How a lazy afternoon with friends led to a startup on Home Automation Solutions: Story of eDomotics
Imagine being able to change TV channels, monitor the settings of the air conditioner, switch on and off the lights in the room, draw the curtain, lock the door, turn of the gas, all with one remote. You get the drift. We’re talking about home automation services - a growing market in India, thanks to the general rise in standard of living, growing awareness about excessive energy consumption and its impact on the environment, and not to mention the growing concerns of security, especially in urban India.
Hyderabad based eDomotics, a company helping you create a ‘smart home’ through your ‘smartphone’ was started in 2012 by Ganesh Vudutha, a mechanical engineer from IIT Madras and MBA from Indian School of Business, Hyderabad; with over 6 years work experience at TCS Innovations Lab and Keshava Varma, an electronics engineer with over 7 years experience at Wipro and Cognizant.
The idea came to the duo when they were at a friends place watching a movie. "Everyone was too lazy to get up and switch on/off the lights, there were too many remotes (Projector, AV Receiver, AC, DVD player etc) and it was too complicated to operate. Then there were frequent requests to change the movie but no one wanted to get up and do that. That is what gave the idea of controlling all the electrical/electronics gadgets in the home theatre with our phone", says Ganesh, of the beginning.
What started off with the concept of Home Theatre Automation has now expanded to Security & Surveillance also. The company provides its solutions by giving access to all electrical/electronics in the home via a simple user interface on the smartphone.
Speaking of the motivation to startup, Ganesh says, “before venturing on our own, we looked for solutions that could address the need for home automation. There were very few solutions and even fewer companies providing these kind of customized solutions. Home Automation is an upcoming trend and we saw a good market potential and were confident of making it a profitable business”.
The team has spent most of the first year of operations into building a partner eco system (with automation equipment manufacturers like Schneider Electric, Crestron, Legrand etc), setting up the experience centre, understanding the technology better and getting ready for the market. So far, they have done 8 installations and are gearing up for 4 more.
The team currently comprises of 8 people, including one sales and one administrative guy. Speaking of his team, Ganesh says, “everyone (except the sales and admin guy) is hands on with technology, components, installations etc. We are also planning to recruit 2 more technical people this month”.
Ganesh says their biggest challenge so far was to bag the first customer. Going forward, they foresee the next big challenge as bagging a community wide home automation project so they can sufficiently ramp up the revenues.
Their marketing plan begins with meeting architects and telling them about the services. “The Architects give us end customer leads and we take it forward from there, however, they continue to remain involved till the execution of the project”, says Ganesh. The team’s vision for eDomotics is to become a leading system integrator across India for Home Automation Solutions. Their biggest strength, Ganesh believes is their technical capability. eDomotics is currently exploring business opportunities in Pune, Bangalore and Chennai.
Few weeks back, we had spoken of another player in this market, Silvan Labs who provides similar services in Bangalore. While eDomotics and Silvan Labs have the advantage of being early players in a growing market, it is challenges like scaling up to other cities and ability to handle large scale work which will define leading players in the area.
Company Website: eDomotics