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This Techpreneur Shares Why India is one of the Hottest Market for Blockchain Startups The startup also claims to hosts one of world first live running land records on blockchain

By Vanita D'souza

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Entrepreneur India

While spending 18-years across various profiles at Oracle, Babu Munagala discovered there is a huge opportunity in data protection space, which prompted him to start something of his own. Hence, in early 2015, with help of SFO Bay Area-based angel investors, he started Zebi Data.

After exploring various hardware and software solutions to provide data protection without human intervention, he stumbled upon the blockchain technology and since there was no looking back for the entrepreneur.

In a conversation with Entrepreneur India, Munagala shares why India is emerging as one of the hotspots for blockchain-related companies:

Blocking with chains

"However, there is lack of a holistic solution for problems associated with security and privacy of these large amounts of data collected and used by governments and enterprises against rising threat of data hacks, data tampering and identity thefts. This is a huge opportunity with no solution in sight, and blockchain offers a promising solution to all of these problems," he added.

But Munagala says running a blockchain company is not an easy task as there is lack of awareness and understanding of the technology among industry-related stakeholders.

"This leads to an inability to identify business use cases. There is also a lack of internal resources that are familiar with the technology and hence, they are not well versed to the in-house initiative, which creates a hurdle while selecting a vendor to integrate the solution within the existing system," he points out.

Having said that, the techxpert also acknowledges the fact that blockchain's awareness and business imperative is gaining traction in India but steadily and says a lot of Indian and global startups are doing POCs and projects experimenting use of the distributed ledger technology for a wide variety of applications ranging from banking, insurance, supply chain, land records etc.

The Home-Show

With Zebi, the team claims to have developed some of the best use cases around land records, hospitality industry, employee records, healthcare records for hospitals, diagnostic chains and pharmacies, educational records by universities and educational boards, high value transactions, government-issued documents such as identity cards, ration cards, driving licenses, vehicle registration certificates etc.

In fact, the startup also claims to hosts one of world's first live running land records on the blockchain, which Zebi manages for the State Government of Andhra Pradesh. The blockchain startup also recently concluded ICO raising of USD 10 million for future growth and expansion of Zebi blockchain products and services.

Discussing Zebi latest offering, an artificial intelligence-based blockchain platform, Munagala shares with Entrepreneur India that the product caters to hospitality industry which has the mandate to submit guests' information and brings both privacy and security while automating the whole data transfer activity for hotels.

"All of the private and sensitive data of individual hotel guests is stored in the blockchain and any access or updates to the data are part of the immutable records on the blockchain. The individual remains as the full controller of data as the consent of the individual is taken before every use of their data," he says while adding that, "When a visitor enters the hotel and already has a Zebi ID, he/she can check in within seconds. If not, he/she can provide a picture and photo id, and create a Zebi ID, which is stored on Zebi's blockchain platform. The guest will no longer have to leave a printed photocopy of his/her id card or mobile number with the hotel because his/her Zebi ID is on the Blockchain. This mitigates the risk of the guest data being misused by a hotel or other enterprises."

So far, the AI Chain solution is deployed at more than 200 hotels and Zebi is preparing for full-scale deployment across all the hotels in India

Vanita D'souza

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.

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