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Capco is Boosting its Data Capabilities in Asia. What Skills are Needed to Become a Data Scientist?

Capco, a management and technology consultancy, is looking for talented graduates to join a training program to learn how to become data scientists and data analysts, both in-demand skill sets among its financial services clients in Asia.

The firm already has around 50 consultants in Asia that have data analysis backgrounds and experience, but it is now looking to build a dedicated Data practice in the region, and is looking to hire and/or train data consultants as it builds up its data capabilities in Asia Pacific.  The firm is also looking for experienced data professionals, with work experience in any industry, to join its team.

Neil Ramchandran, Managing Partner APAC at Capco explained: “We are a global consulting firm and it has always been part of our overall strategy to ensure that every geographical location becomes stronger and more experienced in the areas of data sciences, data analysis and data capability.”

“Recently, after offering Data services informally for a couple of years, we have noticed a clear and articulated need for these services from clients in the APAC region, and so have made the decision to establish a formal practice here in Asia.”

Capco plans to recruit between 25 and 50 graduates in the coming year to train in data analysis, data science, data analytics and data remediation. These roles will be based in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Capco is focused exclusively on working with clients in the financial services sector, so the new roles will enable employees to work with retail and commercial banks, as well as with insurance providers that offer property and casualty, and life insurance.

We are already working with a number of our clients to help them develop new data models to enable them to analyse and understand their clients better. The information learned from these data models will enable our clients to improve their client and product offering,” Ramchandran explained.

He adds that once the teams become more experienced, they will also work with clients in the capital markets space, an area that is much more data sensitive and data heavy.

Rather than recruit people to fill predetermined roles, Ramchandran and the team at Capco instead want to develop Capco’s data capabilities practice in line with the strengths and ambitions of the talents it recruits.  “This is where Capco is unique. Rather than us being prescriptive, we want to build to the strengths of the people we hire.” he says.

Capco is targeting university graduates with PhDs or master’s degrees in maths, who have a strong grounding in financial data and an analytical turn of mind. Having programming skills, such as experience using Python, will also be an advantage.  For trainee candidates, it’s not necessary for candidates to have previous data science experience or to have worked in the financial services industry.

Capco is also looking for experienced hires who have a keen interest in data.  “It doesn’t matter if they are not from financial services; our emphasis will be on their desire and interest in data. We will provide training, so it is more about their ability to learn and understand the needed skills, as opposed to their past experience. We look to the future, not the past,” said Ramchandran.

Capco also prides itself on offering in-house training programs for essential soft skills.  “We expect people to be fluent in English and one other language, but all of the other soft skills (such as presentation and sales skills, team management, leadership, etc.) are part of our training program,” Ramchandran says.

“We will help individuals develop the technical and soft skills needed to become a proficient data professional, a very sought-after capability. In addition, we will help them develop managerial skills so that they eventually manage teams and lead large data programmes,” he said.

Ramchandran joined Capco in 2011 from a large organization. He explains that he was attracted to the firm by the fact that he could be very independent. “Having the independence, the flexibility and the authority to make quick decisions allowed me to be very nimble and responsive to my clients,” he said.

The thing he likes most about Capco is its ‘be yourself at work’ philosophy. “We introduced this concept a number of years ago. It means that we do not have a cookie-cutter approach to being successful.  Instead, our employees can be themselves, feel free to be more creative and can leverage their unique strengths to explore opportunities and develop bespoke solutions for our clients.”

Ramchandran thinks Capco’s approach will help its employees to accelerate their careers at a time when data skills are in high demand. “In financial services, we are already seeing a pivotal shift. I would say Asia is ahead of every other continent in the world when it comes to banks digitising services. It is a really exciting time.”

“We want people who are enthusiastic, flexible, hard-working and, most of all, who are hungry for opportunities,” said Ramchandran.


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