Neville Patel – A Visionary In The Data Annotation Industry

Neville Patel- Qualitas Global Services

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are revamping the way technology is being utilized to aid an increasing range of real-world problems. It is important that these solutions consistently deliver accurate, logical, and useful outcomes. If a business still ignores such futuristic technology, then it might be holding its growth back. Data Annotation is seen as a critically important foundation for such solutions.

In this domain, Mr. Neville Patel, a visionary leader, and his team of experts at Qualitas Global Services are making strong in-roads to help businesses transform themselves and ensure they are future-ready by providing world-class services in the Data Annotations and Tagging business.

Qualitas Global Services was founded in 2014 by Mr. Neville Patel, a Six Sigma Black Belt. With his creative approach and strong work ethic, he believes in quality work paired with a customer-centric approach.

In our talk with Mr. Neville Patel, CEO at Qualitas Global Services, we picked his brains on the current industry scenario and what Qualitas Global offers to it’s customers.  

What is Data Annotation?

Data Annotation is an extremely detail-focused, unavoidably manual, rigorous, and time-consuming process that helps in comprehensively identifying, categorizing, labeling, and organizing the data captured in various formats including images, videos, voice, and text.

It is used to “train” the AI or ML algorithms on an ongoing basis. Data annotation ushers in the required accuracy of the algorithm and improves end-user outcomes.

Many companies don’t want to invest in creating in-house data annotation teams. They want to focus on their core product/app development and hence they look to partner with companies like Qualitas Global Services who can quickly scale to thousands of people, provide data security to the information provided, have the domain expertise, and are cost-efficient.

As a founder, could you let us know if you are satisfied with your journey and with the offerings your company provides to your customers?

Qualitas Global Services specializes in providing accurate high-quality services like Image, Data, Audio, and Video Annotation as well as Sports Tracking and Tagging, Image Captioning, Data Localization, Traffic Monitoring, Facial Recognition, Video Security and Surveillance, Drone Video Annotation, and many others to some of the biggest and most secretive companies in the world.

When people say it is impossible, remember it is impossible for them, not you.

We have expertise in Autonomous Vehicles / Self Driving Cars, ADAS, Sports, Retail, Fashion, Drone, Security and Surveillance, Defence, Facial Recognition, Medical Annotations, Agricultural Annotations, Construction Security Annotations, Geospatial Annotations amongst others.

Since 2014, Qualitas Global Services has been one of the very few companies in India working in the Annotation industry and is today one of the largest in Asia with over 500 full-time employees and the capability to scale to over 1200 people almost immediately.

Qualitas Global Services is ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 27001:2013 certified and is also GDPR compliant to ensure strict quality and security standards that are a must in this industry.

From a small team to where we are today, of course, it gives me great satisfaction at what we have achieved but I still feel we have not yet reached a stage wherein the potential of my team can be truly harnessed. I am sure in the coming months we will get that opportunity.

What were the challenges you faced initially since both Qualitas Global Services and this business was very new in the past decade? 

Starting a company from scratch is in itself is a challenge. As you know, less than 1 in 10 start-ups succeed.

I would say my main challenge was to find the right people and the right management team who could understand and buy into my vision. Luckily this problem was quickly resolved and with the right people (and ethics) we quickly grew from a 6 people company to where we are today.

Our customers trusted us enough to train our core people into different varieties of complex annotations and then we set up a strong training team to further train the rest of the company.

Which was that point would you say that Qualitas Global Services reached a growth that gave you a sense of satisfaction?

We understood that the big changes do not happen overnight, but big changes can and should be broken into small attainable parts. The entire management team planned on the future and set on a quest to achieve this.

We grew substantially when we onboarded a Fortune 3 company which also helped us strengthen our Data Security policies, our hiring practices and made sure we were always on our toes.

This inspired confidence in all our other customers plus helped my team get into the big league.

To know that my core team still comprises of day one employees who have learned and grown with me in the process gives me immense satisfaction.

How have Qualitas Global Services graphs changed since the foundation? Can you share a few statistics?

  • Qualitas Global Services was incorporated in 2014 and had 1 office in India. We started our journey with 6 employees.
  • In 2016 we have reached close to 300 people.
  • 2018 saw us register a company in Netherlands to serve our European customers better.  
  • By 2019 we had 550+ employees working out of our Pune office and sales offices in Europe and the US.
  • For the year ahead we are planning to have at least 1000+ employees and are also looking to acquire other strategic data annotation companies from around the globe.

What is the reason behind your company’s long-standing success?

Qualitas Global Services has always been a customer-focused organization. Our customer’s trust in us is one of the reasons for repeat business and our long-standing success.

We give no importance to billing. Instead, we focus on delighting our customers and making sure we deliver a WOW experience.

This mindset is the only reason behind our company being thought of as one of the top data annotation services firms in the world.

What are the products/services that Qualitas Global Services focuses on? How are your services unique from those in the market?

Qualitas Global Services specializes in Image Tracking, Data Annotation, Video Analytics, OCR, Language Translation, and a variety of other business-process outsourcing offerings for Machine Learning in verticals like Autonomous Vehicles / Self Driving Cars, ADAS, Sports, Retail, Fashion, Drone, Security & Surveillance, Defence, Facial Recognition, Medical Annotations, Agricultural Annotations, Construction Security Annotations, Geospatial Annotations, and many other industries.

We have processed over 85 million images and many thousands of hours of videos with an accuracy rate of 98.9 percent.

Our high-quality annotations and player tracking services in the Sports vertical helps the team owners, coaches, and managers in improving the performance of their players, analyzing injury, and predicting player health, improving revenue from tickets amongst other things. Qualitas Global Services provides Sports Annotation services in multiple sports like Soccer, Rugby, Hockey, Ice-Hockey, Tennis, Badminton, Baseball, Cricket, Lacrosse, Kick Boxing, and many others.

We have strong expertise of over 5 years in the Autonomous Vehicles / Self Driving Cars & ADAS industry.

Qualitas Global Services is also well known in the industry for premium Quality Assurance of Mobile and PC Video Games and the development of Mobile Games, Apps, and Software.

Why Qualitas Global Services?

  • More than 6 years of experience meeting customer’s quality, accuracy, and deadline requirements
  • One of the largest Data Annotation services firm in India, with more than 500 employees and the capability to immediately grow over 1200 providing ease of scalability to their customers
  • Strong portfolio of customers
  • 24 x 7 Operations and constant professional communication with customers in all parts of the world
  • Offers end-to-end solutions for data, image, voice and video annotations
  • Tie-ups with multiple software tool providers to provide automated and fast annotations
  • Huge cost savings for customers
  • Experienced and Skilled workforce all working under one roof for better communication as well as stricter quality and security controls
  • Unlimited Flexibility and customization to our customers
  • Data Confidentiality and Security – ISO 9001:2015 and ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Certified and GDPR compliant

Is there any new addition to the list of products/services? Anything exciting you would like to share?

In the coming months, we intend to launch our in-house tool for Data Annotation. This will be a great help to customers that do not have their proprietary tool and need to depend on a software provider.

This will not only reduce their cost but also help us provide 360-degree cost-efficient solutions to our customers.

According to you, how is Machine Learning is no more a thing of the future?

When we started 6 years ago, we only worked for limited industries such as Sports Analytics and then in the Autonomous Vehicle / Driverless Car industry which was super secretive at that time. It still is.

In the past couple of years, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning are being widely used in several industries like Medi-tech, Agri-tech, Geospatial, Retail, Fashion, Security & Surveillance, Facial Recognition, Airport Baggage Transportation, Transcription, OCR, etc & Qualitas Global Services has been a partner of choice for all of our customers in these various industries.

In the coming days, we are going to see a lot more industries adopt AI & ML & the world as we know is going to change.

Whose business story do you find the most inspiring?

I feel inspiration must be created from within oneself. If we go along looking for inspiration from other humans with all their flaws, without knowing their real story & strengths, there are high chances of us failing.

It’s a rat race out there. How do you cope with that?

We view competition as a good thing. 6 years ago, when we started, it was difficult to retain people as they thought there was no career in data annotation. We had to deal with a lot of bad reviews as some people lost interest in this job and found it non-technical. As more companies started entering the space, thousands of jobs were created in this industry and with over 500 full-time employees; we now have the first-mover advantage.

‪Data Annotation is already actively being used across diverse industries and games from soccer, rugby, hockey, ice-hockey, tennis, badminton, baseball, cricket, lacrosse to kickboxing. Needless to say, partnering with the right service providers can be the first step in building a winning strategy for your company’s quick growth.

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