Startups,

CC Turns Seven… And, We Are Killing Ourselves!

Today, Convergence Catalyst (CC) turns Seven years old. We would like to Thank everyone for your support in our journey. Each and every one of you had a role to play in our growth and impacted us positively, whether you realize it or not. And, mighty Thanks for that! :)

As we look back on our journey so far, we realize how unconventional our choices were and how we defied the established playbooks to sustain and grow:

  • When success, especially in the startup world, primarily meant fundraising, we stuck to bootstrapping and funding the business only through revenues… and, we were lucky to bag our first client in the first month of our inception!
  • When success was equated to expanding the team beyond leaps and bounds, we stuck to keep it small, niche and onboard extremely high-quality individuals
  • When building the brand, conventionally was spending loads of marketing dollars, we managed to build our credibility and thought leadership purely basis merit and quality of our work…
  • When an MBA degree was the pre-requisite to enter the Management Consulting world, we, a bunch of Non-MBAs managed to build our own niche in this domain
  • 51 out of the 52 projects that we have delivered so far did not have precedence… anywhere in the world! We had to come up with our own Approach and Methodology to solve the particular client requirement/pain point, convince them, execute and deliver
  • As a 4-member company, back in 2013, successfully competed against a 40-member team put together by the world’s leading management consulting firm, to bag a huge project from a tech giant and successfully delivered it

We were outsiders to the Research and Consulting world, and had to rely on our own experiences, industry know-how, way of learning and instincts to make a mark in this industry. And, we couldn’t have done any of this without the support and encouragement of family, friends, industry colleagues and well wishers. So, once again, a Big Thank You for being there for us!

We have two key announcements to make on this occasion:

1) Starting South East Asia Operations

After kicking off our US and Australia operations outside of our home base in India, next month, we are starting our SEA office operations in Jakarta, Indonesia. South East Asia market is currently where India was in 2012-13, about to hit the inflection point. And, we would like to leverage our experience and expertise to cater to and grow in that market as well. So, we are onboarding an enterprising young lady to start off and lead our SEA operations (with able support from the team around the world), based out of Jakarta.

2) Seven Year Itch… Algorithms – They Are A Coming!

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms are the new reality! And, sooner or later they are coming for the Research and Consulting world. And, tracking the developments in this domain so closely, we couldn’t keep away from partaking in it. We have been developing ML algos to supplement (to start with), and with the objective of eventually displacing human effort in what we do. Of the various activities we perform, as a team – Research --> Abstraction --> Synthesis --> Analysis --> Assessment --> Storyboarding --> Presentation – Our algos currently are capable of doing the first and some bit of the second.

Our objective is to eventually get to the stage where machines handle everything we do… And, we won’t consider ourselves to have arrived until the sanctity and quality of our work is maintained. And, it will not happen in a jiffy… most of the techniques and technologies to achieve this are still in the research stage. For instance, despite how far Natural Language Processing (NLP) has come, even for something as simple as summarization, currently only Extractive summaries are available, and Abstractive are still in the research labs.

And, to get to what we want to achieve, we have to build a Knowledge Graph, which no one in the world has managed to achieve so far. It won’t happen overnight, or like turning on a switch. But, we are committed to get there, and are working constantly on it. And, we are fortunate to have the support (and, most importantly, share the excitement and enthusiasm) of highly qualified tech development partners– former Stanford AI, protégés of Andrew Ng and Sebastian Thrun – who are at the forefront of technology research, as much as we are for industry and market trends.

It is only a matter of time before someone cracks it. And, we believe we have as much a chance as anybody to do it… and, if we don’t take a crack at it, we might not be in a position to able to celebrate our 10th or 12th anniversary with the same gusto! So, it is part enthusiasm and part compulsion… but, most importantly, the drive to reach our potential that nudged us to take up this ambitious project. Once we build the causal model for Research and Consulting, it could be easily extended to disrupt many other industries. If we manage to adhere to our timelines, we could be one of the first in the world to build a fully functional Expert Automation and Augmentation Software (EAAS). And, if the last seven years have taught us anything it is that the “right combination of Enthusiasm and Patience can work wonders”.

In many philosophies and cultures around the world, it is considered that every organism sheds its existing skin and takes a rebirth in a new avatar, every seven years. We humans achieve that intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. And, for us CC is a living, breathing and growing organism. And, it is time to shed our skin, kill our current way of working and be reborn as a new entity, while maintaining our conceptual values and ethos. And, we look forward to your continued help, support and encouragement in our future journey as well.