‘Adapt and Survive’ series: Manishi Sanwal, Voiceback Technologies

By Andrew Pentol |

Manishi small image Adapt & SurviveIndian data analytics company Voiceback Technologies, led by former Flemingo Travel Retail CEO Manishi Sanwal, has emphasised the value of data analytics during and after the Covid-19 crisis in the latest edition of the TRBusiness Adapt & Survive Skype video series.

Sanwal, who left Flemingo Travel Retail in 2019 to pursue this new adventure, says the company uses modern day mathematics, science and computing power to solve complex business problems.

He commented explained: “Companies can use data analytics to find out which customers are excited about a promotion and which ones are not. Some customers might not be excited by promotions as they know what want to buy and will always purchase these products.

“Having this kind of data gives companies the possibility to customise promotions. They don’t have to offer the same promotion to everyone and can me more efficient in terms of catering to everyone’s needs.”

Looking ahead, Sanwal highlights several critical changes which will impact the DF&TR landscape

CHANGING CUSTOMER DEMANDS

The first is different customer demands will change, the second is fewer customers in stores and the third is intense pressure on cash flow and profitability due to the closure of businesses.

“In this context, driving growth will require fundamental changes,” Sanwal explained. “Forecasting will have to be extremely strong. After all, how do you forecast if you will have to purchase for December at this present moment? Also, how do you predict what exactly will sell and for how much when everything will have changed?”

On the topic of forecasting, Sanwal believes companies must change the way they do this. “Most companies normally forecast based on previous years. They would look at data from last October and plan for this October. That model will fall apart.

“Companies will require a far better understanding using much more advanced algorithms.”

Duty free and travel retail entities will also be under pressure to grow at a higher margin. “The only way this can happen is if they figure out a way to cut promotion costs. If only this could be achieved using science and maths. This would enable companies to decide what discounts to give, relate to individual customers and increase business margins.”

For more information and to get involved in Adapt & Survive, Contact: [email protected] 

Click below links to view other videos in the series:

Sarah Branquinho, President, Duty Free World Council 

Matthew Greenbaum, Vice President, International Shoppes

Julie Lassaigne, Secretary General, ETRC

Sam Gerber, Managing Partner Skross and Vice President Corporate, TFWA

John Woodhouse, Managing Partner, Schäfer Airport Retail

Peter Mohn, CEO and Co-founder, m1nd-set

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