Carsome unveils centre of excellence, brings on board former iflix data chief

Southeast Asia integrated car eCommerce platform Carsome has set up a data centre of excellence (CoE) in an attempt to revolutionise the used car industry through digitalisation and to empower decision-making in business. The company's co-founder and group CEO Eric Cheng (pictured left) said the company has amassed a wealth of data after six years in the business and setting up its data CoE will kick off its implementation of data science solutions, along with data-driven insights to increase operational efficiency. 

To further support its data-driven business, Carsome has also named Piyush Palkar (pictured right), former head of data at iflix and subsequently WeTV iflix, as chief data officer. Reporting directly to Cheng, Palkar will lead data maturity, data engineering and management, machine learning and AI-based data-driven innovations, business intelligence, insights and data analytics in Carsome. He will also embed data culture in the organisation to support organisational efficiency and agility through data.

Palkar has experience in data and analytics across banking, energy, media and entertainment, and retail. With him on board, Carsome plans to deliver a successful data strategy by establishing company-wide core data principles and best practices, thereby forming its commitment to building a trusted used car industry and elevating consumer experience powered by data.

According to Palkar, the digitalised used car industry, further strengthened by cutting-edge data technologies, democratising data and providing near-real time insights to different business functions are vital in driving innovation and efficiency. "We will leverage on data to improve customer experience via personalisation, customer segmentation and propensity model," he added.

The combination of auction and market data, and machine learning model supports Carsome’s proprietary vehicle pricing optimisation and inventory support system. It also helps the company in understanding different user personas and their journey as a customer, and allows for analytics-backed inventory acquisition and liquidation strategy.

Carsome’s commitment to data excellence comes as it is on track to hit an annualised US$1 billion in revenue by the end of the second quarter. According to Carsome, it is set to beat forecasts by about a quarter. The company is also expected to complete a number of major merger and acquisition transactions that will further cement its market leadership position in the next six months. It has also been successful on the funding front, receiving a Series D funding of US$30 million last December which was used to strengthen its existing regional position in consumer-to-business used car eCommerce, and accelerate its offering in the B2C segment, the Carsome Experience Centre.

In March this year, Carsome appointed its group CMO Danny Chin as its chief expansion officer after more than a year. Prior to joining Carsome, Chin was CMO of redONE, where his responsibilities included the growth of the consumer brand strategy, product marketing, retail marketing and consumer engagement. That same month, it also appointed Derek Tan as chief brand officer to champion the growth of Carsome’s brand, marketing and communications. 

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