We talked to Harit Soni, director and co-founder at Ecolibrium which is the the creators of innovation in IoT powered Asset and Energy Management for Enterprises.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Harit Soni: My family and our extended Ecolibrium family are thankfully all safe and healthy.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Ecolibrium.
Harit Soni: My brother Chintan and I started Ecolibrium back in 2011. Since our childhood, most of the dinner conversations would revolve around the family business. The dinner-table was arguably the first sounding board for our ideas; a place to imagine and think out loud. And a great one, at that! While working for a few years at top multinational companies, we realized that there is a pressing need for demand-side energy management; India is a country of millions of households that are ridden with power shortages and even small improvements in efficiency in the energy-hungry industries could help provide reliable energy to millions. And that is when we decided to join forces and startup. Today, Ecolibrium has grown into a globally- recognized, award-winning deep-tech organizations that are re-imagining the future of Asset management.
How does Ecolibrium innovate?
Harit Soni: We are strongly committed to providing customized solutions to our clients. And so our mantra is to look at every prospect not as a client but as a partner. We have dedicated value-discovery sessions with our prospects to understand their pain-points and their needs, and then visualize solutions that create the most value for them using our Industrial IoT Platform – SmartSense. We also have regular review meetings with existing clients to gain insights into future use-cases and possible innovation avenues. That being said, the major driver for innovation is our team of strong-minded, talented individuals who are passionate about taking Ecolibrium to newer heights every day!
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Harit Soni: As with every other industry, Covid-19 brought about a lot of uncertainty in the initial months. But I think we had the advantage of having an agile team that was quick to adapt to the changes. Our target sectors- factories, buildings and utilities, are all entities that had to face the brunt of looming inefficiencies and workforce uncertainties on top of a drying revenue stream. The pandemic indeed exposed a host of vulnerabilities. Since our inception, we at Ecolibrium have been trying to close these gaps and increase system reliability in these sectors. We are glad that because of our data-driven solutions, our clients have had a comparatively smoother transition into the post-Covid world.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Harit Soni: We have had a very tight-knit team here at Ecolibrium since back in 2011. Our offices are like a second home to all of us where we come together to celebrate our latest wins or birthdays or personal milestones and help each other during tough times. And all of a sudden we were unable to partake in lunch-time conversations or to grab a cup of coffee with a colleague! We were initially a bit concerned if this would affect team coordination and cause gaps in implementations, but I am happy to say that we are at the top of our game! The pandemic has taught us all a lesson in resilience and the importance of having strong foundations in whatever we do. If the roots are strong, the tree can weather any storm!
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Harit Soni: I strongly believe in the power of meditation and Yoga. When going out of houses is challenging in times like these, these are the life tools that have held me in great spirits and health.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Harit Soni: There are conglomerates like GE, Siemens, etc. and some other niche players that provide similar solutions. Most of them are very expensive and have little room for customization. Other alternatives, like SCADA and BMS, are costly, difficult to maintain and fail when it comes to providing analytical insights.
What sets us apart is our flagship analytics platform SmartSense. Harnessing the phenomenal power of data and analytics, SmartSense uses cutting-edge machine learning algorithms for anomaly detection, providing early warning signals and suggesting necessary courses of action to enable smart Asset Management. SmartSense helps companies like Whirlpool, Fiat Auto, United Breweries, Skoda, Godrej, JLL, and many others gain competitive advantage by increasing asset availability, improving equipment efficiency and making systems robust and resilient.
We have also partnered in a ‘win-win’ structure with some of the companies which would traditionally be seen as competition. We are now also taking these solutions to the International market through these partnerships.
Going forward, we plan to continue innovating and channeling our passion for analytics through new solutions and use-cases.
Your final thoughts?
Harit Soni: This is a great time for companies and individuals to introspect and reevaluate their product and expansion strategy. Small and strategic directional changes can reap windfall benefits in the post-Covid world.