Sunil Haridas, Founder & CEO at Pradjna Intellisys
Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Sunil Haridas: I have been conscious of the fact that India has always placed a premium on White Collar employment. Blue Collar skills and competencies have historically take a back seat in the country. But Blue Collar skills are the back bone of any industrial nation and currently India is aspiring for a significant manufacturing pie both for domestic market and exports. Hence there is an unmet need to evaluate the Blue Collar competencies objectively and scientifically and assess its impact on safety, productivity, product quality and
resource/material usage. It is also important to note in this context that India has among the highest number of road accident related mortalities (>150,000 last year) in the world. Also significant are mortalities in Industrial accidents (>6000 recently) in India. Also there is hardly any relevant data available in India correlating Blue collar skills with industrial and service productivity, quality and material usage. These are some of the major reason that inspired us to choose this startup idea.
Great Companies: What are the various services provided by Pradjna Intellisys
Sunil Haridas: Pradjna is one of its kind platform globally, to evaluate Blue Collar worker skills and assess the impact of their performance on safety (road, industrial), productivity, product quality and resource/material usage. Currently these skills and worker performance are evaluated by subject matter experts (SMEs) in the respective fields. But this model is subjective, likely to be biased, expensive and not scalable. Our data driven solution for connected workers is not only 100% objective but it is also cost effective, secure, scalable and always available. Our first product Pradjna Driver Analyser (PDA) is specifically designed to collect behaviour biometric data of drivers and analyse it from a risk, cost and performance (passenger comfort, productivity) perspective. PDA also offers features to identify risky behaviour like drowsiness, extended use of phones while driving. We can also provide accident related alerts and can notify preset contacts including first responders, police and supervisors/relatives.
We are currently getting our second product Pradjna Welder Analyser (PWA) market ready and which is also the first offering for the manufacturing blue collar segment. PWA offers a unique solution to evaluate the safety, productivity, quality and material usage of industrial welders using a haptic based sensor suite and proprietary machine learning platform.
We are developing similar performance management tools for other manufacturing blue collar skills like machining and industrial painting. We are also looking to develop wearable devices for assessing motor skills like sports in the future.
Great Companies: What makes Pradjna Intellisys different from hundreds of other similar service providers?
Sunil Haridas: We are an revolutionary HRTech product/platform company and not a IT service provider. Below are the significant differentiators of Pradjna.
Key innovations :
(1) First to develop an advanced Behavioral Biometrics suite to provide solutions across a number of business use cases for Financial services, Logistics, Education and skills and Industry 4.0 - Manufacturing
(2) Among the few start-ups globally to use innovative Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) framework of machine learning. Our AGI framework is logically similar to the neo-cortex of the human brain. It is generic enough to analyse data sourced from different work contexts.
(3) Pradjna leverages sensor fusion - software, software + hardware devices, IoTs. 3G/4G/5G compatible.
(4) Offers low latency and high bandwidth. Scalable, secure, GDPR & SOC2 compliant, Cloud based B2B enterprise solution. Easy to use, upgrade and support internationally.
Competition Analysis Matrix
Great Companies: What were the struggles and challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
Customer Connects - We provide a niche B2B Enterprise product, getting access to appropriate C-suite executives & business line owners in insurance, manufacturing has been a challenge especially during the last 2 years due to CoVID pandemic and related disruptions. Post CoVID we are working closely with stake holder and ecosystem players to get the right connects with potential customers. We also leverage professional networks like LinkedIn to connect and engage with customers.
Investor Connects - Ours is a unique product which is slightly ahead of the technology adoption curve in India and south Asia. Investors in Indian Startup ecosystem have been largely risk averse and have followed proven western business models in eCommerce and Aggregation (Financial,Taxi, Travel etc). Hence getting significant investment into the company has been a challenge. We have been recipient of some of the Government of India grants. We have also received funding from Shell India as part of Shell E4 digital cohort 2021.
Resources & Skills : Good resources with high end skills like Machine Learning and Big Data Analytics are scarce to find in tier 2 cities in India. As a solution we have spend significant time and effort to train locally available resources, build these skills and competencies in-house.
Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Pradjna Intellisys?
Following are some of our planned and executed milestones going forward to the next 4-5 years.
Milestone 1: Pradjna V 1.2 release with initial B2B user customisations (T +180days ). Seed Funding funding - round 2 closure
Milestone 2: Complete 10,000 annual end user Blue Collar assessments (T + 540 days ). Commercial Release of Pradjna Welder Analyser (PWA). Pre-Series A funding
Milestone 3: Pradjna V 2.0 major release with leading HRMS enterprise integration (T + 900 days ). Pradjna Painter Analyser (PPA) and Pradjna Machinist Analyser (PMA) are commercially available. Series A funding
Milestone 4: 500,000 annual end user assessments completed for the year ( T + 1280 days ). Presence in advanced industrial markets in US, EU , South Korea, Japan
* T is the Pradjna V 1.1 baseline release completed in Sept 2021
Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Sunil Haridas: Being an entrepreneur is often seen as a glamorous and lucrative today. But anyone starting up should look at the rigorous and often lonely struggle most startup founders need to go through. Few have been lucky and their ideas have been well timed and well received in the market. But for 90 percent of the founders that has not been the case. Hence lot of home work and due diligence is mandatory before you finalise on any idea however interesting that may look initially. Also most important thing is to bounce the idea with a number of potential users and get feedback to refine it through multiple iterations before investing your long term time, effort and money.