The turning points

Yes definitely, started getting a lot of visibility, a lot of exposure moving to SAP, the CAD exposure, the AG, working with the chief architect in the areas of the product- that was the turning point for my career.

Work and Role: Then and now

I am heading one of the business units in Lumbini Innovations and my roles and responsibilities are much different from what I used to have. I was either an individual performer or with a team but now I have to take care of a business unit for which the responsibility is much more as it does not only affect me, but also the entire team behind me. I should take the projects that would give more maturity;everything is dependent on my work and my initiative.

Two years down the line

Well, as of now I am already leading one of the business units; I am also the chief technical officer in my company.Here I am looking at how to take my company to the next level. I am dreaming more about my company than myself.

What I learnt along the way

Hard work is the only thing that will take you towards success, there is no shortcut. Sometimes your business partners and your surroundings- environment also take you towards success or failure. You have to be very cautious at this state whether you have the right options around you and are you going in the right direction? Look into the final ambition and decide if your ambition is in alignment with what you are doing.

Trends to watch out for

Mobility is definitely one of the Hi-profile technology now-a-days, having a good space in the BI world but I am not looking at it, I am looking at the other aspects of BI, that is- how BI can be introduced in the education and the health care. I think there is potential for BI in these sectors. Mobility is just a channel, just a technology. The more advancement towards technology, the more transformed it gets with technology. We can involve BI in these areas. In the business world, we see educationists have more potential. About Lumbini Innovation in healthcare and education sector: Apart from IT, just being in healthcare is not a great idea I feel. The huge picture must be in the IT. It has not been addressed by any ERP or software company to the extent of requirement. But we are willing to focus in those areas, ready to come up with solutions in those areas and our effort is in that direction. Since BI is based on data, if you are not able to get the data then we can do an Intelligence analysis of it. First we should cover the overall domain and then we should impose intelligence output (software). Today you can see that there are a lot of institutes, junior colleges, university colleges, everywhere we have used student database. We are not able to extract the right type of information out of it. We have huge data and with collaborated approach with universities and technical colleges, we may come up with more intelligent information out of it.

My advice if you are starting out

He has to be more focused towards the technicalities, first of all- he has to pick up one of the domains or one of the technologies like verticals, to pursue a career in COGNOS, areas of IT(oracle) or any one of the tools he has to be comfortable with. For that he is required to take training. For a fresher or for someone who wants to make a career in BI, the training will never go waste because it will definitely give returns and I would suggest everyone who wants to take up a career in BI to invest time in learning in and out of the tool. Once he is comfortable with one tool, he can learn other tools and work in the same fashion.

Must have skills in BI, as I see them

I focused mainly on SAP because I got a chance to work with the chief architect of SAP. The people around me basically had very good understanding of SAP. I started learning the BI subject and had good understanding of Business Architecture also. We are doing a number of projects where we have Integrated Business objects with SAP BI, so we had come up with a lot of dashboard stuff. We have implemented a couple of applications and couple of scenarios where we have implemented profitability, Enterprise management and cost management. We have implemented health care in Business intelligence not in India but for some of our client in middle-east.

Do we need certifications

I am not a certified professional. I have worked for long years in SAP but am not certified with any of it. For someone who is starting with BI, if he is certified, people think that he has knowledge but I don’t believe in certifications. It will help them get noticed and after that they have to work hard on their career and prove themselves.

Books/Websites I recommend

SAP has internally published a book and there are SAP course materials which one can go through for reference.
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