Building Deep Tech In India: How This Start-Up Cracked The Code
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Deep tech is something that has found its way into the start-up mainstream in India over the past few years. While there was always a buzz around it, homegrown companies were more focused at replicating proven models instead of creating their own.
The lack of such players in the market is what pushed Kunal Kislay, Saquib Khan and Kumar Raman into creating Integration Wizards Solutions (IWS). The Bengaluru-based company, founded in 2014, started with enterprise mobility, creating a platform that would allow for seamless communication across devices.
“It's just about a phone talking to a computer or a computer talking to computers,” explains Khan, “And that's where we thought that having a platform, which is kind of competent enough to integrate various devices will be our key focus.”
All three founders worked at US-based Antenna Software, then an enterprise mobility major, and left their jobs to start IWS after Antenna was acquired by software firm Pegasystems.
Today, there are about 20,000 users using their solutions. Their clientele includes the likes of US tech major Xerox.
While they started with integrating mobile applications with backend systems considering their background and expertise in the space, they have now broadened their offerings to include more applications.
“At every stage, our product was validated by customers, because we had to kind of build, we had to deploy and then we had to earn from the product,” Khan says.
With validation pouring in, the company ventured into integrating other devices such as sensors, motion trackers and even closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.
According to Kislay, CCTV is one of their biggest areas of focus currently.
“What we do is we introduce a level of artificial intelligence into the feed that's coming out of the cameras and we identify real time what's actually going on,” he says.
The company, with the help of its tech and no manual intervention, can tell you things such as how many people are working on a particular job, the number of customers visiting a retail store, their age and gender, among other things.
To extract and process the kind of information that they want from a device like a CCTV camera, the company uses a small device. The device plugs into a network video recorder, the computer system that captures everything from the camera, and works its magic.
IWS has a licensing-based revenue model, where the fee depends upon each use case. “If it's CCTV-related implementation, it's based on per camera, (if) it's a mobile-based application (it is) based on the number of users who are actually going to use the application,” says Kislay.
The company, which currently has offices in India and the US, expects to record revenue of $3 million this year, doubling their numbers from last year. According to the founders, the company has been profitable since day one.
Use In Security
The company’s solutions have also found use cases in security.
Even though all organizations have a health, safety and environment department these days, Kislay believes very few actually do more than some kind of basic training to teach the employees about what to do when there is a safety problem.
“There are a minimum of ten near misses before the accident actually occurs and nobody gives a damn about near misses,” he says.
What IWS’ software can do is identify any safety-related issues in real time and notify the necessary people. It even has the capability to identify things such as a fire and raise an alarm.
The company plans to expand operationally and invest more into developing their technology going forward. Their immediate plans include expanding their operations to Europe, marking their second foray into international markets.
“From an expansion perspective, we're going to continue investing heavily on the new technologies that we keep adding,” says Kislay, adding that their recent growth has also meant that they would be adding more customer support capabilities.
Apart from that, IWS is also looking at the possibility of making their platform more open for others to use and build solutions on.
“We are limited by our capacity in terms of numbers and resources, so there are only a certain number of use cases we can build,” says Kislay.
“If we are able to get this product platform to a point where people can easily understand and start building up use cases or solutions on this platform that will be a big win for us.”