Interview: Kunal Kislay

Kunal Kislay

AI will move from being a good-to-have technology to a must-have technology

April 30, 2021. By Manu Tayal

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Kunal Kislay

Q: “Government Needs to Incentivize Entrepreneurs while Protecting Rights of People”

Ans: Support from the Government, be it State or Central, is an indispensable factor for start-ups, especially in India. Entrepreneurs are expected to raise productivity and living standards, at scale, by offering innovative solutions. The government needs to incentivize entrepreneurs while protecting the rights of the people.

In an exclusive interaction series with startup companies in the energy and mobility space, Manu Tayal, Associate Editor, Energetica India, interacted with Kunal Kislay, Co-Founder & CEO, Integration Wizards Solutions. Here’re the edited excerpts from that interaction

Q: “Shed some light on how the idea of forming Integration Wizards Solutions came into existence.”

Ans: Enterprise mobility was at the forefront of our mind when we established Integration Wizard in 2014. Over time, we have evolved from an enterprise mobility model to a holistic computer vision-based solution that determines actionable intelligence from images, videos, and data captured live. As a company, we help enterprises generate, organise, and consume enterprise data efficiently and meaningfully. We have created solutions using tracking and camera vision to create a real-time, location-based detailed map of facilities that can be analysed and monitored remotely. While it started with just three members, we are now a growing team of 80 employees.

Q: “Details about the company’s offerings for the power and clean energy space.”

Ans: As technology continues to elevate our lives, we have found newer verticals for our products. Our company offers Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled drones which are being used by our clients in the power sector for surveillance and maintenance check. The high-resolution images and videos from the drones are auto-analysed through artificial intelligence. This enables frequent and accurate inspection facilitating fault or threat detection as well as subsequent repairs or construction aids. Not only is drone surveillance efficient but it can chart dangerous areas to mitigate the risk of a manual inspection with minimal cost and fuel requirements. In solar farms, drones can detect defects like cracking, de-lamination or de-colouration of the panels through electroluminescence and infrared thermography to alert the owners for a timely replacement. Solar panels are also an easy theft target and drones can provide real-time visual feed to track theft. In wind farms, manual inspection is often hazardous owing to the height of the turbine and the challenging geographical spread. Drones help mitigate this risk by providing accurate visual analytics. Apart from this, Drones are radically reducing the required manpower for power line inspections, helping companies build projects employing geomatics, mitigating rampant power theft, and aid disaster recovery.

Q: “Present area and regions of operation. What are the future expansion plans?”

Ans: We started in Bangalore and have expanded over the years with offices in Europe, the USA, and Canada with global customers across 16 countries. Our partners in the middle east, Europe, and South America have also helped us in our global presence. While we have significant traction in India we are looking to expand further in the EU and North America.

Q: “Kindly shed some light on your educational background and experience, along with other founders.”

Ans: I’m a BTech graduate from IIT Mumbai, with over 16 years of experience in enterprise mobility, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, neural networks, and machine learning. I was working as a consultant when I met Saquib Khan, one of our co-founders. After working a year together, we moved to Antenna software. At Antenna, I led the architecture team and played a key role in building its core platform. We met Kumar Raman, our third co-founder, there. It was after Pega systems acquired Antenna that the three of us started the journey of Integration Wizard. As the CEO of the company, I appreciate the challenges that come our way as we develop new solutions for varied verticals. It allows me to surf the exciting waves of 21st-century technology, navigating challenges and discovering possibilities.

Q: “What market scope do you see? How do you plan to market?”

Ans: We believe that India has the potential of being a very large consumer of AI technology. From ensuring occupational health and safety to increasing operational efficiency, AI has established itself as a key technology to be adopted. Working with some of the largest organizations in India, we believe that in the coming year or two, AI will move from being a good-to-have technology to a must-have technology with an established IT budget for the same.

Q: “Do you find any challenges as an entrant in the market? Explain.”

Ans: The biggest challenge we face, while offering our solution, is the panopticon perception related to AI. The on-ground implementation is often met with resistance from employees who view it as a forced oversight. With the right management and active onboarding, companies can create awareness among the employees about the advantages of the technology. We have to recognise that computer vision doesn’t just see us, but sees us.

Q: “What are your views on the government support for the start-up ecosystem in the country? Any suggestions?”

Ans: Support from the Government, be it State or Central, is an indispensable factor for start-ups, especially in India. Entrepreneurs are expected to raise productivity and living standards, at scale, by offering innovative solutions. The government needs to incentivize entrepreneurs while protecting the rights of the people.

Q: “Details about Integration Wizard’s investment and funding? Any new investment plans?”

Ans: We are a boot-strapped venture to-date. However, we have started our process of raising the first round.

Q: “Can you share some of your major clientele?”

Ans: We have seven Fortune 500 companies as our clients. Some of the key customers are Xerox, Novo Nordisk, Tata Power Solar, Tata Steel, Britannia, and Diageo, among many others.

Q: “If you look back how do you see your journey with Integration Wizard so far?”

Ans: It has been a roller coaster ride. To a large extent, we consider ourselves as the forerunners in introducing AI into sectors like health and safety and employee productivity. With a strong focus on technology and hiring only the best available talent, we have been able to build a product that has the capacity to scale not only in the domestic market but also on a global scale.

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