Will energy and water challenges propel an IoT wave in India?Vinay Dora
‘Smart homes’ and ‘wearables’ were reported as the most popular Internet of Things (IoT) topics discussed on the web and social media, according to a web analytics study conducted earlier this year. However, this may soon change if recent trends and market opportunities are to go by, especially from emerging regions like India.
Startups, governments and innovation-led ecosystem developers are slowly realising the many ways IoT solutions can solve some of India’s most critical challenges, including those in infrastructure and management of resources. Our smart cities may need even smarter problem-solvers than those you may find in cities of the developed world, for our challenges are acute in day-to-day necessities like energy and water.
While the challenges may be aplenty, we have the talent and entrepreneurial spirit to address them. There are reasons for India turning into the world’s fastest growing startup ecosystem with Indian cities like Bengaluru making it to the top of the list of IoT cities in the world. While Bengaluru may be making a tangible mark, even ahead of cities like Tokyo (in terms of number of IoT companies being headquartered), the IoT space in other Indian cities are not far behind either.
Energy-solution provider gets funding support to expand
Delhi-based startup Zenatix was in the news recently for having raised $200,000 in seed-funding from Google’s Rajan Anandan, Snapdeal’s founders, Rohit Bansal and Kunal Bahl, among other investors. We at YourStory caught up with the energy analytics founders much earlier and shared their story.
The company, by deploying temperature sensors and ’smartmeters’, has been able to monitor energy meters on a regular basis. Through its message-based alerts, many a household and office across the Delhi NCR region has been able to cut down on its energy consumption, to the tune of five-12 per cent, with no extra effort. Among the company’s success stories are institutes like IIIT (Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology), Delhi, which has been able to save about Rs 18 lakhs (close to $30,000) per annum in its energy consumption. Solutions from Zenatix has helped keep tab on the institute’s water consumption too.
Water-solution startups to get accelerated by industry’s best
Like energy, water solutions, too, seem to be the need of the hour. After all, India’s challenges include depleting groundwater, surface water being largely polluted and failing monsoons that have affected acres of crops. IoT has a host of agricultural-related utilities– those to help monitor crop health, control irrigation facilities, as well as waste water treatment insight, to name a few. These solutions concerning water can also help mitigate floods and other natural calamities.
Keeping in mind such massive room for opportunity, water experts have got together to create an accelerator for startups focusing on water. This accelerator at IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) has tiedup with renowned groups like the Asian Development Bank, World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program, Luminous Water Technologies’ Livpure, Rohini Nilekani’s Arghyam Foundation, among others.
Apart from bringing together global thoughtleaders, water-focused funds will be connected to support these innovative startups. This may just be the beginning of realising IoT’s true value and impact, especially in developing nations.
What do you think of the IoT route to solving some of India’s bigger challenges? Also, if you are a startup pursuing innovations in the water or energy space, tell us your story.