Episode 8 Driving sustainability through smarter battery systems
On this edition of Business & UX Story, Divanshu is joined by Akhil Aryan. Akhil is the co-founder of Ion Energy, one of the most exciting young companies in the electric space. Ion aims to supplement the electric revolution which is currently taking place by enhancing the user experience at every turn, through their unique energy solutions. These include, smarter batteries, driven by smarter battery management solutions, making renewable energy, more intelligent. Akhil is an environmentalist at heart, and is harnessing excellent UI/UX design to ease the human race’s transition into the era of electric.
To hear all about the design, and physical impact of Ion Energy, Akhil’s journey so far, and the future of electric mobility, tune in to this edition of Business & UX Story.
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[00:00:17] Hey. Okay. Uh, welcome to another episode of, and UX story. I mean, thank you for finding time on a weekend to do this with us. And we’re really excited to kind of know more about you and I in a energy, uh, in a better manner. And, uh, yeah, no, I think soy is our, uh, audience, because what you’re doing is we are packaging.
[00:00:36] Episodes which are, uh, in the end electric space and pushing them out. The one by one next three weeks, we’ve earlier had the opportunity to kind of meet, uh, two more, uh, startup founders in electric space. One was Mr. , uh, was started with static, uh, which is into electric recharging, uh, you know, uh, stations [00:01:00] across India.
[00:01:01] The other one is probate dynamics. Uh, if you’ve heard of, uh, uh, dark burglary and, uh, you know, founded by him, I think very, uh, uh, very, uh, very insightful conversation and the kind of stuff they’re doing in the space, you know, kind of excited us even more to kind of get deeper into, uh, what lies behind, uh, you know, two startups which are consumer facing, but what happens behind the scenes?
[00:01:25] Uh, is what we kind of wanted to kind of know, and that’s how we kind of came across, uh, you know, Inn wanted to kind of have a chat with you. So, uh, happy to have you, I mean, I’d love to know more about you. We don’t know each other personally. I mean, I’d love to know more and how the idea of irony.
[00:01:44] Absolutely. Uh, thank you for having me. Um, I think it’s awesome that you guys are getting. Awareness out there. Boy, lack of ability. I think it’s already a quite hot subject right now. Um, my background, uh, you know, since, like you said, we don’t know [00:02:00] each other as much, I can give you a quick, uh, lens into me, spent most of my life building startups, uh, primarily in the, in the tech space and the machine learning, um, and enterprise stats, um, before starting Highland, I was building a haptic.
[00:02:16] So let all product and grow that haptic. Um, I think right now, one of the words, not just one position of the AI companies, um, which was acquired by lines geo for a hundred million dollars in 2019, before that spent some time in the bay area, built the company there. Um, before coming back to India, um, in 2013, we started haptic and then eventually the story of Ireland began in 2016.
[00:02:43] Um, when I was having a conversation with one of my mentors, And, um, the conversation went in the direction of realizing that most of the world’s smartest people are busy selling ads. So if you think about, uh, you know, people are Google, [00:03:00] Facebook, Amazon, all of the big, sort of massive in tech companies, they’re essentially trying to sell us more stuff online.
[00:03:06] Right. And you know, it’s about, it’s not like we’re unaware of the, of the existential problem. For our species, it’s just knowing them. So, uh, going off to where the commercial winds up blowing that, um, we then do acknowledge them, but really let someone else do the work, uh, as such and as an activist, but really, um, trying to share that today.
[00:03:35] Climate debt is literally one of the most exciting spaces to be electric mobility, the energy from the changing, right, but from generation distribution, storage and consumption, there are so many different, exciting opportunities out there when they’re very deeply connected to literally the greatest challenge of our generation, which is why.
[00:03:55] But anyway, coming back to 2016, when I had this realization, [00:04:00] um, that conversation stuck with me. And then two weeks later having raised $12 million from diabetes. Like India’s largest ad tech company. Right. And my job was to put ads inside of the product. So, and the product is again, another product, which just had that.
[00:04:19] So, uh, in order to do that, um, so decided to, you know, spend six months a year thinking about what. The greatest opportunities of our generation, not just the five-year or seven-year startup that I can build and sell them, or, you know, make some money, but really thinking about what’s going to have generational impact you and I are 80 years of age.
[00:04:42] And, you know, we were telling them about the mega trends that shape our generation. That’s it for our parents, I would say is one of those things.
[00:04:56] my dad’s generation. Like he’s gone from having a landline phone [00:05:00] when you have to sort of dial those numbers all the way up to having, you know, the ability to ballroom his watch. Right.
[00:05:09] I think that was a mega trend that our, our, our, the previous generation witnessed one of those. And I think energy is one of them for us. Right. Makes sense. Yes. So what thinking about what are those mega trends for our generation and how I can potentially contribute to that Wilmington? Um, so you energy transition, not just electric mobility, electric mobility is a very small part of what a much bigger revolution.
[00:05:37] A fundamental shift in the way that we generate and consume and right. Uh, right from the way that it’s generated the, how it is distributed, how does store and eventually consumed? Right. Um, so in the last 10 to 15 years, we’ve seen a lot of momentum on the solar side, on the wind and the generation side of things.
[00:06:00] In the last, I would say five to seven years then sort of being a big boost in what are called mini grids and micro grids, which are not disrupting the way distribution happens in small villages in India that don’t have access to electricity grid, which sort of connects the city to the village cost.
[00:06:21] Is that because the convention, the village is not high enough to justify the cost. Yes. So what has happening is that you’re creating mini grids, which has a lot of energy space. So they’re disconnected from the main grid, unsustainable. So, which is the sort of new disruption happening in, and as you distribution, similarly, when you think about electric mobility, if you think about.
[00:06:47] In the future. If we want to get to a point that all of our energies gain, meaning it’s gendered into renewable sources, right? Most renewable sources are intermittent in nature, meaning that they can function all the [00:07:00] time. Right. So that’s only going on for a certain amount of time. And then of course in the night we don’t have, the sun does not know all the time.
[00:07:07] Right? If you want to be able to use thin energy all the time, You need to be able to score it and then be able to use that stored energy don’t generate new energy and that’s a set of batteries coming. Um, and batteries are, are the most expensive and the most complicated component of this entire sort of value chain intelligent because let’s say in the case of an electric vehicle, the battery costs about 40 to 45% of the cost of the Veeva.
[00:07:40] Hypothetically. Um, a hundred thousand dollars or let’s just say 10 lakh, rupees on a vehicle, your battery must work. Right, right, right. Yeah. So, not only is it expensive, but it’s also very difficult to ensure that you can extend its life and performance, right. That, you know, [00:08:00] today, if you buy a regular, uh, internal combustion engine, every couple of years, with the genes that lead acid battery to start the move away.
[00:08:07] Right. And it’s not that expensive. You don’t think about it. You can, you can change it. Yeah. If it’s 40% of the cost of the vehicle, you’re going to care about it. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. It’s like changing an icing and which is like actually 40, 50% of the cost right now as I speak. Right. The idea behind ion was to leverage software, to increase the life and performance of these batteries.
[00:08:31] Okay. Cost of ownership for these assets can be right, right. And that allows both not only individual owners, but also fleet owners to link shared mobility, sustainable business model, to be able to offer better prices to the end consumer. Right. Um, the beauty is that once you try to start solving this problem at a battery level, right, because batteries are everywhere, right.
[00:09:00] [00:09:00] Like I said, they’re also in these large grid connected, which is like solar or wind power connected massive battery packs like today manage batteries that are as big as a 10 story building to the, like the scale
[00:09:16] back. These are also making their way into industrial equipment, like forklifts. Um, because previously running on diesel, uh, allow me to, you know, a cleaner sort of all electric person, right? The thing is that once we sort of start managing the life and performance of this important component, you can apply that across applications across geographies.
[00:09:37] And so today we are fortunate to have over 75 customers in 16 countries where the only BMS company exporting from India. Yeah. Well, and. Yeah, India. So bar has always been an importer of automotive technology from Germany or from Italy or from, or Korea or Japan. And, you know, I [00:10:00] think that the reality today is that India has the engineering talent and the bandwidth to make world-class tech.
[00:10:07] Those people are sitting inside of TCS consulting, the Japanese guys selling the idea and the Japanese guys bring it over here. Absolutely. Yeah. Um, and so really flipping that model and, you know, leveraging our technology talent to build IP inside of India and export it from here. Right. There’s been some, you know, some of the work that we’ve done so far.
[00:10:27] Amazing. Amazing. No, I think. What I’ve been reading about and, uh, uh, you know, my, you know, more like secondary research of what is available of the internet. I see you’ve already spread wings in lot of markets and the kind of clientele that you’ve had, uh, you know, from new age companies, new startups to, uh, you know, companies that have that are.
[00:10:51] Uh, electric, uh, energy as a solution you’ve already kind of glued yourself into very good client base. That means you’re actually exporting some good [00:11:00] technology out there. We’re just helping them, you know, solve a certain use case or, you know, create efficient systems. So that that’s great out there. I mean, in fact, I love to kind of dig deeper into, uh, you know, how.
[00:11:13] How these products are kind of structured. What kind of products as in how the products are kind of placed for various, uh, uh, you know, industries that you’re catering to, uh, you know, if we can dig deeper into that, you know, what is say, Maxwell? What is, um, alter ego that’ll help us understand, you know, how the application is actually being, uh, uh, you know, how your products are being actually applied to industries.
[00:11:37] Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So fundamentally. The way that we approach the problem is, like I said, we’re not looking at this as a, as a short-term product fix to a problem that we can solve. We do five years, very generational impact. Right. So when you think in that long-term view, instead [00:12:00] of thinking of products, you really think about capabilities.
[00:12:03] Um, because like, for example, in design also, right, like the idea is not to do this one ad or one post capability that you need to build so that you can consistently generate sort of high quality design. Um, in the case of ion, we recognized that the capabilities that we want to build at advanced electronics by.
[00:12:26] Um, and most opportunities really exist at the intersection of these new things. Right. Um, so if we can get any, well, let’s say you want to make a, uh, electric vehicle charging is essentially power electric, right? If you want to make a battery management system, it’s advanced electronics and embedded software make a motor controller, it’s electronics and software.
[00:12:49] Um, and there are a lot of opportunities that exist at the intersection of advanced electronics. Hmm. So we essentially built these two business units. Um, one is called maximum that makes [00:13:00] advanced electronics for electric vehicles and energy storage systems. Okay. Other one is alter-ego, which is essentially a digital twin platform, which is our, sorry.
[00:13:07] My mom played, um, allows you all of this data, bring it to the cloud, process it and send over the tropics. So a good way to think of this as electronics are typically your muscle, which are most inside of the application and they actually break. Okay. And the software is the brain in the cloud, right? So you, you collect the data from the censorship, the cloud have the processing power in the cloud, make a decision and then have your muscle to actually take action insight application.
[00:13:39] Um, in terms of applications that we are currently working with, I’ll give you a few examples.
[00:13:48] Before I give you an example, it’s sort of important understanding what we really do inside of AltaVault, which is a software platform. When we say that digital twin platform for predictive analytics, what we’re actually saying is [00:14:00] any physical asset, let’s assume it’s an electric vehicle and electric vehicle is actually a system with lots of components, right?
[00:14:09] So they have everything from motors, motor controllers, battery DIYers. Different things that come together to make one system right now, if you want to do any kind of simulation, meaning that if I deploy this vehicle in Kashmir, this is the largest time. This is back low. Uh, how many kilometers will I get?
[00:14:31] One, a full backup on a simulation. So are what would happen? Um, in order to run those simulations, you can either physically simulate, which is basically saying these batteries or these vehicles, those locations, and tested a lot of people do buy them until not so long ago when the vehicle was being launched, they actually used to ship it to see if it can climb the slopes.
[00:14:56] If it can’t do all the things that it needs to physically. [00:15:00] But now I can do, instead of all the group, um, the name alter ego comes from alter ego, which is different when you have a physical asset by specifying all of the functions and anatomy does have every single component inside of that system. Okay.
[00:15:18] So you actually create a model of everything single component and explain its properties and its functions and how the system comes together. Once you’ve done that you can actually use that digital domain and run different types of predictive analytics inside of it. And also to pull organizations, for example, let’s say you are, um, saying Allah.
[00:15:42] Okay. And you have a fleet of one lap cars going all over the city and you know, at 9:00 AM in the morning when everyone’s trying to go to work is your peak time. Right. And have you. You can use AltaVault to do a [00:16:00] go optimization between charging speed and fleet uptime for a specific timeline. Like you said, if I want a hundred percent of my fleet online, which vehicles should charge in which location at more charging speed for that by 9:00 AM.
[00:16:18] I have my a hundred percent. Hmm, at the way, this location locations, basically, you know, some specific location, you can walk to my position algorithm inside of. Hmm. And use multiple simulations to then decide, okay, let’s go with this. And according to you, send out notifications to your divers, the bus at 9:00 AM.
[00:16:41] You are, you know, your charging slot has been booked in this location to going charge over there, right over there. And it goes to that for that vehicle, right? With that you have optimized what lead up time. Right. But if you are, if [00:17:00] you want higher up 10 of the fleet, you have to fast charge your vehicle.
[00:17:03] Maybe you want your vehicles to be charged as soon as possible. So that lead remains available. Right? the battery degrades. It’s like fast charging it sort of degrades the back light. Okay. So now you want to do a cool optimization within three. Not either bank, not just dodging speed, but also battery.
[00:17:26] Right? So sort of three layers go optimization, simulation insight. And that’s one of the things that you can, right? So these are some of the predictive analytics and simulations that you can do inside of. Hmm them with your advanced electronics or sensors inside of those vehicles to actually take those actions.
[00:17:47] Right. Right. Um, and on the maximum side of things, we, we, we want to accelerate the journey for four AM’s who build these electric vehicles. So you, [00:18:00] well, um, if you think about companies like Tesla, right? They had luxury of that. Who really built all of the components then steps. If we build our own jars that we build our own model, you know, sub governance.
[00:18:18] Absolutely. But now if you put that same scenario into say a hero motto, Guevara, Bajaj, you want to be equal in 18 months right now. So they don’t have the luxury of time to go through the process of building every single component themselves. Right. That’s where Maxwell comes into place, because it provides them with a suite of ready to use, tried and tested advanced electronics that accelerate their product development jobs.
[00:18:43] Right. So Maxwell and all to go. Do they work together or they can work independently also, like for example, I am a electric vehicle manufacturer. I’m an OEM, right? Uh, you know, your solution to guide enough, [00:19:00] uh, build my, uh, product, you know, say, uh, a small, uh, logistics weaker, which can carry goods, you know, for a small distance and all that right now.
[00:19:12] And I want to manage that fleet. So. As a, as a, as a, as a client to you or as a partner to you. W what would I come to you for? Like, I need Maxwell as a solution on a one, want all to go as a solution, or I will come to you with my problem statement. You kind of fix the problem statement with both the solutions.
[00:19:32] Yeah. So one of the important things about us was really making sure. Via remaining flexible because in many cases that customers in the market don’t really know exactly what they want. I do like just figuring this out themselves, very clear requirement. He was on exactly this, do you have it? Right? And so we didn’t want to put hard boundaries and say, this is the only thing that we do.
[00:19:56] And that’s the only thing that we do. Um, and so both of these [00:20:00] businesses are tightly aligned, meaning that both of them serve the same types of customers. Meaning that you can buy one or both without having there’s no exclusivity there, right? You can buy the electronics from somebody else, but you can use our software platform as your backend.
[00:20:19] You can buy our electronics and go build your own software system. If you, if you break it down, it’s not tightly coupled, it’s loosely coupled, but very tightly aligned. Oh, coming to the question that you asked me around, what would someone come to us for? Typically, if you are in the business of, um, designing and deploying your batteries.
[00:20:43] Right? So for example, let’s say you’re an OEM. You want to build a logistics van of Yoda. Truck or whatever that may be. The first question is, are you designing your battery or are you buying it from someone? So I implement Exide and Amidon [00:21:00] LG Panasonic, Samsung right now. Are you buying it from somebody?
[00:21:03] Because if you’re buying it from somebody in that case, you will not be a customer
[00:21:10] who already have a battery, which is coming with somebody else’s. Yes. Right. Um, so at that point you not be a customer for the battery, right? The next person will be. Okay. Um, are you designing your own motor or you design your own motor controller? If you are just buying things off the shelf and putting it together inside of your vehicle, that gives you not be a customer for Maxwell because you’re essentially buying from other companies ready to use system, right?
[00:21:42] That is those companies that are. So, for example, uh, for example, we will sell to excited. We sell to Amazon, uh, and Dayla sell those batteries doing so eventually you are still using my technology, but you’re not buying it. Yep. Yep. So we, and we meet a [00:22:00] new customer. We typically drive to understand whether this is a typical tier one customer for us or peer to peer, one customers who I can sell to repeat year two is typically we’ll buy it from one of our.
[00:22:13] in that case. Right? Right. Um, so that’s where it comes to Mexico. So it’s really broad meaning that we have customers all the way from the research labs, who designed companies. When I say design companies, automotive design companies, OEMs as well as fleet owners and operators, and eventually also insurance companies and financing.
[00:22:37] Okay, for example, let me give you an example around an OEM. Let’s say you are, you are building a vehicle and you have given everybody a two year warranty on the basis on how the users are using it. If you’re collecting data, you can use all to go to identify customers that are [00:23:00] abusing the vehicle while using it.
[00:23:04] Right. Right. And then the customers who are using it very lightly, you can send them an offer for extended warranty. Okay. Got it. Because you could segment, then these guys are not abusing it. You know, their car is going to last five weeks, right. So you can start a new revenue stream, huh? Extended warranty to the people who are using it nicely.
[00:23:26] Okay. Similarly insurance companies are using the platform in, in north America and Europe. You have flexible insurance premiums based on the book. Yeah. And so they’re actually using the platform to yeah. Weekly update insurance premiums based on their usage of benefits. That’s right. Um, so these are ways in which, you know, AltaVault can be used.
[00:23:51] So the alter-ego platform is really open ended. We can serve. Practically speaking, any stakeholder in the ecosystem. Um, [00:24:00] but more often than not, we end up working with OEMs and fleet owners because they’re the two main customers. And then we have a lot of. Um, I hope that sort of gives you some flavor around, like now I get an idea, right, right.
[00:24:16] No, this is, this is great. So w what is typically the business model? Like, is it a platform as a service, uh, that you kind of go forward with? Or is it somebody can pick up components from you and, uh, you know, it’s a straight off billing. Uh, I mean, ideally it should be always, you know, to, for you to be a, you know, a long-term partner with them, uh, platform as a service would work out better.
[00:24:41] Um, look, I think I, I don’t really think of it is what is better for us, but even because eventually there is a, there is a way that the market functions, right. What is best for us, but what is best for the market. Right, right. Yeah. Like, if you [00:25:00] think about the business model of a hero or a Bajaj, right. They are in the business of selling a two Wheeler to you.
[00:25:06] Right. So it is difficult for them to pay recurring on something that they have already sold one time. Right? Yeah. Um, and so in our Maxwell business, it’s typically, um, a component sale. It’s a one-time product sale. But the good thing is that most of these vehicles are on the assembly line. Right? So constantly being manufactured.
[00:25:27] For example, if you are selling tires to hero, uh, you know, you can eat everything. It just like you have a subscription it’s as big as that, it’s not like someone going to a store to buy lays that, you know, they’ll buy it tomorrow. They might not be after they might. Right. Right. When it comes to supplying these larger ones, That is a very clear delivery schedule and you’re essentially delivering every single month, just like a subscription model is not a recurring business repeat business.
[00:25:59] Right. [00:26:00] In the case of all it is absolutely software as a service. So it is, I mean, you can call it lack on the service, but it’s not yet in a, in a state where you’ve been, got it up on platform, SAS business. Um, and so customers that use it typically pay for it, uh, on an annual subscription. Okay. Right. And the subscription is number of user based or is it number of, uh, but what is the base?
[00:26:23] Uh, uh, you know, yeah, that we actually invented, I shouldn’t say invented. We were doing something very innovative. Okay. When we are not, we’re not charging per user of, uh, um, based on the quantum of data or features, right. Um, actually using computing power. Not, not yet ready to share those elements with, with the world just yet where I find that it’s still an innovative model that we’re experimenting with.
[00:26:57] And it’s something that we’re going to see how it pan out. [00:27:00] But generally speaking, what we’re trying to do is abstract users and use it into computing power and then allow we’ll do either have more concurrent use it or. More data to work. Right. So imagine, for example, um, they can example that the computing power of your laptop, you know, one core processor, right?
[00:27:32] So . Hm. Um, and ending up on your usage either you can open multiple applications concurrently. Okay. Right. Or you are very, very sort of fast experience when your browser, if they’re not in the application, right. Idea is to give the customers the, uh, the flexibility of either having. I’m seeing, I’m talking to people and as he, we will get there [00:28:00] sooner than we thought.
[00:28:02] Uh, and it will be a reality very soon that when electric will be a mainstream, uh, you know, uh, uh, I would say mobility option for us, or, uh, you know, various touch points that will be electric, uh, know powered for us. So that is what we’re looking forward to. So, you know, I’m sure it’s not. An easy hunky-dory story for you as well.
[00:28:25] I mean, I’m sure there are lots of challenges that you also faced and, uh, know in the journey till now. And I’m sure it’s an absolute crazy one, but looking at the clients that you’ve working with, looking at the tech that you’re building and looking at the way, you’re thinking, but love to know the challenges that you have kind of, uh, you know, kind of being able to be, or you’re right now dealing with so that, you know, we actually understand what is happening behind the scenes.
[00:28:52] Yeah, man. Um, so no entrepreneurial journeys is cool. Right? [00:29:00] Um, another things that have, that has really helped me in, in this particular, Jen has been afforded a frame that’s right in front of my desk, uh, in my, in my house, my parents’ house, um, is there are no shortcuts to any place where it goes. Right, right.
[00:29:19] Um, I guess there are shortcuts in life, but you know, is it worth going there and sort of what type of risk you’re taking? Probably not, but, um, ion we’ve seen lots of very unique challenges to you to give you an example. When we started the business, the idea was, was not to be in the software business, right.
[00:29:43] Or in the BMS business, we really stopped it. As a company that wanted to be in the energy as a service business. Okay. Okay. Okay. So the idea was that batteries are expensive and people are not buying electric vehicles [00:30:00] because electric vehicles are more expensive than internal combustion. So if you can remove the battery from the vehicle, completely sell the vehicle, don’t sell the battery to them.
[00:30:11] Okay. Okay. I offer the battery. They, they can swap out the battery. So, you know, if you can make batteries like a bag, although, um, allow us to reduce the Catholics that our customer could pay for the vehicle, it would remove the charging requirement or because you could just let a pedal, but you could go and swap out the battery.
[00:30:37] Right. Um, and so that was the idea of the company. When we started, we really wanted to build batteries as a service. And it was, it was something that was happening in dialon at the time to a company called Google. And we took a lot of inspiration from them. Um, but we realized very early in our journey, even your one.
[00:30:59] The [00:31:00] reality is that those batteries, bill work only, there is a deep partnership with that vehicle makers don’t make us have to accept your standard of the battery, you know, the ability to go, how would it say? And, you know, standardization is very important and something that modular. Yeah. Right. We spent some time on that and then completely redesigned our, our business to then sort of say, look, the reason why we were getting into that.
[00:31:26] Was because we thought that we could leverage our technology to extend the life of batteries. And if we owned all of those batteries, then we will manage them and we will increase that business. So we said, look, Fundamentally, we are not a FinTech company. We are not saying that. Look, we can do CapEx better and topics lighter as a VR, a technology company that is managing that is better.
[00:31:53] Right. Well, why don’t we just do that one? Right. So instead of being in the whole financing of batteries and [00:32:00] infrastructure creation, we move into the BLS, right? You know, as you can imagine, this is 20 16, 20 17. Uh, not a lot of people understood. What is the battery management system? Maybe even today, a lot of people don’t understand it.
[00:32:15] BMS. Why should I know about it? Right. Right. And so there was an educational phase, the other piece of the market, the difference between a protection. So good on the battery management system and, uh, you know, smarter battery management system is going to extend the life invites a better decision in the long-term we’ll invest in a BMS, right?
[00:32:35] So we went through the educated phase, then came the, you know, you brought a few small customers. But in reality, if you break into one of the big OEMs, don’t really get the volumes. Right. And so most of these large OEMs, they land up working with a few select suppliers that they’re all visible. Yeah. I mean, I understand that.
[00:32:59] So [00:33:00] very difficult business to get into a new players. Exactly. So they’re like, okay. And the funny thing is that most of them. Supplier that actually first or second degree family members of the Williams true.
[00:33:16] selling. Yeah. So it’s not like you can offer something at 5% cheaper and get it right. But there’s a much deeper bond over there. So the challenge of overcoming that by showcasing on road performance, quality, reliability, new technology, basically. Penetrate a market that is highly concentrated was another challenge that we faced.
[00:33:42] So these are, I’m giving you sort of a surface level, a lens into some of the structural and fundamental challenges that they didn’t oppose that routine every day. You know, this person backed out by lady joining that those are, I think, regular, I mean, uh, uh, [00:34:00] challenges that I would say, uh, I don’t, I don’t see those.
[00:34:04] I don’t take those challenges anymore. I think that if I, if that doesn’t happen in a month, I think, I think I’m missing out on spice. So I think a 60 minute, uh, people, a strong team now, and last three years, and those challenges I think will, will be there even when, for the next five years. I mean, even, uh, and we still do struggle with those last minute things, but I love those actually, you know, as long as, you know, fundamentally.
[00:34:32] We are creating value for, you know, say, uh, ecosystem. Uh, I think we, we, you are any, any entrepreneurs, uh, would, would be happy to find their way out. Uh, you know, it’s not, as you said, it’s not a shortcut, the patience and persistence is important, but fundamentally if you’re clear that you will find a way out for it, I think eventually it does.
[00:34:58] Just takes time. [00:35:00] I think that, you know, from, like you said, like, you know, these day-to-day challenges, I like the spikes of your, of your, of your dish. Right? One of the things that has really helped me is this notion of realizing that business is actually an in finite game. It’s not a finite pool. So there’s a lot of books written about it, including Simon Sineck, who recently wrote a book around the face of a speaks about the fact that.
[00:35:27] Finite games are the ones where, you know, you know, well, the players are the loser. If there’s a start date and then there’s clear winner in the end, in finite games, you don’t know who the players are. The rules are not defined anytime. It’s just a game. Yeah. So for an example, of course, for ball cricket are finite game by the rules.
[00:35:55] But marriage isn’t in finite, meaning that you can never be like, there’ll be narrow [00:36:00] husband
[00:36:03] and, um, similarly businesses and in finite game, people say that, look, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. I’m like, what is evidence? Yeah. True. Yeah. Um, Even if you sell, you know, if you make an exit, like some businesses, some starters make an exit. It’s not ending. It is so wired that they’ll have to jump off in the next in finite game as pers you know, so for them, the game is not ending.
[00:36:30] You just want phases. Yeah. So, yeah, I mean, I mean, I’m going to read this book. I’ve heard about it. Uh, but good to, you know, here’s this reference of marriage, like marriage is infinite, you know, the husband when, uh, that, that, that is a, that’s a good one. Right? Right. So, uh, you know, coming back to, uh, you know, the, the product, there’s a digital side of things, which is all to go, and then there is maximum, right.
[00:36:54] So how, uh, And there is a customer segment that go [00:37:00] is, uh, you know, catering to how are they understanding the data that is being sent to them? Uh, in terms of, uh, you know, I mean, I’m sure it is lot of graphical data, a lot of performance, data of batteries of the, of the electric vehicle and of the, uh, of the systems that is using the BMS, uh, power.
[00:37:17] Are they connecting to it? Are they able to understand information because ultimately. Uh, you know, information design and digital design is something that is again very complex. I mean, it, I mean, though it is the entry barrier of building something in digital, maybe lesser, but making it understandable sustainable product is something that, you know, needs lot of, kind of, uh, uh, expertise and, you know, time to kind of.
[00:37:44] You know, I, I would say strengthen the offering. Yeah. So, um, one of the things you’re absolutely like, meaning that design from the lens of an enterprise trying to structure is inflammation, right? It’s a [00:38:00] grab that data that is real time. The data that reports the reports for different departments, building, building, UI UX for a very defined user persona, which is.
[00:38:14] Is one problem, right? When you build it for the enterprise, it’s a very different beast because they’re in different departments, right? So you’re the design coming to how they do it. Instead of multiple. One of the things that has really helped us is always starting with outcomes. So we spend a tremendous amount of time helping our customers.
[00:38:39] With tools and with workshops visualize what do they eventually want, because that’s it, but that is a new brand or a new market, new industry. People want to do it. They have a shallow understanding of exactly what the requirement is. Not exactly what they want. They just, yeah, it would be nice. For example.
[00:38:59] You [00:39:00] know, I just told you that it would be nice if I would have a two optimization algorithm between charging time and lead available. Right. Okay. Yeah. You’re like, yes, yes, let’s do it. But what’s the outcome. What do you want to see? Do we want to see something? Do you want to take some action? Is that going to be an alert coming to your phone?
[00:39:19] Is it going to be slack? What will, what will you really want? Right, right. If it’s a graph, what should the graph show? Is it a bike that is aligned? What do you want? Right. So we ended tremendous amount of time, uh, uh, sector proprietary tools that we sort of put together, uh, help our customers visualize.
[00:39:43] Right? What do I want a dashboard? Okay. Uh, how many digits I bet in that dashboard, right? What are those visits showing me? Is that the line job, what other sensors that are feeding data into? Right. So we spent, I would say a bulk of our time [00:40:00] in the planet. Right. And then, you know, there is a deep understanding between your product team and the customer as to what the expectation right.
[00:40:12] Rendition becomes far better. Right? On the platform itself, we have, you know, we’ve integrated and also develop a lot of these words that make data science and machine learning really fast and simple in a no-code low-code environment that allows non-technical people also to use, know things like Jupiter notebook, or sort of pull out their data from inside of.
[00:40:39] Mess up with it by taking on buttons and then be able to run a simulation and send it back inside of the blood. Right. So the idea is to give them an environment where they can feel comfortable without feeling limited, right. But even before you get them into the [00:41:00] environment, actually spending a lot of time thinking about outcomes first and working backwards and saying, okay, if this is the outcome we want to do.
[00:41:08] What kind of in goods, do we need, at what frequency, how do we structure the ontology of the entire assets so that these things that are available can actually implement the outfit? Got it, got it. No, in fact, this kind of, I can connect to it because we recently worked, uh, uh, with a platform, you know, with, uh, a company which, which is into, uh, energy management for solar plants.
[00:41:32] Um, energy monitoring and management for solar plants. Uh, and we, you know, understood. We met a lot of customers that they have, uh, because ultimately you’re designing, uh, uh, it, it for their customers as well because they are the end users. So, and in part of our user research, we want to understand, uh, uh, you know, what, what do they want as an outcome, you know, to kind of manage the, uh, uh, you know, the solar plant better and also.
[00:41:59] Products should be [00:42:00] useful for them. So that also, you know, they had, they had a problem statement, even that was not very clear. That’s the problem. You know, so it was going in circles. So we had to kind of use multiple design, you know, ways to kind of under design techniques to make them understand, okay, this is the actual problem, and this is what, how it will be solved.
[00:42:20] And this is what the outcome should be for you. And then they, you know, if they can clarity something that. Is what important for you to kind of bring out as information. And so that is what we kind of, uh, you know, uh, we’re trying to, you know, bring them to that. If you have that clarity of thought in the outcome, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll help you achieve it.
[00:42:41] Yep. Great man. Great. I mean, uh, uh, I think it’s, it’s almost an hour that we’ve been chatting and, uh, you know, that’s what we have, uh, allocated for this, but this is a great chat. I, uh, I, I hope, uh, you, you keep growing and, uh, you know, I think this is a space [00:43:00] that needs lot of good startups, a lot of good tech to come in and, uh, you know, reverse the engine where we, rather than importing tech, export tech and, you know, make better products, uh, you know, in India and make help, uh, products outside India by making them.
[00:43:16] So it’s a great chat, uh, I mean, uh, good luck and, uh, you know, hope to kind of, uh, you know, catch up with you, you know, probably in Bombay, uh, once things are normal. Likewise, thank you so much for having me. Absolutely love speaking with you. And, uh, if you’re alone may happy to host you here and absolutely.
[00:43:33] I love to sort of see you when I’m there in bulldog, right? That’s right. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Great. Sounds good, man. Thank you. That was such an insightful conversation. Businesses and products get impacted to design in ways more than what we can imagine. If you would like to listen to such more conversations, stay tuned, subscribe to business and UX story till then stay safe and keep listening.
[00:44:00] [00:43:59] Thank you.