He used to peep through the window of his house for hours and go into a trance, thinking about what makes a city a true city. He would think about what urban planning really is — is it just architectural cultivation or something more? He would also ponder over whether building cities can be so inclusive that they end up like extensions of the citizens themselves, a beautiful marriage between cities and their inhabitants. These childhood fascinations of Mohak Bhambry’s continue to enthral him even now.
The urban population of the world is 58 percent and by 2025 it will be more than 70 percent. With the 1.1 percent YoY migration rate, it will be tough to manage the projected over two billion people in the world, especially with so many non-dynamic, unplanned, and age-old, allegedly inhabitable cities. All these thoughts served as the motivation for the creation of Smart Cities Wheel.
The company is based out of Indore and laid its foundation in August 2016.
So what does Smart Cities Wheel actually do?
It is a visualisation- and AI-based web and mobile synchronous tool. It helps urban planners, city stakeholders and special-purpose vehicles (SPVs) to design, plan, manage, and sustain performance-driven smart cities. They are also developing future predictions for city performance, for which they are using predictive AI algorithm training through data visualisation sets. Based on these, city stakeholders will be able to take the necessary calls to action. They can figure out where the city is not performing smartly and what can be done to address that.
Habits that have helped him in his journey
On this, Mohak said, "If something is not working, I design a thematic tree-like structure for all my problems. Then I battle with the roots in order to shed them to the ground."
He believes that if something can be done analytically and falls under the boundary of science, he really wish to do it. He loves solving tough problems and finding considerably easy solutions.
Tenacity, perseverance and a scientific mindset are some of the habits that are helping him on this entrepreneurial journey.
How did he go about addressing the opportunity?
With 58 percent of the world’s population living in cities, he realised it would be tough for city stakeholders to mechanise uniform distribution of resources such as better quality of life, uniform housing, better sanitation, security, and proper urban mobility.
Keeping these points in mind, they have designed a 12 key performance indicator based data visualisation platform which patent pending. This will help address the above-mentioned problems.
Co-founder and skills they collectively bring to the team
As Mohak shared, "Dr Shashank Khurana, a postdoctoral research fellow for space research at the University of Tokyo brings the product execution and ensures we meet timelines."
Siddharth Rajhans: FRS, Royal Society of London. Product Manager at Apple. He handles the business operations.
Renato de Castro: He is an advisor to the company, having experience in smart cities for the past 15 years. He has been a keynote speaker and panellist at various world-renowned smart city forums.
USP of the product
- Artificial intelligence-based city planning and management visualisation platform with IP possession for the product
- Augmented reality-based city planning app
What is their market size?
$480 billion is the current world market size for Smart Cities projects. As for the information and communications technology (ICT) concerning smart cities, this market accounts to $220 billion.
Speaking of India, a budget of Rs 7,000 crore has been proposed for 100 smart cities. The ICT market includes Rs 3,000 crore, out of which the AR- and AI-based city planning market makes Rs 2,500 crore and it is still untapped.
How do they plan to monetise value?
- Their revenue model is a licensing fee, ranging from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 50 lakh per year (based on city demographic, data, and performance indicator chosen)
- Based on the chosen performance indicators and city demographics, they charge per annum based on variable licensing fees
- Augmented reality in-app purchases: Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh premium immersive city planning features for urban planners.