Looking for an advanced facilities management software platform that can help commercial buildings become easier to operate, sustainable to maintain, comfortable to live and profitable to own? Startup Dunya in conversation with Ramabhadra Penmetsa, Chief Operating Officer, Indriyn Data Analytics Pvt. Ltd.
Indriyn is an interesting name. What does it mean?
Indriyn is a play on the Sanskrit term for sense organs, indriyas. We would like to build a platform for buildings using Sensors (organs equivalent) and Artificial Intelligence (brain equivalent) with a mission to make them intelligent and sustainable.
What is your product?
Facillizence is an IoT driven, AI-powered, Mobile first, Cloud-based Facilities & Energy management platform.
Facillizence (facilities intelligence) spans the complete range of services that we offer – empower facilities with real-time data and intelligence to optimize preventive maintenance, energy consumption & asset life, thus transforming commercial spaces into smart, comfortable & healthy workplaces.
When did your journey start?
We registered our company in July 2015, after working for a couple of months talking to industries in and around Hyderabad to understand operational issues given our background. We realized there are gaps in operations and energy optimization. Industries were losing more than 30% of their bottom-line due to inefficient processes, which is very significant. This can be addressed using IoT (Internet of things) and ML (Machine Learning) technologies.
Who are the founding members?
Siva P. Tekumudi, Founder & CEO, has 20+ years of experience in building and selling large scale IT systems. He has extensive experience from programming to strategic sales and had served various leadership roles in MNCs in India and the US like Siemens, CSC, etc.
Malliswar T, Co-Founder & Chief Data Scientist, is a chemical engineer from NIT Warangal with 16+ years in process optimization and mathematical modeling background at DRDO, Invensys and CTS. He is the brain behind the AI.
How did the founding team come together to start this venture?
We first started as an industrial IoT company with a focus on reducing bottom-line expenses of traditional industries using machine learning (ML) as an edge to drive efficiencies (operations & energy) in industries across multiple domains.
in late 2017, we pivoted to focus specifically on the Commercial Real Estate (CRE) sector to provide state-of-the-art solutions for facility managers, building owners and tenants.
What is the core problem you are trying to solve?
We are focused on solving the critical issues that are impacting the profitability of maintaining commercial buildings.
Your management seems to be an all-male team. Any special reason for it?
This is a mere coincidence. Siva and Malliswar previously worked on another company and they came together to start Indriyn. Anand and I were friends during our MS in Industrial Engineering. We had a chance meeting with Siva and got excited with Indriyn’s vision. This was at a very early stage of the company and we joined them. Also, we have observed that facility management is more of a male-dominated field, and all advisors like Tarak and most of the customers we are dealing with are male. However, as a company, Indriyn is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce and we are happy to bring on board employees with relevant knowledge and credentials.
What is the connecting thread that keeps you together as a team?
We are all engineers with an Industrial and Technology background. We share a common passion for solving problems that add value to our customers. We have a strong analytics and machine learning background which is fundamental to our product offering. As a team, we have also put a lot of effort and research on IoT before we evolved a reliable solution to address market needs.
How big is your current team?
We are currently 15 people and growing.
Who gave you the initial Launchpad?
We started with seed money from founders, family & friends group. Indriyn initially had space at the Beyond Data Technology Incubator CR RAO AIMSCS. A year and a half ago, we got incubation space and mentoring support at CIE-IIITH. The ecosystem, exposure, mentoring and support provided at CIE’s incubator has been very valuable for us. We have been able to comfortably research and test our products and this has been transformative in getting us closer to offer solutions that customers need.
What are the solutions you are offering to your customers?
Facillizence platform offers a complete suite of modules: Preventive Maintenance Suite, Automated Tenant Billing, Smart Energy Management and Optimization and Occupant Experience System.
You’ve customers across government offices, hospitals and educational institutions. Which problems are you trying to solve for each of them?
Our solution is catered to commercial spaces like corporate offices, hospitals, hotels and retail outlets. The core of our solution is to enable data-driven facility management to all these segments, either using new infrastructure or by relying on existing infrastructure for old buildings.
To a significant extent, facilities today are run on multiple disconnected legacy systems. They are challenged on energy efficiency and accountability to the environment, reactive to occupant comfort/experience, risk unscheduled breakdowns and rely on slow, manual and paper-based processes. This is leading them to lose up to 30% on bottom-line.
Who are the other players in this vertical? How is your product different from them?
In India, there is Facilio, which requires a Building Management System (BMS) or third-party (3P) devices.
Our in-house strength in IoT has ensured that our platform works without BMS as a majority of buildings in India have no BMS installed. Our platform also has the flexibility to integrate with multiple BMS systems and other 3P devices and sensors. We also have baked AI as a core feature so all data that gets collected is used effectively without relying on a 3P to sift through it.
What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
We are a 100% PropTech Company. There is no close competitor in India in terms of the complete range of services we are able to deliver to the CRE industry.
Any expansion plans on the anvil?
We are actively working with some partners to establish subsidiaries in Singapore and the UAE, and have additional expansion plans to go global.
Where do you see Indriyn 3 years from now?
We have an aggressive plan to expand our presence pan India in the coming months and also get into Singapore and UAE markets this year.
We would like to convert over 100 million square feet (MMSF) under data-driven facility management in the next 3 years.
What was your team’s ‘aha’ moment?
As we started in Industrial IoT, we targeted multiple industries and have successful implementations in industries like pharma, manufacturing, cold chains, etc. During this period, we observed that our product had become very broad and required significant customization to convert each customer, which entailed us to becoming a project-based offering rather than product-based. This made us rethink about specializing in one industry which offered a lot of growth potential. We observed that commercial spaces (CRE) in India was growing significantly and there were multiple requirements that could be addressed using our platform.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced so far?
Typical startup challenges related to cash flow and lack of brand. As Facillizence is able to add significant value in the CRE vertical, we have been able to partner with some key customers. This has helped in creating awareness about our brand.
We have also been very judicious in utilizing all our resources to ensure continued growth without getting strapped for cash.
What spells success to your team?
Our team is young and motivated, and envision building an enterprise SaaS company that solves a key problem for our customers. Our success is defined by how integral our product has become for our clients in optimizing their operations. We are close to a million square feet (MMSF) space managed using our product on a daily basis.
What kind of support system will help launch your company to the next level?
Our immediate priority is to build an enterprise sales organization, which is capable of understanding and solving our customer problems to help put us on course to convert 11 MMSF this year. We have raised the funds to support this business plan and are focused on the execution.
Can you sum up Indriyn‘s journey so far.
It has been challenging and exciting at the same time with many highs and lows. We are very optimistic about our growth prospects and eager to realize our vision.
Your advice to newbie startups.
Starting up is like a marathon, stay committed!