Chariot Tech Pvt. Ltd, a Delhi-based startup, is serving IoT industry through its segment agnostic test and development platform. Nilay Mehrotra, Founder, Chariot Tech, in an interaction with EFY bureau speaks about the state of IoT deployment in India, government’s role in IoT deployment, Chariot’s IoT business and its unique proposition vis-a-vis competitors 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? Or do you feel that IoT is opening an entirely new market?
I don’t agree that IoT is just a hype word created by industry Gurus. Like any other technology, IoT has evolved and matured as a form of instrumentation and automation. The roots of any technology come from something which was created some time back. IoT is also bounded by the same principle of science. As the world is moving toward digitalisation, technologies like IoT and artificial intelligence (AI) are opening a lot of new opportunities for many verticals, industries and processes. A complete set of process reengineering can be done using technologies like IoT, which produces an abundant set of data.
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, I do believe that a lot of initiatives have been taken by the government which directly or indirectly effect the growth of IoT market in India. From initiatives like Digital India to Smart Cities Mission, IoT plays a major role in technology adoption and expansion.
Q. What are your expectations from the GoI in terms of the initiatives they should take to make India an IoT-super power?
We are already taking a lot of initiatives at the top management but the initiative to execute the real projects still lacks. The government also need to be more active towards execution rather than just naming new schemes or initiative.
Q. Are you satisfied at the rate of deployment of IoT solutions in India?
No, not really. The largest democracy in the world is still lagging behind the US and China, when it comes to adopting new technologies like IoT.
Q. How do you see the IoT market evolving in the next 2-3 years?
I am quite positive about the evolution of the market in the coming years. Take the example of our company – Chariot Tech. When we started, we used to face a lot of challenges while convincing the clients for IoT adoption, but today we have our plates full of potential clients. This clearly shows that IoT market is evolving in India and will continue to grow in coming years.
Q. Which segments do you believe will be driving a larger chunk of demand? Why?
In my opinion, it is going to be manufacturing industries/factories. According to a McKinsey report, Industrial IoT (IIoT) is poised to make a staggering one-third of the total IoT pie.
Q. What’s your bigger challenge – acquiring customers or acquiring talent? What’s your strategy in resolving the same?
Initially, it was customers, as a lot of effort in terms of awareness and education was required to make customers understand the need of technology like IoT. However, things have changed now and thanks to the media and government, industry people now understand the need of digitalisation and usage of technologies like IoT and AI.
Being a startup, the current challenge is acquiring the right talent. For IoT business, you need a specific set of people which are hard and expensive to find. We are planning to raise our Series A round funding to meet these challenges.
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 projecting close to Rs. 2 Crore for our IoT-related business. Our business is 100 per cent 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?
The kind of traction we have recently started getting from the market is really good. We are confident to grow by 200 per cent in the next 2-3 years.
Q. What’s your strategy to create a differentiation for your solutions vis-a-vis your competitors?
We are an innovative organisation – both in technology and business development, which always help us to stay ahead of our competitors. We truly believe that innovation is the only constant thing which shall happen in a deep tech companies like us.
Q. Any innovative strategy being planned or implemented by your team to create demand for your solutions amongst customers or channel partners?
As mentioned, we are an innovative company in all aspects. We work all day to bring some new technology flavours in our product so that we can give the best to our customers. Very soon we are going to launch our Exclusive Program for partners in which they will gain lots of benefits. The program could prove to be beneficial to create a big impact in the IoT industry.
Q. Who is the key decision maker for you – the technology decision maker or the business decision maker?
It depends from case-to-case, but majorly it’s the chief information officer (CIO). We have been very lucky to work with some of the top CIOs, who understand the need of digitalisation and were very keen to implement our solution.
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?
We have done some really amazing work with one of the largest companies in apparel market. We were able to monitor nearly 26 different parameters from a single machine in real time. With our own patent pending AI engine, we were giving multiple KPI’s and analysis for the same.
Q. How would you describe your solutions to a non-technical decision maker at the clients’ end?
We have a very simple approach for that. We ask them to use our solution to “maximise uptime, maximise cost savings, maximise yield, maximise energy efficiency, maximise quality and maximise asset performance.”
Q. What’s unique about your solution or your firm for them to opt for it–vis-a-vis competitors?
Firstly, we are a horizontal platform unlike many silo platforms available in the market. Secondly, we are agnostic to any device, system or industry.