Blockchain is turning out to be the biggest technology revolution of the decade. This article digs deeper into the concept of Blockchain and explains why it is a game-changer for the retail industry.

Blockchain and Bitcoin have been the biggest buzzwords in the market lately. There have been massive investments in Bitcoins at a breathtaking pace worldwide. It is today one of the most popular and widely explored financial instruments, with a global market value worth $8,409 as of April, 2018. However, despite the huge worldwide spending on Blockchains and Bitcoins, many of us still have our doubts and questions.

This article tries to simplify the whole concept of Blockchain and brings out its use cases beyond money transfer, especially in the retail industry.

What is this Blockchain? Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin. In simple words, Blockchain is a ledger or record of digital transactions; each record known as a “Block”. It is a distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of data records, known as a “Chain”.

So, who can use Blockchain? Blockchain is an open source network of computers connected to carry out digital transactions using virtual currency like Bitcoins; so practically anybody with an internet connection can use Blockchain.

And how does it work? Let’s assume A wants to send some money to B digitally. He communicates the intention through to a peer-to-peer network using a Public Key. He adds money to a digital wallet (say Bitcoin) and allows the money to be sent using an encrypted (protected) digital signature. Once this information is received by the computers in the connected network, they verify and validate the transaction. Once approved, the money is moved to B.

But why all the hype? Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that is reshaping the world of finance. One of the prime reasons for its popularity is the fact that it is an open source technology that brings transparency to financial transactions. It reduces the possibility of fraud to a great extent. Also, it is a convenient and faster mode of carrying out transactions, compared to regular banking, which has its own limitations.

Is there more to it than money transfer? Absolutely! The Blockchain technology runs the world of cryptocurrency. But, it has several other uses beyond digital currency transfer. Some of the key industries, including banking, insurance, supply chain management, healthcare and retail are using Blockchain extensively for varied purposes.

How is Blockchain impacting Retail?
Blockchain is significantly changing the face of Retail. The retail industry is getting digitized every day with technology seeping into all its critical aspects. Here are 4 ways in which Blockchain is hugely influencing the retail industry.

Authenticity
Since consumers today do not settle for less, Blockchain helps retailers establish authenticity of their products in the market. The Chain system allows retailers to track down the product right from the point it was manufactured. It gives a clear picture of what materials were used, what steps went into producing a product and what measures were taken in the packaging too. Especially in an e-commerce set up, where consumers make a purchase only after a thorough research of a product, Blockchain ensures retailers offer only quality products to their customers.

Logistics
Whether it is a bulk order or single product, Blockchain is widely being used to track product shipment. Every logistical stage of a product’s journey including the information on who handled it, where and when in real time it is being transported can be visualized. It also results in reduced loss and damage of goods. Consumers too can track the movement of products they ordered online through mobile applications.

Payments
As mentioned before in this article, Blockchain enables easy, secure and fast payments. Retailers are using Blockchain to accept Bitcoin or Cryptocurrency payments, allowing them to carry out international transactions effectively. They are also widely using Blockchain to procure goods from overseas and make hassle-free, easy payments to global vendors.

Proof of Ownership
One of the biggest advantages of using Blockchain in retail is the fact that it establishes a proof of ownership, reducing the possibility of theft and misplacing of retail products. By tracking product information from the source of manufacture, till the point it reaches the end user, Blockchain allows retailers to ensure that the product reaches the rightful consumer through a proper channel of delivery, leading to improved customer satisfaction and branding.

The Blockchain market is growing at an alarming rate, and is expected to soar to $20 billion by 2025. It is one of the most disruptive technologies of the decade, and is here to stay for many more decades to come. How long until you embrace Blockchain to drive your business and achieve significant tangible benefits?

Prem Shankar Patel
Senior Manager
Prem brings nearly three decades of analytics and information management experience to Estuate. He is a recognized expert who has received several awards over the years. In 2003, he was awarded the Center of Excellence (CoE) Champion Award for introduction of advanced training and certification for BIDW architects and consultants. In FY03-04 and FY04-05, he received the Best Faculty of the Year Award for his significant and effective contribution as a faculty member in the delivery of BIDW training. Previously in 2005, he received the Feather in My Cap (FIMC) Award for defining metrics for BIDW projects and establishing organizational norms. Prior to joining Estuate, Prem worked in various strategic positions at Wipro Limited and R S Software (India) Ltd. He holds an M. Tech in Computer Science from the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.
Nagaraja Kini
Founder and Chief Financial Officer
Nagaraja has more than two decades of engineering, business development, consulting, alliances and management experience in software development, integration and implementation. He has worked extensively with global teams to consistently simplify ERP implementations for businesses. Nagaraja brings with him the commitment, willingness, and capability to anticipate and act on the continually evolving needs of a business.
Prior to founding Estuate, Nagaraja served at Oracle as Director in Application and Industry Solutions group within Global Sales Support. Nagaraja holds a Master of Technology in Industrial Electronics from the National Institute of Technology, Surathkal, and a Bachelor’s in Engineering from the SJ College of Engineering, Mysore, India.
Nagaraja Kini
Founder and Chief Financial Officer
Nagaraja has more than two decades of engineering, business development, consulting, alliances and management experience in software development, integration and implementation. He has worked extensively with global teams to consistently simplify ERP implementations for businesses. Nagaraja brings with him the commitment, willingness, and capability to anticipate and act on the continually evolving needs of a business. Prior to founding Estuate, Nagaraja served at Oracle as Director in Application and Industry Solutions group within Global Sales Support. Nagaraja holds a Master of Technology in Industrial Electronics from the National Institute of Technology, Surathkal, and a Bachelor’s in Engineering from the SJ College of Engineering, Mysore, India.
Marc Hebert
Chief Operating Officer
Marc joined Estuate in December, 2008 as its first Chief Operating Officer. Marc is a recognized expert on offshore outsourcing. He has appeared on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight, was interviewed in Investor’s Business Daily, and has been widely quoted in major media publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Financial Times, New York Times and Boston Globe on offshore outsourcing. He is recognized as an “IBM Champion” for his role in expanding the market for IBM’s Information Lifecycle Governance product line.
Prior to Estuate, he served in leadership roles at large global corporations, including as the CMO at Virtusa Corporation; EVP, Marketing and Alliances for Sierra Atlantic; and Vice President for eight years at Oracle Corporation. Marc holds a Bachelor of Science degree in experimental psychology from Harvard University, and an MBA from Stanford University.
Marc Hebert
Chief Operating Officer
Marc joined Estuate in December, 2008 as its first Chief Operating Officer. Marc is a recognized expert on offshore outsourcing. He has appeared on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight, was interviewed in Investor’s Business Daily, and has been widely quoted in major media publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Financial Times, New York Times and Boston Globe on offshore outsourcing. He is recognized as an “IBM Champion” for his role in expanding the market for IBM’s Information Lifecycle Governance product line. Prior to Estuate, he served in leadership roles at large global corporations, including as the CMO at Virtusa Corporation; EVP, Marketing and Alliances for Sierra Atlantic; and Vice President for eight years at Oracle Corporation. Marc holds a Bachelor of Science degree in experimental psychology from Harvard University, and an MBA from Stanford University.
Seemakiran Upadhya
Global Delivery Head and Managing Director, India
Seemakiran brings to Estuate more than 25 years of experience in the IT industry. She has been successful in building high-performing teams for the Delivery, Sales, and Operations departments. She was instrumental in setting up Estuate’s India center. Prior to joining Estuate, Seemakiran worked at Satyam, where she developed, tested, and implemented software projects in Oracle Technologies across multiple domains. She is highly proficient at working with a global client base.
Seemakiran holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics & Communication Engineering from Karnataka University.
Seemakiran Upadhya
Global Delivery Head and Managing Director, India
Seemakiran brings to Estuate more than 25 years of experience in the IT industry. She has been successful in building high-performing teams for the Delivery, Sales, and Operations departments. She was instrumental in setting up Estuate’s India center. Prior to joining Estuate, Seemakiran worked at Satyam, where she developed, tested, and implemented software projects in Oracle Technologies across multiple domains. She is highly proficient at working with a global client base. Seemakiran holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics & Communication Engineering from Karnataka University.
Prem Shankar Patel
Senior Manager
Prem brings nearly three decades of analytics and information management experience to Estuate. He is a recognized expert who has received several awards over the years. In 2003, he was awarded the Center of Excellence (CoE) Champion Award for introduction of advanced training and certification for BIDW architects and consultants. In FY03-04 and FY04-05, he received the Best Faculty of the Year Award for his significant and effective contribution as a faculty member in the delivery of BIDW training.
Previously in 2005, he received the Feather in My Cap (FIMC) Award for defining metrics for BIDW projects and establishing organizational norms. Prior to joining Estuate, Prem worked in various strategic positions at Wipro Limited and R S Software (India) Ltd. He holds an M. Tech in Computer Science from the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.
Prem Shankar Patel
Senior Manager
Prem brings nearly three decades of analytics and information management experience to Estuate. He is a recognized expert who has received several awards over the years. In 2003, he was awarded the Center of Excellence (CoE) Champion Award for introduction of advanced training and certification for BIDW architects and consultants. In FY03-04 and FY04-05, he received the Best Faculty of the Year Award for his significant and effective contribution as a faculty member in the delivery of BIDW training. Previously in 2005, he received the Feather in My Cap (FIMC) Award for defining metrics for BIDW projects and establishing organizational norms. Prior to joining Estuate, Prem worked in various strategic positions at Wipro Limited and R S Software (India) Ltd. He holds an M. Tech in Computer Science from the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.
Sreekantha B. S.
Head Strategic Projects
Sreekantha brings to Estuate more than 33 years of experience in IT. He has successfully sold and delivered over 130 turnkey software projects worldwide for various clients across a variety of sectors - from software, finance, manufacturing, utilities, services, and more. Prior to joining Estuate, Sreekantha led Buzznet (a Malaysian software company) for 17 years and Inventa Corporation (a US-based software company having an office in Malaysia) for 6 years.
Through his experience, Sreekantha brings in-depth knowledge of software engineering, delivery, and implementation of software projects across all technology sectors that have emerged over the last 30+ years. Sreekantha holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics & Communications from Mysore University and a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Newport University, USA.
Sreekantha B. S.
Head Strategic Projects
Sreekantha brings to Estuate more than 33 years of experience in IT. He has successfully sold and delivered over 130 turnkey software projects worldwide for various clients across a variety of sectors - from software, finance, manufacturing, utilities, services, and more. Prior to joining Estuate, Sreekantha led Buzznet (a Malaysian software company) for 17 years and Inventa Corporation (a US-based software company having an office in Malaysia) for 6 years. Through his experience, Sreekantha brings in-depth knowledge of software engineering, delivery, and implementation of software projects across all technology sectors that have emerged over the last 30+ years. Sreekantha holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics & Communications from Mysore University and a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Newport University, USA.
Naveen Shankar
Associate Director – Talent Acquisition
Naveen is a seasoned professional in the field of Human Resources and brings to Estuate a rich experience of 14 years. He holds more than 12 HR-related certifications, including some in the space of Diversity & Inclusion. Over the years, he has been consistently recognized as a change maker in his respective organizations. Before joining Estuate, Naveen led ForthPage as the Director-Cofounder.
He has also worked with organizations such as General Electric, Time Inc., and Lumen Technologies in critical HR-centric roles. Naveen holds a Master of Business Administration from XLRI - Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur.
Naveen Shankar
Associate Director – Talent Acquisition
Naveen is a seasoned professional in the field of Human Resources and brings to Estuate a rich experience of 14 years. He holds more than 12 HR-related certifications, including some in the space of Diversity & Inclusion. Over the years, he has been consistently recognized as a change maker in his respective organizations. Before joining Estuate, Naveen led ForthPage as the Director-Cofounder. He has also worked with organizations such as General Electric, Time Inc., and Lumen Technologies in critical HR-centric roles. Naveen holds a Master of Business Administration from XLRI - Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur.
Piyush Singh
Practice Head - Insurance
Piyush has fifteen years of work experience, including one year with Estuate. Piyush holds a Master of Computer Applications degree from Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune. Piyush is a highly accomplished professional with a wealth of experience in IT services and product engineering. Piyush has worked with PwC and Accenture in the past and his last positions were Delivery Manager and Dev Lead respectively.
He has received the Great Performance award from PwC and the ACE award from Accenture. Piyush has also delivered many end-to-end projects on a medium to large scale.
Piyush Singh
Practice Head - Insurance
Piyush has fifteen years of work experience, including one year with Estuate. Piyush holds a Master of Computer Applications degree from Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune. Piyush is a highly accomplished professional with a wealth of experience in IT services and product engineering. Piyush has worked with PwC and Accenture in the past and his last positions were Delivery Manager and Dev Lead respectively. He has received the Great Performance award from PwC and the ACE award from Accenture. Piyush has also delivered many end-to-end projects on a medium to large scale.
Subbarao Satyavolu
Vice President - Service Delivery, Americas
Subbarao is a results oriented Senior Leader with 30+ years experience in Enterprise Solution Consulting, Enterprise Program Management, Digital Enterprise Transformation/IT Modernization, Product Engineering, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), IT Service and Operations Management (ITSM/ITOM) and Strategic Account management. Global experience in building & managing high performing teams in solving complex business & technological challenges for the clients
Subbarao is a proven problem solver with extensive experience in the IT industry. He has been recognized as an outstanding performer by his employers, Hitachi/Sierra Atlantic and Computer Sciences Corp (CSC). Subbarao has also been certified in Six Sigma and Project Delivery Excellence by CSC University. In addition, Subbarao is certified in Supply Chain Management and IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL). He holds an M. Tech in Computer Aided Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur.
Subbarao Satyavolu
Vice President - Service Delivery, Americas
Subbarao is a results oriented Senior Leader with 30+ years experience in Enterprise Solution Consulting, Enterprise Program Management, Digital Enterprise Transformation/IT Modernization, Product Engineering, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), IT Service and Operations Management (ITSM/ITOM) and Strategic Account management. Global experience in building & managing high performing teams in solving complex business & technological challenges for the clients. Subbarao is a proven problem solver with extensive experience in the IT industry. He has been recognized as an outstanding performer by his employers, Hitachi/Sierra Atlantic and Computer Sciences Corp (CSC). Subbarao has also been certified in Six Sigma and Project Delivery Excellence by CSC University. In addition, Subbarao is certified in Supply Chain Management and IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL). He holds an M. Tech in Computer Aided Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur.
Satya Bobba
SVP, Global Head of GRC and Customer Success
Satya Bobba brings more than 20+ years of experience in building market-leading enterprise SaaS products and solutions. Her experience spans engineering, cloud strategy, business development and customer success. Her passion is to help customers achieve GRC goals while simplifying their processes and reduce implementation costs. She brings more than 14 years of domain experience in building and delivering GRC solutions to top enterprise customers across Financial Services, Life sciences, Hi-Tech, Healthcare and Quality verticals.
Prior to joining Estuate, she worked at MetricStream as AVP Cloud Strategy, Global Head of Platform Engineering and Head of Advanced Engineering GRC Products and Services. Earlier in her career, at AOL and Netscape she held technical roles in enterprise server technologies and personalization frameworks. She has a bachelor degree in Computer Science from Andhra University.
Satya Bobba
SVP, Global Head of GRC and Customer Success
Satya Bobba brings more than 20+ years of experience in building market-leading enterprise SaaS products and solutions. Her experience spans engineering, cloud strategy, business development and customer success. Her passion is to help customers achieve GRC goals while simplifying their processes and reduce implementation costs. She brings more than 14 years of domain experience in building and delivering GRC solutions to top enterprise customers across Financial Services, Life sciences, Hi-Tech, Healthcare and Quality verticals. Prior to joining Estuate, she worked at MetricStream as AVP Cloud Strategy, Global Head of Platform Engineering and Head of Advanced Engineering GRC Products and Services. Earlier in her career, at AOL and Netscape she held technical roles in enterprise server technologies and personalization frameworks. She has a bachelor degree in Computer Science from Andhra University.
Prasanna Kulkarni
Vice President - Sales and Marketing
Prasanna is a seasoned Technology & Sales leader with over two decades of valuable global experience. Prasanna has been with Estuate for the past 5 years, leading the Sales and Marketing department with excellence. Prasanna holds a Bachelor of Engineering from GCoE, Amravati and a Stanford Advanced Program Management qualification from Stanford Center for Professional Development. Before joining Estuate, Prasanna held various leadership roles at HCL, Wipro, Nihilent Technologies, and Godrej.
Prasanna Kulkarni
Vice President – Global Sales and Marketing
Prasanna is a seasoned Technology & Sales leader with over two decades of valuable global experience. Prasanna has been with Estuate for the past 5 years, leading the Sales and Marketing department with excellence. Prasanna holds a Bachelor of Engineering from GCoE, Amravati and a Stanford Advanced Program Management qualification from Stanford Center for Professional Development. Before joining Estuate, Prasanna held various leadership roles at HCL, Wipro, Nihilent Technologies, and Godrej.
Stanley Perumala
Global Practice Delivery Lead
Stanley Perumala is the Global Practice Delivery Lead with 8.6 years at Estuate. He holds a Masters degree in Computer Science from International Technological University, which is his area of specialization. Stanley has 16 years of experience and has held various positions at Netpace, Cognizant and Hewlett-Packard. He has received multiple accolades for his achievements such as building an innovation segment with zuora and leading the BRM practice.
Stanley is a key contributor for the BRM practice, having built the team from the ground up and building the core team for the same.
Stanley Perumala
Global Practice Delivery Lead
Stanley Perumala is the Global Practice Delivery Lead with 8.6 years at Estuate. He holds a Masters degree in Computer Science from International Technological University, which is his area of specialization. Stanley has 16 years of experience and has held various positions at Netpace, Cognizant and Hewlett-Packard. He has received multiple accolades for his achievements such as building an innovation segment with zuora and leading the BRM practice. Stanley is a key contributor for the BRM practice, having built the team from the ground up and building the core team for the same.
Prakash Balebail
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Prakash brings more than two decades of software development & implementation experience, including over 16 years in several key roles in Oracle Corporation. His management principle has been to provide commitment to continuously improve how he serves all of his customers, partners, and employees by anticipating their needs and exceeding their expectations through a culture of creativity & forward thinking.
Prior to founding Estuate, Prakash was the Senior Director in Oracle Applications Global Sales Solutions team, which built complex Oracle E-Business Suite application demonstrations for Sales activities. Additionally, he had leadership roles in the development of Oracle’s much-acclaimed Business Flow Accelerator (BFA) for the E-Business suite. During this time, Prakash also built the highly-regarded India operations team from the ground up. Prakash holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Karnataka University in India.
Prakash Balebail
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Prakash brings more than two decades of software development & implementation experience, including over 16 years in several key roles in Oracle Corporation. His management principle has been to provide commitment to continuously improve how he serves all of his customers, partners, and employees by anticipating their needs and exceeding their expectations through a culture of creativity & forward thinking. Prior to founding Estuate, Prakash was the Senior Director in Oracle Applications Global Sales Solutions team, which built complex Oracle E-Business Suite application demonstrations for Sales activities. Additionally, he had leadership roles in the development of Oracle’s much-acclaimed Business Flow Accelerator (BFA) for the E-Business suite. During this time, Prakash also built the highly-regarded India operations team from the ground up. Prakash holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Karnataka University in India.
Geetha Somayaji
Vice President Finance & Human Resources
Geetha brings over two decades of experience to Estuate in her role as an accomplished leader of Finance and Human Resources. Since joining the company in 2011, she has been instrumental in developing the financial infrastructure of the company alongside the founders, and she has come to be known a a cherished mentor to many within the organization. Geetha holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration and Accountancy from Bangalore University, India.
Prior to her role at Estuate, she worked in payroll processing and tax returns for Gene's Fine Foods and Jay's Tax & Keeping Services. In her personal time, Geetha enjoys exploring the outdoors and spending quality time with her family.
Geetha Somayaji
Vice President Finance & Human Resources
Geetha brings over two decades of experience to Estuate in her role as an accomplished leader of Finance and Human Resources. Since joining the company in 2011, she has been instrumental in developing the financial infrastructure of the company alongside the founders, and she has come to be known as a cherished mentor to many within the organization. Geetha holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration and Accountancy from Bangalore University, India. Prior to her role at Estuate, she worked in payroll processing and tax returns for Gene's Fine Foods and Jay's Tax & Keeping Services. In her personal time, Geetha enjoys exploring the outdoors and spending quality time with her family.