India's Contify dispenses knowledge in the cloud

Summary:It's a cliché, but worth restating — information in today’s business environment is worth its weight in gold, and it's a strategic weapon if you can access it and act on it in a timely fashion. That's where Contify comes in.

Name: Contify

Cloud segment: SaaS

Type of app: Competitive intelligence

Founders/management: Mohit Bhakuni

It's not surprising that employees spend 1.8 hours every day, on average, trawling for information essential to their work, according to a McKinsey report. That's approximately one fifth of an entire working day. Despite this toil, there's a very good chance that they may have missed some crucial nugget that could make or break the next important business decision.

Contify's proposition is to take over this task of scouring the net for pertinent information on competitors and key business indicators. This could range from, say, crucial policy changes in an industry to downsizing news, a competitor's global plans, or even important technology developments. Missing any of these events, however big or small, could translate into a serious handicap for a business.

This is where Contify's proprietary software comes into play. It uses natural language processing and classification algorithms to aggregate information from many diverse sources, ranging from corporate websites to blogs, to websites of regulators — basically, every possible place where you might find relevant business information.

This is how Contify's process works: A monitoring brief is prepared after the company's client weighs in on its requirements. Then, a set of proprietary algorithms that determine what information will be aggregated from which sources kick into gear, tagging appropriate information. Later, a team of analysts do the same at a higher level of scrutiny. Users can then create a custom dashboard containing their chosen widgets for analysis that in turn gives them a unique, one-stop snapshot of what is happening in their industry. Also possible are custom branded newsletters and email alerts, as well as personalized charts and graphs.

The business is funded by the profits of its parent, Athena Information Systems, the largest licensed content syndication company in India. Today, 85 staff members in Contify's operations team cater to clients across nine countries and spread across a wide spectrum of business interests — GlaxoSmithKline, Karl Storz, Nasscom, Societe Generale, Philips, Bertelsmann — all of which consider up-to-date information about their industry an essential tool to get ahead of the pack today.

Update: Clarified statements relating to Contify's operations focusing on competitive intelligence.

Topics: Cloud, India


Rajiv is a journalist and filmmaker based out of New Delhi who is interested in how new technologies, innovation, and disruptive business forces are shaking things up in India. He was most recently a features editor at Business Standard newspaper, and started his career as a reporter with Fortune Magazine in New York in the '90s. He a... Full Bio

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