Internet of Things: A buzzword or business value? This is a question that has taken the industry by storm. Sumit Bhatnagar, founder of Nexibium India Pvt Ltd, sheds light on the current trends in IoT, the role of major technologies, India’s position in IoT adoption and many more.
Q)Many opine that IoT is just a buzzword that industry Gurus have coined to create hype? Do you agree with that line of thought? Or do you feel that IoT is opening an entirely new market?
In our experience, we have seen many businesses reaping the benefits of IoT and making a positive change. There are so many IoT technologies around but if you don’t understand how to use them effectively, unfortunately, it may lead you into thinking that it’s merely a buzzword.
Q) In your opinion, is the Government of India (GoI) playing any significant role in expanding the IoT market right now?
Yes. Looking at the global IoT market that is expected to grow up to 300 billion by 2025, the Indian government’s promise to invest 70 billion in smart cities mission is surely commendable. India is currently growing at about 28 per cent CAGR, which is impressive.
Q) What are your expectations from the GoI in terms of the initiatives they should take to make India an IoT-super power?
Apart from the wonderful commitment that the GoI has shown in making our cities smarter, we think that the government should also start to think about how IoT will be regulated, who will own the data and how public’s privacy will be affected when IoT is implemented in public utilities, law enforcement and government functions.
To stand out from the other global technological leaders, we would have to work out how we live and control the information in this new age where sensors control our day-to-day life.
Q) Are you satisfied at the rate of deployment of IoT solutions in India?
India is doing great but there is always the potential for more.
Q) How do you see the IoT market evolving in the next 2-3 years?
India has a lot to do in telecommunication area which is a key enabler of IoT technology. We expect major telecom companies to be on track to launch superfast 4G, 5G and Narrowband IoT which will help build a strong IoT ecosystem in our country and grow IOT market significantly.
Q) Which industry segments do you believe will be driving a larger chunk of demand? Why?
We expect high demand in construction, transportation and logistics, and energy sectors due to government policies and investment. Some of the private sectors such as retail, manufacturing and consumer electronics will also see high demand due to ongoing disruption IoT is causing.
Retailers, for example, are investing millions to create a new “lean” business model with the help of sensors and video analytics to understand offline” consumer behaviour as it has become very challenging to generate “in-store” sales these days due to more people buying thing online.
Q) What’s your bigger challenge–acquiring customers or acquiring talent? What’s your strategy in resolving the same?Acquiring talent. As it is a very new and exciting technology, India has more demand than supply of skilled IoT professionals in the market.
Q) What is the estimated revenue of your biz that you’d attribute to IoT-related business? What fraction of your overall business is the IoT-related business?
We are on track to do USD 300K by 2019 across both India and Europe. 100 per cent of our revenue comes from IoT.
Q) How do you see your IoT-related business growing in the next 2-3 years both in terms of revenue and as a fraction of your overall revenues?
We are projected to reach USD 1 million by 2021 across both India and Europe.
Q) What’s your strategy to create a differentiation for your solutions vis-a-vis your competitors?
The key differentiator is how we build the capability and offer continuous support to our customers. We understand that the business owners are facing the challenge of transforming to more analytics-based decision making as they introduce IoT based technologies in their business roadmap.
We have a solid customer-centric support program in place which means that we continue to train and support our customers while they start to adapt and learn to navigate in the new technological environment.
Q) Any innovative strategy being planned or implemented by your team to create demand for your solutions amongst customers or channel partners?
In next 2-3 years, we are looking to launch a suite of these sensors and gateways which will bring the cost of these installations down significantly and help us and our partners deploy these solutions at more affordable rates.
Q) Who is the key decision-maker for you–the technology decision-maker or the business decision-maker?
Our conversation normally starts with the business decision-maker since we tend to be very customer-focused in our approach, but we manage the balance easily. We all agree on our operational and strategic priorities quite early on which ultimately helps greatly in balancing out the interest of both the parties.
Q) Have you come across any successful deployment of IoT in India that’s worthy of being noticed by other decision-makers?
There are many successful deployments in the Indian market. Hitachi and Bosch are one of the many key players that have been using smart factory solutions such as predictive maintenance, manufacturing analysis, condition monitoring, etc. to improve efficiency in their businesses.
Q) How would you describe your solutions to a non-technical decision-maker at the clients’ end?
If you still rely on a lot of manual efforts for your factory’s processes such as asset reliability, condition monitoring and OEE estimations, it can all be automated with the help of IoT. You can now save a lot of money and make smarter decisions by committing to digital transformation.
As more organisations include digital transformation in their growth roadmap, it will become harder for legacy businesses to compete against the edge IoT has to offer. Right from product design and procurement to manufacturing, maintenance, quality checks and product delivery, there are massive opportunities to digitise these processes.
Q) What’s unique about your solution or your firm for them to opt for it–vis-a-vis competitors?
We are at the forefront of IoT and have carried out several successful deployments across Europe and we work very closely with top technology companies to build and deliver the solution that suits your need. Unlike many companies, we work with our customers every step of the way and offer them continuous support until they are comfortable adapting to the new technological environment.