Carsome sets up centre of excellence, appoints data chief

  • Emphasis on machine learning, data mining to make stategic decisions
  • Hires first chief data officer in Piyush Palkar, formerly of iflix

Carsome sets up centre of excellence, appoints data chiefINTEGRATED car e-commerce platform, Carsome, has set up a data center of excellence (CoE) to revolutionize the used car industry through digitalisation and empower decision-making in business.

In tandem with this, it has appointed Piyush Palkar as its chief data officer (CDO), the company said in a statement.

Carsome said the use of data will allow it to power its business at all stages while supporting strategic decisions. The combination of auction and market data, as well as a machine learning (ML) model backs Carsome’s proprietary vehicle pricing optimisation and inventory support system, it said. 

It also helps the company to understand different users' personas and their journey as a customer, and allows for analytics-backed inventory acquisition and liquidation strategy, it claimed.

Carsome Co-founder and group chief executive officer (CEO) Eric Cheng said the company has amassed a wealth of data after six years in business.

“By setting up our data CoE, we are implementing data science solutions, along with data-driven insights to increase operational efficiency.

“Our in-house data capabilities and ML automation will increase work efficiency and enhance timely, evidence-based decision-making abilities, which in turn helps our customers get good quality services from Carsome,” claimed Cheng.

Cheng said the application of ML include automating various operations tasks, such as car number plate masking and car scoring engine. This is expected to reduce the time an inspector takes to inspect a car and promote better efficiency internally while providing faster car-selling process for consumers.

Data lead

Carsome sets up centre of excellence, appoints data chiefMeanwhile as CDO, Palkar (pic) will report directly to the group CEO and lead data maturity, data engineering and management, ML/AI-based data-driven innovations, business intelligence, insights and data analytics in Carsome, the company said. 

He will also embed data culture in the organisation to support organisational efficiency and agility through the use of data.

“We are happy to have Palkar join the Carsome family to deliver successful data strategy by establishing company-wide core data principles and best practices. This forms our commitment to building a trusted used car industry and elevating consumer experience, now powered by data,” said Cheng.

Formerly the head of data at iflix and subsequently WeTV iflix (part of Tencent Holdings, which acquired iflix), Palkar was trained as a construction engineer but ventured into data since varsity days, Carsome said.

He brings along experience in data and analytics across banking, energy, media and entertainment, and retail, it added.

“I am very excited to be part of the team that digitalises the used car industry, now further strengthened by cutting-edge data technologies, as democratising data and providing near-real time insights to different business functions are vital in driving innovation and efficiency,” said Palkar.

“We will leverage on data to improve customer experience via personalisation, customer segmentation and propensity models.”

Carsome’s commitment to data excellence comes at a time when the company continues to grow. It is said to be the largest player in the region and boast of being double the size of its closest competition, it claimed.

The company claimed to be on track to hit an annualised US$1 billion in revenue by the end of the second quarter (Q2 2021), beating forecasts by about a quarter.

The company is also expected to complete a number of major merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions that will further cement its market leadership position in the next six months.


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