Before you come up with an idea and move on to solve any problem, the most important thing is data. Data collection is the first step in solving any problem because once you collect data, you get a clear picture of the problem and you can then analyze it to come up with constructive solutions.
Ushva not only wants to make this process of data collection easy for industries but also wants to save energy while doing that. This gives companies a two-fold advantage and the company’s product is also easy to deploy as it comes in the form of a ‘plug-and-play’ model.
Team Sociobits: Could you share a little about yourself?
Mr. Visat Patel: I have spent my childhood and school years in Gujarat. I finished my Mechanical Engineering at IIT Bombay, where I worked on a lot of interesting projects on Biomedical Technology or building electric race cars, and being a part of races across the UK, Silverstone Circuit. This is also where I met my co-founder, Mr. Ashutosh Kumar. In the past decade, we have worked together on multiple projects from research to product development. Working together, we realized that we had a common interest in creating technology to solve problems at the grassroots level.
I remember, in 2014 we were discussing the technical problems of our country and wondering what is the problem that we can solve to make a big impact. Figuring this out led us to move forward with our journey together and the value that we want to create for the ecosystem.
Team Sociobits: Could you tell us a little about your company ‘Ushva’? And how did you come up with the company’s name?
Co-Founder: We started Ushva in 2015, and we are primarily an Energy and IoT company (Internet of Things). Our focus is to optimize things so to explain, when we look at the global scene right now, there is a lot of energy wastage. Carbon Inflammation is also increasing drastically which is leading to cause harmful effects on our planet earth.
“we feel that unless you monitor or measure anything, you cannot improve it. This is where IoT comes into the picture. We at Ushva, want to simplify technology because we believe that technology can be scaled up only if is simplified and it is made affordable,”– Mr. Visat Patel, Ushva
There are two ways to tackle this; one way is to improve the technology and the other way is to increase the efficiency of the system. What we feel is that unless you monitor or measure anything, you cannot improve it. This is where IoT comes into the picture. We at Ushva, want to simplify technology because we believe that technology can be scaled up only if is simplified and it is made affordable.
We have built our company around hardware and software IoT technology which unlike other companies is use case agnostic. If you compare other companies, they will have to use different hardware as well as software to deliver solutions for energy management, water management, safety, etc. but in our case, you just need to plug in the device, choose the type of industry and functionalities that you want and you are ready to go. We have worked upon simplification.
Ushva is a combination of two Hindi words, ‘Urja’ and ‘Swastha’ i.e. energy and health. I think me and my partner are definitely interested in energy and another sector of interest is health which is also closely related to our environment.
Team Sociobits: Can you explain in layman’s language how this device works?
Co-Founder: When we talk about optimization, first, we need to collect the data of all the systems. Let’s take energy meters as an example. Here, we collect data on how energy is being consumed across your facilities. So be it any other machine, we simply connect this device with the machine, we collect data, process it, store it and we send it to cloud-based servers. There we do data analytics and simplification to make it understandable to our users who are not tech-savvy. The idea is to showcase data in a form that they can understand and derive value from.
Team Sociobits: What inspired you to create Ushva?
Co-Founder: We were previously working on new solar inverter technology and there we stumbled upon the realization that there are a lot of problems when it comes to data collection. People have been talking about IoT, Machine Learning, and AI, but the initial step is always data collection. Data collection is a very difficult step for all industry players. The major problem was that for every problem statement, a different product had to be developed and when you work with different products, you have to understand how to use and configure that product. So, project implementation was very intense and that was turning out to be a roadblock for IoT data collection and optimization across India.
Our first goal was to make data collection seamless and I am very happy to say that we have successfully done that. Be it any industry or any equipment, our hardware and cloud-based software can be used in a plug-and-play manner. Now, you don’t have to be a technologist to understand and deploy solutions. You just need to plug in, choose and you are good to go!
Team Sociobits: How does your data collection plug-and-play device help consume energy?
Co-Founder: Today, the world is trying to adhere to the EST standards to look at the impact on the environment due to various processes carried out in industries. Our product is installed in the manufacturing plants so that we can use the data to help them identify where they shall be consuming energy, how can that be further optimized, and at the same time keep a digital data trail for the same. We suggest ways via which they can improvise their overall systems.
There are two benefits of this:
- They save a lot on their energy bills and,
- It reduces the harmful effects these manufacturing plants are causing on the environment.
For a technology to be deployed, it has to be affordable only then people are comfortable with accepting it. So, the idea is to make it simple, affordable, and make a difference in the environment.
Team Sociobits: Do you have any competitors? Why would users choose Ushva?
Co-Founder: We have competitors across the globe like Teltonika but companies like this are our competitors in only certain use cases. We are the only player in the market who provide a use case agnostic solution and to date, we are active in 22 different use cases including, energy management, water management, safety for railways, factory automation, etc. We want to implement this product in new use cases so that for the next set of industry experts, it becomes easy.
We think that the startup ecosystem is more about working together rather than competing so we are looking to partner with companies. Our idea is to help traditional as well as other industrial automation companies by being their ‘technology backbone’.
Team Sociobits: Since 2015, how has the journey with Ushva been so far?
Co-Founder: For the initial four and a half years, we spent time identifying the problem, creating prototypes, and in research and development. Then we did a lot of iterations based on the feedback we received from our pilot installations and in the last one and a half years, we have been commercially active. We have created a good presence across the industry present in India as well as in six other countries.
Now the motive for me and my co-founder is to change the ideology across India. So far, India has predominantly been a country where technology is not developed, it is just being consumed and we want to change that. Now, we are creating technology in India that is accepted globally. We have been given examples from our parents of how technology from many other countries has been excellent but today I can go and tell my father that our technology is being used globally.
Team Sociobits: Can you point out any major challenges that you faced during your journey?
Co-Founder: India has a lot of startups coming up, mostly in the service sector. When we look at deep-tech companies, there are only a few. One of the major reasons for this is the lack of a proper ecosystem. Speaking of deep technology, one would require a lot of different types of companies to assist you in getting the product out in the market. So, the initial challenge that we faced was setting up the ecosystem.
Another thing about deep tech companies is that you are not looking at generating revenue from day one. Forget about loss-making revenue, there’s practically zero revenue. So, gathering capital and trust from various stakeholders into the idea that we are striving for was difficult but we got good support from our friends, family, and a lot of IIT Bombay alumni.
Our product is installed in the manufacturing plants so that we can use the data to help them identify where they shall be consuming energy, how can that be further optimized, and at the same time keep a digital data trail for the same
Now, we are on a good track. We know what to do and we have a product that is market fit. It is time for us to scale up and implement things on a global front.
Team Sociobits: Do you have any goals set to be accomplished this year? What is your roadmap for the future?
Co-Founder: We are looking at a 10x growth in the next year. Growth in terms of increasing the number of devices and solutions deployed. From 22, we are looking to be active in 50 use cases.
We also want to increase the number of end users. Currently, we have 700+ industries or companies using our product and we want to scale this number up to 10000+ in the next year. We also want to increase our partner ecosystem and our presence on the global front as well.
If you ask me about the vision of Ushva; we want to make ‘Ushva’ synonymous with IoT. If people are talking about IoT, they should think about Ushva.
Ushva has designed a very unique product for the industries. The product has the potential to revolutionize technology in India as well as globally. It is tackling the major problem of data collection across many industries and at the same time providing a cost-effective and energy-saving solution.
The co-founders of Ushva would love to see new deep tech companies coming into the space. This will help increase companies that are similar to Ushva which will, in turn, allow the sourcing of technology solutions from India.