[App Fridays] ‘Bill Predict’ by Zenatix helps Delhi residents save on their ‘bijli’,‘paani’ billsHarshith Mallya
A few decades ago keeping track of many different aspects of our lives was time consuming and difficult. But now technology has made it easy for us to gather huge volumes of data about our day-to-day habits and gain insights about them.
Founded by three IIT Delhi alumni, Zenatix aims to help individuals and companies better understand their electricity consumption and usage through big data analytics and then save energy, expenses and also the environment, by making necessary changes. With their B2B product ‘ZenSoft’ gaining traction, they recently launched an application in the B2C space titled ‘Bill Predict’.
What is it?
‘Bill Predict’ currently targeted at the residents of Delhi helps users gain insights on their electricity and water consumption usage and save money in the process. The app leverages the recently launched schemes for both electricity and water by the Delhi government:
- Users get free water up to 20 KL/month and if they consume more than this limit then they have to pay for the whole consumption starting 0 (i.e. zero subsidy).
- Users get 50% subsidy on electricity consumption up to 400 units/month. Again, if they consume more than 400 units then their entire subsidy will be lost.
Using this app, users can manage their electricity and water consumption. Users need to read the meter readings from their meter and input it and the app keeps track and provides predictions based on usage pattern and history.
Based on their consumption thus far in the billing cycle, it alerts users when their predicted consumption for the current billing cycle goes beyond the subsidy limit so that they can appropriately manage their consumption and avail the subsidy.
The team behind it
Zenatix Solutions was founded bythree IIT Delhi alumni, Rahul Bhalla, Vishal Bansal and Amarjeet Singh in 2013. They launched their commercial product ‘ZenSoft’ in 2013 and currently have about 30 customers. Zenatix can be compared to US companies such as Nest -- recently acquired by Google for $1bln -- and Opower.
The three of them were friends for more than 16 years and had pursued completely different career tracks before starting Zenatix. Rahul (CEO) has 11+ years of experience in building and leading business units encompassing strategy, sales, farming and delivery. He has served as the VP for UnitedLex, CPA Global and was a manager at Evalueserve.
Vishal (COO) is an IIM A Ahmedabad graduate with experience in financial services across India, Hong Kong, Netherlands, and Australia. He was previously a Portfolio Manager – ING, Asia Pacific and Senior Associate at Evalueserve. Amarjeet (CTO) has an MS and PhD from UCLA and has research experience in energy data acquisition and analytics algorithms. He was an Assistant Professor at IIIT Delhi till 2013.
For their commercial B2B product ‘ZenSoft’, the startup installs energy monitoring equipment such as smart meters and controllers in offices and set up a cloud-based software for real time monitoring of their energy consumption. This data from smart meters is stored in the cloud, and can be visualized on their software. Zenatix then runs advanced analytics on the collected data and recommends energy saving measures and benchmarks the company’s consumptions.Their long term aim is to provide a similar service to B2C consumers on a smaller scale.
What we liked?
The app is simple and easy to use and serves its purpose. The daily average graphs for both electricity and water consumption give the user a bird’s eye view of their daily consumption and usage patterns.
The app is free to download and use and with regular push notifications it helps absent minded people monitor their electricity and water consumption.
What could be improved?
While the app is interesting, it is still a MVP and Amarjeet confirmed that they are in the process of improving it and adding more features into it and also making it usable for all parts of India.
Currently, users have to manually enter their daily consumption metrics for the app to work, but in the future by installing smart meters in their homes, users will be able to automate that process as well.
‘Bill Predict’ is an interesting app and with an experienced team, we will wait and see how they go about improving the app and adding more functionalities and features to it.