The internet of things is now growing exponentially and is reaching different verticals and industries. India is one of the countries where a lot of innovation is happening around IoT across different verticals and technologies. The IoT ecosystem in India is mainly driven by 3 players: Government, Industry and Startups.
There is a lot of scope for IoT in India and Government has rightly recognised it and working towards it. The government has taken initiative and framed a draft policy to fulfill a vision of developing a connected, secure and a smart system based on our country’s needs. Government’s objective is to create an IoT industry in India of USD 15 billion by 2020.
One of the key initiatives of the Government is to build smart cities across the country. Major aspects of a smart city being focused by the Government are:
- Smart parking
- Intelligent transport system
- Woman Safety
- Smart grids
- Smart urban lighting
- Waste management
- Smart city maintenance
- Water Management
Other domain specific applications include smart water, smart environment and smart health. There is a plan to incorporate an incubator for to IoT to promote innovation.
Another key initiative taken by Government is the formation of Centre of Excellence on Internet of Things as a joint initiative with NASSCOM. As part of this joint initiative, Government plans to nurture and grow the IoT ecosystem.
With growth comes challenges:
- The biggest implementation challenge will be the complete integration of technology and language. We have to keep in mind India’s diversity.
- Cyber security is another obstacle. We are all well aware that internet and cyber crime are inseparable.
- Issue of last mile connectivity.
Another key player in this ecosystem is the Industry. IoT will transform how companies do business when they grab onto its innovations.
Statistics shows about one-fifth of manufacturing companies are using IoT to increase production and reduce costs. Why use IoT? What are the benefits? IoT offers better control of companies’ logistics. The use of the data can also enable them to offer their customers near real-time tracking of shipments. The future of the manufacturing sector in India is envisioned to be capital efficient and flexible. Design updates will be introduced more quickly, and customizations will easily be installed.
Automobile industries are another major adopters aiming to feature-rich, safer and cost effective products and services. They contribute 17% share as adopters. Transforming strategies are being worked upon currently are:
- Usage Based Insurance (UBI) – this enables the device incorporated in vehicles to capture data and transmit it to the IoT platform which is then managed by UBI platform. This will enable insurance companies to build propositions and take it to market.
- Intelligent Emergency Calling (eCall) – It enables cars to automatically call emergency services in case of a serious crash.
- Stolen Vehicle Tracking (SVT) –This is currently implemented
The third largest industry is the IT industry. The world around has evolved with many innovations appearing on a day-to-day basis. These connect machine-to-machine and human-to-machine. Other notable industries that are adopters of IoT are mining, healthcare, banking and education.
Some of the companies who are active in IoT space in India are
- Intel– It is at the top of the ladder in the production of low-power chips to connect IoT devices.
- Volkswagen- It has added an SAP system that keeps track of their parts’ entire supply pipeline to help them track where items are located at all times.
- MediaTek: MediaTek has launched LinkIT ONE development platform which helps design and prototype IoT devices and wearables. They have been working greatly in nurturing and mentoring a lot of start-ups as well.
- Hero MotoCorp- The largest two-wheeler company in the country, with the help of IoT keeps tabs of vehicles available in different locations so that the dealer can be kept informed all the time.
- Hindustan Petroleum- By using IoT, it automates processes and creates real-time insights into the business. It has installed sensors in field units to capture information such as temperature, pressure etc.
- Apollo Hospitals– It has envisioned IoT will transform Health care and are exploring IoT in disease management. SUGAR is their diabetes management initiative which enables constant monitoring of the specific blood sugar levels using IoT enabled technology and transform them to personal health record system. It is also looking at IoT in effective inpatient care, post-discharge care and overall preventive health and wellness.
- Cisco– It is investing in the IoT space by building large teams and localized products.
- Bharti Infratel– It is using IoT for management and live monitoring of its passive infrastructure like tower, fuel management, energy distribution, monitoring and surveillance on the site etc.
- TVS Motor – It uses IoT for process automation, process quality control and traceability in shop floor, pollution control and monitoring, measurement of water flow and power consumption.
- IBM- It is investing heavily in enterprise application infrastructure and databases for connected devices. It is also promoting its cloud-based platform IBM Bluemix heavily amongst the developers.
Another player in the ecosystem is Startups. Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad are the four major cities where you would discover quite a few startups that are making a breakthrough. These are silently disrupting and innovating thereby breaking and creating newer realms each day within the IoT space.
One of the pioneering communities in IoT space is IoTBlr which is based out of Bangalore and has been instrumental in driving the IoT ecosystem in India. It is the 2nd largest IoT-focused meet-up community across the world and helps organize different talk, workshops, Hackathons, DIY sessions etc to help spread knowledge and awareness about IoT.
IoT HackDay is another group which is a Pan India initiative based out of Hyderabad. This group conducts Hackathons which helps bring collective knowledge and innovation to address the challenges in IoT and smart cities space. This event works towards addressing social challenges with the use of technology which is the need of the hour.
All in all, India is making progress and we have exciting years to look forward to. The synergistic working of Government, Industry and Startups will drive the eco-system to new heights.