An entrepreneur by profession with a passion for technology and a designer at heart, Pratik Jani has got the perfect combination. The CEO and Co-founder of Yups tech solutions in India and Zerek Technologies in Bahrain his company serves enterprises in IoT to help them make smarter decisions. Developing the products in such a way that gives more value to the customer is the strategy on which the company operates
Other than being the man running the show for his venture Pratik also finds time to indulge in his other interests such as travelling fitness and being a book lover. The team at Eureka Moment sat down with Pratik Jani a new age entrepreneur, trainer, researcher and strategist to know about his innovative idea and to get a glimpse of the future technology as well as learn about the wide array of fields it can have applications in. With his new-age vision of technology, Pratik has helped many young entrepreneurs. Taking inspiration from Dr A P J Abudul Kalam, he believes in the notion of knowledge as power and always seeks innovation in the field of Machine Learning, Robotics, AI and IoT. Here are the excerpts of the interview
“Learning gives creativity, creativity leads to thinking, thinking provides knowledge and knowledge makes us great” That is something we shared with our students and what we live by. – Pratik Jani
Q: Tell us about your services and solutions
A: Yups has a flagship product called RD its a smart helmet for construction workers, for safety and productivity which includes a combination of hardware and software. It helps the decision-makers to make smarter decisions, reduces accidents on the construction sites and provides real-time visibility of what’s happening on site.
Q: Tell us about your eureka moment
A: The journey of Yups started when we read Wings of Fire back in college and that is what triggered me to do something for the country. After college, we started off with Yups. People often ask does Yups stand for something. And we say yup means yes which signifies that we say yes to every opportunity and every challenge. Initially, we had a brand called Yups robotics which catered to the curriculum for schools and colleges, and because we were so closely associated with emerging technologies we used to get project orders from companies that’s when Yups transitioned into being a design house for enterprises. Over time we came across the opportunity to digitize the construction space
Q: What customers and market do you cater to?
A: Our major focus is to cater to construction contractors who are willing to deploy these technologies and transform their operations and processes. In India L&T is our initial client and we are running pilots with contractors in both the regions of India as well as the Middle East. Later we also plan to venture into ports shipping yards and even mining.
Q: What are the key strengths of your company?
A: The product has been developed from scratch keeping in mind the safety of the workers. Because we are targeting construction industry which is very dynamic and can change every day we have made sure that it’s easy to deploy. We deploy as the construction progress have also kept the solution to be highly scalable so if you want for 100 workers or 1000 workers it is available. Every construction site has a different number of workers so we have ensured that it is scalable.
Q: What is your Go to market?
A: We are currently catering to the construction industry. Once we have gained a good market share in the construction industry we plan to venture into shipping yards, ports, oil and gas and even mining because safety helmets are used everywhere.to reach customers we directly approach them or we have channel partners like system integrators who help us to reach out to customers.
Q: How do you handle the operations?
A: Ours is a product but our business model is service-based. IoT is a new technology for the customers and they won’t invest a lot on the capital expenditure which the IoT demands so we made the business a service model wherein the customer just pays for what he uses. The devices are super easy to deploy like plug – and – play on site. The device reports each and every issue which gives direction to the support team and the software changes can be remotely handled.
Q: How do you keep your company updated with the changing technology
A: We have knowledge sharing sessions which we call as “Wisdom Saturdays” in which the team comes together and share what they have learnt throughout the week. This maintains an information flow across the departments so the marketing and sales team is aware of what the tech team is doing and vise versa.
Q: Important technologies you think will change the world
A: Artificial Intelligence, Robotics – both Micro and Nanoscale and Transportation tech hyperloop is coming up which will change the face of the world.
Q: Three lessons you learnt from your mistakes.
A: Don’t be a perfectionist that was one of the problems I faced in the initial days I wanted things to be as it is to try not to do all the things with absolute perfection instead do things as and when they require attention. Try to be more focused on just one aspect of the business at a time rather than trying multiple ideas at a time even if you have the technical expertise you cannot handle everything together. And the third would be to hire faster.
Q: Your message to the youth
A: Keep learning try to move out of your comfort zone because that’s where actual learning takes place and always be ready for a change.
Q: What are the indicators that something in the business isn’t right ?
A: Silence is one of the indicators, if everything is silent it means that something is not moving. It’s a sign we need to reignite the fire in people. Struggle and lots of complaints from the team and sometimes you just feel that something isn’t right (chuckles)
Q: Books you would recommend
A: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Wings of Fire the autobiography of A P J Abdul Kalam and Rework by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried.