Carsales chief information officer Ajay Bhatia has taken out his first Benchmark award in the retail category for his decision to take a gamble and build his own search engine.
Bhatia's team was increasingly finding that their incumbent licensed search engine was struggling to keep up with their requirements. They embarked on a search for one that would, but failed to find exactly what they needed.
Given search functionality was so integral to Carsales' business - 80 percent of visitors to its group of sites make extensive use of search - Bhatia at that point made the decision to develop a prototype in-house that could provide exactly what the company needed.
His 18-month push for perfection paid off - the company is now scrambling to sign up a bevy of retailers the world over keen to take up the Carsales offering.
Bhatia credited his team with his one - in particular one staff member who came up with Ryvuss while on a sick day.
"This is for Michael [Ridgway] .. somehow when you are sick it allows you to be more strategic. And I wish in a positive way he gets sick again," Bhatia said.
Bhatia fought off strong competition from finalists in Dick Smith - its second nomination in three years - and Tennis Australia, both presented strong projects worthy of commendation.
The Benchmark awards ceremony was held at the 7th CIO Strategy Summit.