Sivakumar Hariharaiyer is a Co-Founder of Netail, an AI-powered platform for retailers that delivers a competitive edge through advanced analytics including market intelligence, real-time pricing and product assortment decisions.
Tell us a little about your background and role at Netail.
My career has largely focused on the retail and consumer goods vertical. I started in consulting, moving from technical roles into program management and P&L management (as a Senior Partner at Infosys). I worked with retailers like Gap, Kroger, L Brands and several others across the globe. These experiences led me to SaaS product companies in the space and eventually, co-founding Netail. At Netail, we specialize in delivering breakthrough AI solutions into the retail vertical – by combining deep domain expertise with the best AI experts on the planet!
How does public relations play a role in what you and your team are looking to accomplish?
Public relations is very important for any start-up to establish the brand and get visibility in a crowded playing field, like AI. However, at Netail, we’re actually defining a new category (instead of trying to compete in a crowded market with an improved solution) making it disproportionately important for our success.
You recently launched a new software product, Profitmind. Was public relations a factor when launching the product?
We launched Profitmind (www.profitmind.com) last month. To elaborate on my earlier point, this is the industry’s first “Retail Copilot”, a fully automated AI analyst that identifies revenue, profit and working capital opportunities for the business, 24/7. Today, most organizations are overwhelmed with “too much data” and most business teams spend a majority of their time crunching numbers to find opportunities. Profitmind changes this paradigm by auto-identifying and quantifying the top opportunities so that business teams can focus their energy in executing those opportunities.
To achieve this, we’re combining Generative AI (and its reasoning superpowers) with traditional machine learning models (that do deep quantitative analysis). While ChatGPT has created a lot of buzz, we believe this hybrid approach is the future of AI for Enterprise value creation.
Do you have any thoughts or predictions for the upcoming retail season?
Retailers had a challenging year, operating in a world marked by constant change and shifting consumer preferences. However, the good news is that the industry (as a whole) is heading into this holiday season with an optimistic outlook, where YoY holiday sales (months of November and December) is expected to increase 3-4% (according to the National Retail Federation estimate). I do not expect this to play out evenly for all retailers, though. While the leaders who are embracing technology and innovation will have disproportionately higher growth, there will be many who will continue to face a depleting market share. So it will be an interesting couple of months for sure to see how it all plays out.