Chimbu Aravind, CEO at Alethea Communications Technologies Pvt Ltd
Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Koneru Kishore, Vijayaraghavan Harikumar started Alethea Communications Technologies Pvt Ltd with a small team in the year 2010. Each one of us had had a strong background in broadband communications technologies especially in the development of test and measurement tools.
We had the firm belief that broadband technologies will enable society at large to have a better future. Back In 2010, new generations of wireless technologies - 4G & Wi-Fi—that we take for granted today were just coming up on the horizon. That is when we decided to start Alethea (Aletheatech.com) to provide products and services that would help the broadband ecosystem deliver solutions on these new generation technologies. Over the years, we have stayed true to our initial focus and delivered cutting-edge products and turnkey solutions to some of the best-known names in the broadband technology space.
Great Companies: What are the various Services provided by Alethea Communications Technologies Pvt Ltd?
Chimbu Aravind: At Alethea, we have an unique blend of products, services and expertise that helps our customers deliver the perfect broadband experience to their end-users.
We combine our capabilities across Cloud & Applications to Analytics, Data Science & AI/ML, DevOps, CI/CD & Automation, and Test & Measurement and apply those to the wireless broadband space. Our Test and Measurement products help customers from diverse industries accelerate the development, validation and deployment of broadband technologies worldwide. This helps our customers develop, deploy and maintain their broadband communications technology offerings with a high level of confidence.
As an example, our product SWAT WiCheck can test the scale of 2000+ devices, stability, functionality, user experience, and security of Wi-Fi access points and end-to-end networks. Our customers use WiCheck in their labs & field to replicate the real-world scenarios and resolve the issues if any, in meeting the end-user expectations.
Great Companies: What makes Alethea Communications Technologies Pvt different from others similar services providers?
Chimbu Aravind: I would prefer to put this in different contexts
• In the Indian context, we are a physical, hardware product developer and seller in a sea of services, commerce and SaaS companies. We help in developing the underlying infrastructure rather than applications
In the context of test & measurement companies, we were focused from the beginning on user experience. Whether it is our products or services, we have been able to help our customers optimize end-user experience. That is fundamentally different from a lot of our immediate competitors, which makes us unique
• Being a company whose primary goal lies in the development of broadband technologies, each of our products & services has been designed to address the issue in that space. Our products- both current & future - will be in this space and this space alone. This is what sets us apart again
Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?
Chimbu Aravind: Each stage of growth has brought its challenges. When we started off, the biggest challenge was to get the initial customers. Being a new company, we needed to prove our value in every engagement. Customers needed to be sure that we have the wherewithal to deliver the product and keep supporting it. At that time, we did not have a big balance sheet or a big brand to back us. We had to build a product that did the talking for us. As we started growing, we faced challenges in scaling. The lack of a large market for Broadband test systems in India was a major obstacle. Most companies were not open to taking a chance with an unknown Indian company.
The third and most important challenge was the lack of a large ecosystem in India for broadband technologies. Many of the key components for our hardware need to be imported. There are also very few resources available in the market with exposure in the specific set of skills we need. We have managed to work around these constraints over time.
We also need to make a lot more of the broadband ecosystem aware of us. Being a relatively new company based in India, we are not exactly well known. We have to go out of our way to project our capabilities, high out our successes and take the effort to bring the spotlight to us. However, being underdogs pushes us to build even more differentiated & amazing products.
Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Alethea Communications Technologies Pvt Ltd?
Chimbu Aravind: Today, we work with some of the biggest companies in the wireless networking and broadband space. There are a very few organizations in India that know the wireless testing space as broadly as we do. Over the years, we have also developed, optimized, supported and maintained wireless technology stacks and applications for leading chip vendors, OEMs and operators around the world and have been innovating and conceptualizing new ideas every then and now.
We expect to be one of the most significant Test & Measurement solutions providers in the world within the next 5 years.
First and foremost, we expect User Experience to be central to all new product development. We are well-positioned to address this given our expertise in building test tools as well as actual networking equipment that put USERS front and center. Our belief is that this trend would grow further.
AI/ML and analytics applications are growing. Pretty soon, we think customers will expect more from test and measurement systems providers in terms of identifying and or predicting issues based on test data.
End-to-end testing will be critical to assessing customer experience on networks. Whether the problem is with the device or the cloud, the blame will always fall on the ISP or the network provider. So enabling these key players to predict potential fault points will be critical and we are already doing this from our test & network management solutions.
The explosion in connected devices will continue. Developers and end customers need to be sure that all these devices function as expected and more importantly interop well. We see validation and certification of IoT and other connected devices and systems to become a major requirement shortly. We want to be there in the center of all this action.
Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Chimbu Aravind: It will be a long journey ahead, so do it in a group of people who you are comfortable with so that you can enjoy the journey and learn in this process. Always follow your passion and give all your efforts and never hesitate to learn something new.