YUPS Tech Solutions is a Mumbai-based technology driven company, having its core in designing and manufacturing IoT products for enterprises. The company serves smart human wearable and smart infrastructure segment as a creator through consulting, product designing, end-to-end implementation services. Mr Pratik Jani, Chief Executive Officer at YUPS Tech Solutions shares about the IoT market in India, business solutions to drive IoT market, challenges in acquiring business and much 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?
With new technology coming to the market, there is always a peak of inflated expectation. That’s when people start calling it a hype, name it a buzzword and even criticise. But gradually, the technology settles in and the return on investment (RoI) on time and money is seen. All the emerging technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning (ML)/artificial intelligence (AI), robotics found applications in almost all the fields. Companies have started new departments (Innovation Teams) to look into how they can leverage the technology to improve their business.
Q. In your opinion, is the Government of India (GoI) playing any significant role in expanding the IoT market right now? If yes, how?
Yes. The Government of India is encouraging it in multiple segments, throughout the IoT value chain, started with the big vision of Digital India and Smart Cities. On the education front, Skill India, with Tinkering labs and incubation centres, creates the talent that is required for implementing technologies like IoT. Also, the Smart India hackathon invited problem statements from ministries that were solved by students using software and hardware. The Smart Cities initiative has boosted market for solutions like smart street lights, smart bin, parking management, flood monitoring, air pollution monitoring etc.
Q. What are your expectations from the GoI in terms of the initiatives they should take to make India an I0T-super power?
A policy and standardisation of the IoT ecosystem are the need of hour.
Q. Are you satisfied at the rate of deployment of IoT solutions in India?
There are plenty of pilot tests going on. According to reports, very few head to mass deployments. Again, if I consider the Hype Cycle slope, majority of them are heading towards the peak of inflated expectations and few going down from there to Trough of Disillusionment. A very few have crossed that milestone like the solutions adopted by manufacturing industry for machine utilisation and maintenance.
Q. How do you see the IoT market evolving in the next 2-3 years?
I see IoT as the segment enabling data acquisition. The real business changer are the applications that deliver insights and answers high level questions of Why and How. This would involve machine learning and artificial intelligence. Once businesses start seeing value delivered by the system, the investment will increase generating more demand for IoT.
Over the next few years, I see at least 40% of IoT use cases hitting the slope of enlightenment.
Q. Which industry segments do you believe will be driving a larger chunk of demand? Why?
Smart Cities will be the major driver due to their sheer volume and the impact that they will deliver. The next being ‘Industrial’ as the segment has been rapidly adopting technology over the last 4-5 years.
Q. What’s your bigger challenge – acquiring customers or acquiring talent? What’s your strategy in resolving the same?
The bigger challenge for us is acquiring customers. Being a B2B IoT business, there are stakeholders right from business and IT to the end user. Many of them are still skeptical about their return on investment. The first thing you do is to involve each of them in the solution implementation and work as partners rather than vendor-client. Secondly, to educate them about the process and value of the solution. Make it clear right at the beginning that IoT is not a magic wand to solve all the problems. It is important to set the expectations right. Being transparent helps a lot in the long run.
Q. Who is the key decision maker for you – the technology decision maker or the business decision maker? With whom do you start the conversation – and how do you balance the interests of both types of decision makers?
Even though IoT seems to be solution for the technology decision maker, the offering should deliver value to business. And thus, it is necessary for a buy-in from the business decision maker as well. As mentioned earlier, we involve all the stakeholders and believe in having them as partners rather than clients because they equally contribute to the deployment.
Q. How would you describe your solutions to a non-technical decision maker at the clients’ end?
Our product is a smart wearable for workforce safety and productivity.
Q. What’s your strategy to create a differentiation for your solutions vis-a-vis your competitors?
Over the years, we have learned that a good customer experience is always the key to have a returning customer. This comes from the practices we follow to keep our innovation – simple, impactful and wireless. I always tell, your IoT product is not your company. You need to build partners, eco-system, experience around the same to make a company.