About Antony Tharakan:
Until recently, I was associated with NielsenIQ as a Chief Operations Officer, Retail Measurement Services (APAC & India) where I acted SPOC for all operational aspects including quality, delivery, and product deployments with clear accountability including business margins and NPS. During my tenure, I headed 13 countries with large teams in Hubs, in-market, and vendors to manage the factory production of data with the right support from Commercial, Customer Success, Product, Data Science, and Operations to deliver growth and productivity.
NielsenIQ (Independent Spinoff of Nielsen Holdings) Apr 2020 – Apr 2023
Apr 2022 - Apr 2023: Chief Operations Officer, Retail Measurement Services (APAC & India)
• Acted as SPOC for all operational aspects including quality, delivery and product deployments with clear accountability including
business margins and NPS.
o Successfully built E2E dashboards and metrics to ensure the right accountability and transparency for the deployment of
all product enhancements.
• Effectively led 13 countries with large teams in Hubs, in-market and vendors to manage the factory production of data with the right
support from Commercial, Customer Success, Product, Data Science and operations to deliver the growth and productivity each
• Represented Operations at APAC & India Executive Committee and contributed as core member in planning and taking strategic
decisions for the business.
• Instrumental in establishing ‘Single source of Truth’ dashboard to ensure faster and complete closure of client query tickets from
• Facilitated factory migrations for multiple markets with on-the-go parallel production without impacting any deliverables.
Apr 2020 – Mar 2022: Chief Operations Officer, Retail Measurement Services (South Asia)
• Appointed as the business continuity PMO for operations during pandemic to ensure safety and sustainability of operations.
• Developed alert systems to the field force that pings when field auditor come closer to the containment zones.
• Collectively developed a methodology that can fetch the data creatively, considering the safety of the field force at the same time
meeting client’s expectations during the lockdown.
Nielsen Oct 1999 – Apr 2020
Jan 2018 - Apr 2020: Chief Operations Officer (South Asia)
• Deputed as overall Operations Lead for all business lines (RMS, Consumer Insights & Media) accountable for supporting business
growth, margin improvements and cost savings
• Successfully deployed all the product enhancements and improved the consumer insights margins to the highest level compared to
the past several years
• Pivotal in delivering productivity of 25% over previous year and improved quality & timeliness metrics up by 2% points from previous
year to a gold standard 99%
Jun 2013 - Dec 2017: Input Operations & Data Acquisition Leader (South Asia)
• Headed up large-scale feet on the street data collection that involves 2k+ Full time FTEs and 4k freelance interviewers. 15+% year
over year cost savings from digitisation and automation that have won awards from the industry and clients for best-in-class tech
solution that brings in quality improvement, faster delivery, and the cost-efficient way of data collection. Have executed single
project having sample size of 3 mln+ annually with the best KPI scores on quality, cost, and speed.
• Inspired by ATC, pioneered in innovating Quality Control Tower (QCT) in India, steered efforts in transforming the way from feet on
the street quality checks to alert-based quality checks through laptop/tablet where supervisors are stationed at control towers. The
solution was leveraged to 90+ markets globally moving from a 1:6 auditor to supervisor ratio to a phenomenal 1:30 ratio.
• Ensured data collection through chatbots, self-tracking of auditors on retail establishment survey, tech-based route optimisation
where the other innovations that fetched 3 tech awards from MRSI (Market Research Society of India) in a row.
Oct 2011 - Jun 2013: Business Intelligence and Operations Insights Lead (APIMEA)
• Served as BI lead based in Singapore for the regional Data Acquisition team to provide insights on workload drivers to formulate
strategies by market and was the lead for guiding each market on the operating plan process. One of the key responsibilities was to
ensure that the region is spending the costs and managing the margins as per the plan and report out any variance to the plan to
the regional Leaders and develop plans for mitigation.
Feb 2010 - Oct 2011: Data Acquisition Leader (Australia, New Zealand & Japan)
• Led the Pacific and Japan Data collection based in Sydney for all product lines delivering on growth and cost savings. The largest CPS
panel in Australia with multiple challenges was addressed through various solutions brainstormed with the experts.
Nov 2008 - Feb 2010: Data Acquisition Leader (Middle East, North Africa & Pakistan)
• Efficiently managed large scale projects and completion of several ad-hoc project on time within the budget
• Benchmarked continuous process improvements to deliver on the productivity commitments.
• Introduced innovative panel incentive scheme for efficient operations.
Jul 2007 - Nov 2008: Multi-country Project Lead (Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa)
• Served as in-charge of ensuring global standardisation on processes and costing guidelines were met across the markets with multi
country client proposals.
Oct 1999 - Jul 2008: Operations Leader, Retail Measurement (UAE and GCC)
- Post Graduate Program in Artificial Intelligence for Leaders (Oct 2020) | The University of Texas at Austin
- MBA in Marketing and Systems from Bharathiar University (1997 - 1999)
- BSc in Computer science, Mathematics and Statistics (1994 - 1997)
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