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For This Defence Startup, an Image is Better For a Thousand Actions Tonbo Imaging, the most impactful defense technology start-up in the country, brings economies of scale to defense and enterprise market with an asset light model built on deep technology

By Sandeep Soni

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ARVIND LAKSHMIKUMAR (42), FOUNDER AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, TONBO IMAGING

Bengaluru-based Tonbo Imaging, the most impactful defense technology start-up in the country, brings economies of scale to defense and enterprise market with an asset light model built on deep technology, similar to existing industries including logistics, hospitality, transportation and commerce. It builds imaging technology that uses multiple complementary sensors to allow users to see and interpret the environment around them during night, dust, fog etc. for military, security, transportation safety and industrial inspection applications. "The entire hardware process rides on the consumer electronics manufacturing chain and contract manufacturing. That brings performance in terms of size, weight and power; cost in terms of economies of contract manufacturing and scalability through easy adoption of new technology as value to our customers. In some sense, we are to the defense industry what Apple is to the mobile phone industry," says Lakshmikumar.

He last year won a $25-million contract for border surveillance in North Africa and Europe and raised $17 million to scale its international business. For Lakshmikumar, the biggest achievement is in disrupting the procurement of military electrooptics systems and democratizing night vision technology as that's the backbone for any modern day military system across guns, tanks, ships and UAVs. The technology also lends itself well to commercial applications like intelligent transportation systems, mining vehicles and smart city programs.

MARCHING AHEAD

LAUNCH July 2012 in B'luru GROWTH 80-100% per annum REVENUE >Rs 100 crore HEADCOUNT 150 TOTAL INVESTMENT ~Rs 150 crore NO. OF PATENTS 12

Sandeep Soni

Former Features Editor

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