Navin Suri is the CEO of the Percipient Partners Pte. Ltd. – The company’s UniConnect platform enables enterprises to access all their data through a single interface, independent of the source, volume, vintage or type of data. Whether the data is real time, originates from a transaction system, or is stored in a database, UniConnect can unify this data “on-the-fly”, that is, minus the cost, latency and risks of duplication. Enterprises can use this data to power their full suite of digital applications, including analytics, reporting, BI, CRM, operational and sales systems.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
My name is Navin Suri, and let me start by admitting that I stayed addicted to the drug of the monthly pay check for far too long – 23 years. As an entrepreneur now, I consider myself to be in rehab, de-addicting from it. Thru the last 30 months on this journey, I have rediscovered the thrill of inventing, the power of curiosity and the value of persistence. At home, I am very focused on encouraging my kids to do 3 things; first, fall in love with data, second, prepare to pro-actively disrupt themselves every 4–5 years, and lastly, to live several entrepreneurial journeys through their lives.
What is your business venture about?
Over the past 2 decades, data warehouses have evolved to be known as the heart of an organisation’s data. However, because of how expensive, slow and resource-intensive data warehouses are, organisations have been selective and only about 40% of enterprise data is available in data warehouses. This essentially means the rest of the data remains untapped! And as growing competition from digitally native challengers forces such organisations to run faster and climb steeper hills (that use more and on-the-fly data), they are realising they just can’t keep pace, and risk survival.
We have developed technologies that allow businesses large to small, traditional to new, to fully clean up and unclog all existing data pipes, in less than a few weeks, to allow fuller and faster flow of data. Not just that, they can add newer data sources e.g. unstructured data, IOTs, Blockchain, etc to their existing data, to further enrich their decisions, drive innovation, enhance client experience, and more.
What is your mission at the outset?
My mission is to connect all of the world’s data sources, easier, faster, cheaper, and safer, than today.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
I experienced first-hand the pain and agony of writing big checks for data integration to the big tech incumbents, and yet having to work with limited and late arriving data.
What is unique about your business?
Our software blends our proprietary code with open source components tested at the scale of Facebook, Google, LinkedIn etc. We are able to connect to data sources with the ease of switching on a light bulb. We enable the querying of new and old varieties of data without making any copies, and yet we preserves all existing processes. And to top it all, our pricing does not penalise enterprises for growing their data.
Why will customers stay or do repeat business with you?
We are committed to solve real, everyday problems that hinder enterprises from extracting the maximum value from their data. This means customised, yet affordable solutions that addressed every step of the data management journey. Whether it is data transformation, cleansing, governance or security, our core competence in open source projects allows us to find the right set of tools to do the job.
What have been the biggest obstacles?
The perceived risk of on-boarding a Startup.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Who is your biggest inspiration or drive to do what you are doing?
Inventing something that wouldn’t exist if we hadn’t picked it up.
What’s next for you and for Percipient?
Business break-even in the near future.
Hock Lai has 18 years of experience in the financial industry, having performed roles in both business and technology. He graduated from the National University of Singapore (Real Estate), Nanyang Technological University (Infocomm Technology) and Nanyang Polytechnic (Fund Management & Administration).
He is also a Fellow of the Singapore University of Social Science, advisor to FinTech Startups and mentor to student FinTech projects.
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