IoT Growth Will be Driven by Consumers and Business Needs

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ClairViz is a technology company offering cutting-edge solutions for digitisation of manufacturing industry. The company has deep focus on creating smart factories by leveraging technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Internet of Services (Cloud) and Big Data.

Aditya Vermani, Business Head at ClairViz, in an interaction with EFY Bureau speaks about role of IoT in manufacturing industry, status of IoT market in India, major segments driving IoT demand, ClairViz’s unique proposition and business, and a lot more.

Excerpts:

Q. According to you, what role IoT is playing in the manufacturing segment in India?

Aditya Vermani, Business Head, ClairViz

Although today India is the fifth largest manufacturing economy in the world, the World Economic Forum, in its recent report, stated that India’s manufacturing sector is at ‘Risk to Future’.

Digitalisation in manufacturing is imperative. The Internet of Things (IoT), combined with other technologies of Industry 4.0, will play a major role in making Indian manufacturing globally competitive and deliver world class products.

Q. How do see the adoption of IoT in the manufacturing segment in India?

Indian manufacturing is still at the beginning of IoT adoption. Structural changes like Goods and Services Tax (GST) and global competition is driving the need to be operationally efficient. In the past one year, there has been a lot of traction in IoT adoption. Almost every manufacturing organisation has taken up IoT initiative.

Q. In your opinion, is the Government of India (GoI) playing any significant role in expanding the IoT market right now? If yes, how?

The GoI can only play the role of an enabler. Recently, we got a project from a public sector undertaking (PSU). Although we did not have financial credentials, under the Government’s relaxed policy for MSMEs/start-ups, we carried out a pilot which was followed by a formal order. So, we can see that government is ready to support those who can prove their capabilities.

Today, India has one of the best networks and mobile penetration. Data rates are one of the cheapest. This has made IoT adoption very easy. The country has one of the largest start-up ecosystems, which is making robust and latest technologies affordable.

Finally, it is a business decision, driven by return on investments (RoI). People have already seen benefits of technology adoption in consumer and financial segments. The manufacturing sector has always been a laggard in technology adoption as they always saw themselves isolated from end consumer. However, today’s consumer has more choices and is much better informed.

So, IoT growth will be driven by consumers and business needs. The Government can only help organisations and suppliers through its policies and infrastructure.

Q. What are your expectations from the GoI in terms of the initiatives they should take to make India an IoT-super power?

Frugality and sustainability shall be the main pillars as future growth will be driven by products catering to the base of economic pyramid comprising populations of Africa and South Asia. Almost six billion people can benefit from cost effective and efficient products.

Growth will come through manufacturing, primarily driven by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) catering to the needs of developing world.

India has one of the most competitive manufacturing bases. Adoption of digital manufacturing technologies will make Indian manufacturing efficient, productive with highest quality.

The Government of India should help SMEs to understand the benefits of IoT.

Q. How do you see the IoT market evolving in the next 2-3 years?

We see exciting times ahead. Smart manufacturing will see huge investments by manufacturers as they realise the benefits of technology.

Scarcity of skilled manpower, increasing complexity of manufacturing processes, customer delight, outsourcing and shorter lead times are now leading to a huge change in traditional methods of manufacturing.

It is difficult for key stakeholders to be on shop-floor all the time to keep tab on the operations. Decision making is no longer about skill and intuition – it’s now about data. The data generated by machines, stakeholders, utilities, allied systems combined with analytics is throwing valuable insights into operations in near real-time. Data has become the new currency which is driving actionable intelligence.

Q. Which industry segments do you believe will be driving a larger chunk of demand? Why?

The major demand will be in following segments:

  • Process Industries:Oil & gas, chemicals, power generation, cement
  • Discrete Industries:Textiles, FMCG, appliance, automotive, pharma

The key business drivers are:

  • Industries which value quality, cost and efficiencies
  • Export-oriented industries
  • Conversion cost contribution is large
  • The product is outcome of many sub processes
  • Process data is scattered
  • Fuel is large contributor for production
  • RoI on productivity improvement less than six months

Q. What’s your bigger challenge – acquiring customers or acquiring talent? What’s your strategy in resolving the same?

Start-ups like us face dual challenge of acquiring customers as well as acquiring talent. Luckily with a good product, it is easier to acquire incremental customers. Also, India has a good talent pool, but selecting the right people is indeed a challenge. Selecting wrong talent creates long-term business problems.

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 a very focused company and our 100 per cent revenue comes from smart manufacturing products. All our products are around IoT, data analytics, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).

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 looking to cross US$ 2 million mark by 2021. Our vision is to provide sustainable benefits to our clients by leveraging data. We strongly believe in empowering all stakeholders through data-driven decisions.

Q. What’s your strategy to create a differentiation for your solutions vis-a-vis your competitors?

Our USPs are:

  • Our products can be used by every type of organisation – be it an SME or a large enterprise. Our customers can go digital at a price point of as low as Rs. 950 per month. The implementation time is less than two weeks for our standard products.
  • We do IoT enablement for legacy as well as modern machines
  • We offer bespoke solutions to enhance the competitive advantage
  • We have proven product performance
  • We have domain expertise of various industries like textiles, steel, cement, chemical, oil & gas, energy, pharma, paper, FMCG, white goods, plastics etc.

Q. Any innovative strategy being planned or implemented by your team to create demand for your solutions amongst customers or channel partners?

We are now building DIY (do it yourself) products. These can be easily implemented by customers or our channel partners. This will help us reach to all types of customers and create more demand.

Q. Who is the key decision maker for you – the technology decision maker or the business decision maker?

Since our products improve performance, quality, uptime and profitability, business decision makers are important for us. Equally important are technology decision makers as multiple integrations are required with existing and future systems.

Q. Have you come across any successful deployment of IoT in India that’s worthy of being noticed by other decision makers? If yes, can you share details of the same?

Each of our clients has gained immensely from IoT deployment.

E-Durables who is India’s second largest manufacturer of air conditioners is an OEM to more than 15 brands. With IoT, they were able to deploy end-to-end traceability, which resulted in improved OTIF (on time in full) performance by over 15 per cent, leading to increased profitability.

At Crown Closures, an SME based out of Nasik, our system created 40 per cent improvement in productivity and performance improvement of 25 per cent.

Similarly, other world class organisations like HPCL, Grasim Industries, Mahindra Accelo, Bunge India and Arvind Mills have seen improvement in quality, uptime, performance and productivity.

Q. How would you describe your solutions to a non-technical decision maker at the clients’ end?

Everyone gets interested when we talk about double digit improvement in performance/productivity/quality with RoI in less than 3-4 months.

The message we convey is “You don’t have to go to your factory, your factory will come to you. As long as things are in control, your factory will not disturb you.”

This unique message empowers all stakeholders to utilise their time in a better way.

Q. What’s unique about your solution or your firm for them to opt for it–vis-a-vis competitors?

Our strength comes from our deep understanding of sensors, process, domain and technology. We are a one-stop solution for clients’ digital manufacturing needs. Most of our competitors are platform-oriented which means you need to provide data to them. We make machines IoT enabled and capture right data, depending on the outcome that is required and convert that data into actionable intelligence.

Our customer’s RoI comes in less than three months and in many cases, it is been days. We have built a range of products under our ‘Osprey’ brand from Door Opener to Deep Insights for our clients.

We believe in collaboration with our clients on the ‘journey of data driven manufacturing excellence’. This unique value proposition helps our clients achieve sustainable goals through digital manufacturing.

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