Unveiling Cloudera’s journey through the labyrinth of Data

Discover how Cloudera's platform, CDP, empowered PhonePe, a leading FinTech company in India, to expand its services and products.

Aanchal Ghatak
New Update

In the pulsating realm of data analytics, where every click, transaction, or interaction generates a stream of information, two stalwarts, Piyush Agarwal, an SE Leader, and Mayank Baid, the Regional Vice President for South Asia, at Cloudera, stand as vanguards of innovation and experience. Their journey within Cloudera, a trailblazing force in the analytics landscape, reveals not just the challenges faced but the profound impact their solutions have on businesses, setting the pace for a data-driven future.


Approach to introduce Next-Gen Technologies to Businesses

The approach to introducing new technology to customers involves first identifying a shared problem or strategic need that both the customer and the technology partner aim to address. This understanding becomes the starting point for discussion, allowing for a focus on areas where solutions can help achieve targets and foster business growth. Mayank elaborates on the current data landscape, emphasizing cloud, multi-cloud, and hybrid environments. Their platform stands out as a hybrid option, facilitating data utilization across diverse infrastructures, essential for modern data architecture. Collaborating extensively with open-source contributions and major industry partners like AWS, IBM, and Nvidia, aligns their platform with the evolving landscape, making it a preferred choice. 

Engaging customers involves closely working on identified pain points, collaborating with a broad partner ecosystem, including top consultants in the industry.


Piyush further expands on this by highlighting how the identified needs align with technological solutions. Their platform, particularly CDP, covers multi-cloud functionalities, diverse analytics workloads, and addresses various use cases, including regulatory compliance, fraud detection, operational reporting, and advanced AI/ML applications. Prioritization is based on the urgency and nature of these needs, enabling the creation of an achievable and forward-looking roadmap.

Challenges in a Diverse Landscape

The duo's approach to customer engagement is transformative—close collaboration and technology alignment with the customer's vision. Piyush highlights the significance of addressing a customer's strategic need, marking it as the starting point of discussions. Mayank underscores their platform's flexibility in offering modern data architecture across different infrastructures, catering to varied customer needs.


Mayank discusses key considerations for businesses implementing data-driven strategies, highlighting challenges such as scalability due to vast data volumes and security concerns, especially in highly regulated countries where compliance with regulations and data privacy are critical. He emphasizes the challenges associated with adopting new technology like GenAI and the collaboration between their team and customers to address these challenges.

He further delves into recent trends, noting a surge in real-time data analysis driven by specific pandemics impacting banking transactions. Real-time streaming analytics has become crucial for businesses, evident in collaborations with public sector banks and government agencies analyzing real-time data. Additionally, telcos utilize their solutions for analyzing vast data volumes, facilitating CDR log analysis, enhancing customer experiences, and supporting government initiatives, including taxation.

Mayank also mentions successful deployments, citing examples like OCBC Bank in Singapore using their platform for LLM (low-latency machine learning). These instances exemplify the platform's applicability across diverse sectors and its role in addressing evolving data-driven needs.


Delving into data-driven strategies, Mayank points out the challenges—scale, security, and data privacy. Real-time data analytics within banking sectors emerges as a notable trend. "Our platform enables analysis of vast volumes of real-time data," Mayank highlights, emphasizing its impact on transaction flows and customer experiences.

Evolving Cloud and Data Market Dynamics


The evolution of the cloud and data market this year has shown continuous growth in India, albeit at a pace different from more developed countries. India's market differs notably due to customers being early adopters of new technologies without the burden of extensive legacy systems. However, the cloud adoption in India is still in an evolving phase, primarily driven by compliance requirements. India's large customer base operates under regulations mandating data to remain within local boundaries, influencing their cloud adoption strategies.

Cloudera's unique position as the only hybrid data platform enables customers to navigate workloads seamlessly between on-premises and cloud environments based on urgency and specific use cases. This flexibility drives the increasing growth and adoption of their platform in the Indian market.

Piyush highlights that India's customer base prefers managing their own data under their established IT, security, and governance policies. As data volume and processing needs expand, companies often contemplate changing Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) to align with cost-effective decision-making. The trend leans toward a hybrid and multi-cloud approach, where enterprises decide based on specific use cases—such as machine learning—whether to utilize cloud resources for compute-on-demand, allowing data scientists a self-service infrastructure. However, post-model development, integration with existing workflows and data pipelines usually brings these models back on-premises. Overall, enterprises seek an architecture and platform that facilitates scalability in diverse directions, whether beginning on the cloud or gradually shifting towards a hybrid model.


Impact on Varied Business Sectors

Cloudera in India primarily focuses on sectors like banking and financial services, telecommunications, government, and the public sector, which have been their core areas. However, they're also witnessing significant engagement and developments in other industries.

There's a notable surge in involvement within the manufacturing sector. With the government's initiative on 'green credit' tied to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards, manufacturing companies are striving to diminish their carbon footprint. This involves leveraging IoT and analytics within their factories to achieve these sustainability goals.


Additionally, Cloudera is exploring opportunities within the insurance sector. Despite automation advancements, there's still a considerable reliance on manual processes in underwriting. Analytics plays a pivotal role in this domain, aiming to enhance underwriting practices. Moreover, there's a shift towards video analytics in insurance, simplifying processes like submitting motor insurance claims by allowing users to instantly capture and share images, along with geotagged data, eliminating the need for physical documentation.

These emerging trends highlight how various sectors are leveraging Cloudera's platform for analytics, indicating a broadening scope beyond the traditional sectors they've primarily catered to.

Cloudera's Robust Approach to Data Privacy Laws

Piyush sheds light on Cloudera's approach to changing data privacy laws. "Ensuring end-to-end security and compliance is at the core of our platform," he articulates, showcasing Cloudera's robust solutions amidst evolving regulatory landscapes.

Charting the Future of Data Leadership

Mayank underscores the need for adaptability to new technologies, particularly AI. "Data quality is foundational for effective AI initiatives," he emphasizes, stressing the importance of discerning high-quality data for AI training.

Cloudera focuses on ensuring compliance with changing data privacy laws through a multi-layered approach embedded within its Cloudera Data Platform (CDP).

1. Secure Architecture: CDP is built with multiple layers of security, termed as "SDX" (Shared Data Experience), ensuring a secure and governed platform across on-premises, cloud, and multi-cloud environments.

2. Access Control and Authorization: Robust mechanisms like authentication through user identity management systems (e.g., LDAP integration), strict access control, and attribute-based access control are implemented. This controls who can access what data, ensuring only authorized users access specific datasets while maintaining segregation between departments.

3. Data Protection: CDP offers tools to manage Personally Identifiable Information (PII) data, ensuring it's handled appropriately. It provides attribute-based access control, allowing automatic tagging and policy application to sensitive data, ensuring compliance with privacy regulations like GDPR.

4. Data Encryption: Encryption, both at rest and in transit, is a fundamental aspect of the platform's security. It guarantees that even if the data is copied or stored, it remains secure, and access is restricted to authorized individuals or processes.

5. Uniform Security and Governance Policy: The platform ensures consistency in applying security and governance policies across all functions and stages of the data lifecycle. This uniformity eliminates the need to repeatedly set policies for each tool or data function, reducing errors and ensuring compliance across various regulatory environments.

Additionally, the platform provides detailed audit reporting functionalities, enabling the tracking of user activities, access logs, and data usage to identify any unauthorized access attempts or potential breaches.

Cloudera's approach ensures that regardless of the evolving landscape of privacy laws, the platform is well-equipped with tools, technologies, and policies to address these changes effectively, maintaining a robust security posture for its customers' data.

Key Skills and Strategies for Success in the Evolving Landscape

Mayank responded that in today's evolving era of technology, the ability to swiftly adapt to new technologies is pivotal. He emphasized the importance of not only adopting new tech but also being prepared for changes in the next three years, considering the constant evolution in technology. He mentioned a predominant focus on AI readiness among customers, indicating that this area holds substantial potential.

According to Mayank, the anticipated impact of these advancements is significant, with an estimated 7% increase in global GDP and a 1.5% surge in productivity over the next decade. However, he emphasized the critical role of trust in data. He highlighted that if the underlying data isn't reliable, the AI models built upon it won't yield desirable results. Mayank stressed the need for future leaders to have a clear understanding of data quality to formulate successful AI strategies.

Mayank expanded on the need for leaders to not only prioritize data quality but also discern which data is suitable for leveraging AI and new technologies. He underscored the significance of being strategic and adaptable in response to the rapid technological changes. Additionally, he emphasized that forward-thinking and agility in embracing these technological shifts will set future data leaders apart.

Illustrative Success Stories: Cloudera's Impact

Piyush shared insights on a prominent case involving PhonePe, one of India's largest Fintech companies specializing in payment services. With around 490+ Million subscribers, managing the platform presented significant technical challenges. For Fintech companies, growth extends beyond their core services, aiming to develop additional products like broking, lending, and insurance using customer data.

Piyush explained that while some business domains, like payments, inherently require stringent data control, others, such as lending and insurance, demand a more flexible infrastructure due to fluctuating computational needs. Cloudera's CDP played a crucial role in aiding PhonePe's expansion into new business lines within a short span of two to three months by providing a hybrid and multi-cloud platform. This platform enabled seamless data movement between on-premises and cloud environments, integrating different data sources effectively.

The key was employing a versatile framework that accommodated their existing setup while offering a comprehensive view of the hybrid architecture PhonePe desired. This approach facilitated the integration of new workloads efficiently and effectively met the company's evolving technical requirements.

Their engaging conversation unveils Cloudera's strategic approaches, the challenges faced, and the profound impact of their solutions on businesses across diverse sectors, painting a vivid picture of the future of data analytics.

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