At The Smart Cube, we understand that each client has unique needs and, as a result, we work with our clients to customize the delivery process where required. Our strength lies in the ability to understand client specific requirements and their processes and adapt effectively to them.
Typically, our clients usually adopt one of three engagement models described here (or some combination thereof). It is important to note, though that, in all cases, there is a senior executive on-shore who manages the overall client relationship and assures high value delivery from the off-shore research team.
FTE Model +
In the FTE model, a client retains an annual pre-determined FTE (Full Time Equivalent) capacity. A Point of Contact (POC) is established at The Smart Cube and all work from the client flows to the POC who ensures the work is executed by the most suitable analyst or team of analysts. The POC determines the skill set required for the task and allocates work accordingly. The POC is a senior analyst who is responsible for the quality of the output and client interaction.
The true value of the FTE model is that it helps the client tap into the full complement of industry, functional and technical capabilities across The Smart Cube.
Therefore, the FTE model works well for those clients that require a wide variation of skills in order to meet their research needs. For example, a Senior Corporate Executive may require a range of capabilities from industry analyses to emerging market assessments to financial and data analytics; or the chief economist at a hedge fund may require The Smart Cube's support with fundamental analysis, macro-economic research, quantitative analysis and programming. This support is best provided through an FTE model where the client has an annual pre-determined FTE of capacity and taps into different capabilities of The Smart Cube.
Analyst Model +
In the 'analyst' model a dedicated, named analyst at The Smart Cube works directly with an individual (be it an analyst, trader, portfolio manager, strategist etc) at the client side or forms a part of a larger client team. Typically deployed at financial services clients, The Smart Cube analyst is the virtual extension of the on-shore client team. The Smart Cube analyst is supervised by a senior analyst in India who manages workflow as well as quality of output.
For instance, a telecom analyst at a sell-side firm would have The Smart Cube analyst in India supporting him/her on a continuous basis to provide research and analytics services on a daily basis. Similarly, a trader at a hedge fund would have a quant analyst in India providing support. The Smart Cube analyst participates in investor calls, liaises with investor relations, and in many cases also travels on-shore to better understand the requirements or working style of the on-shore analyst or team.
Project-based Model +
The Smart Cube also executes business and investment research and data analytics services on a project basis. This model is helpful where a client cannot forecast work requirements in the immediate term but is sure of specific needs that require analyst support. A large acquisition initiative, topical market intelligence study or discrete financial analysis (e.g. credit downgrades) may require one-time project support. It is particularly helpful in crunched situations where The Smart Cube can rapidly add resources to reduce lead time significantly.
The Project-based Model is typically a Fixed Price Arrangement. However, where we cannot reasonably estimate the effort at the outset, we work on a Time and Material basis as well. This model is usually combined with the FTE or Analyst model to take care of spikes in demand.