The technological development storm has hit every industry and has disrupted the markets in a dynamic way. Businesses are looking to integrate modern technological solutions into their operations so as to streamline the overall processes they might be having. Some things are better achieved with the help of technology and no one knows this better than Keyur Bhalavat, Founder and CEO of Plutomen Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Through Plutomen Technologies, along with his partners, Ravi Patel (Chief Design Officer) and Hiren Kanani (Chief Technology Officer) he is on the path of creating various solutions or platforms. These platforms enable experiences that inspire, inform, educate, and entertain the clients using Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. How is he achieving all that? Let’s read out to find out –
What is your vision behind your start-up? Tell us how the idea came about.
Plutomen Technologies Pvt. Ltd. is a DIPP recognized start-up. We have more than 5 years of experience working in the field of Augmented, Virtual & Mixed Reality (Now collectively known as eXtended Reality – XR).
We have experience of servicing clients across various sectors like Real Estate, E-Commerce, Manufacturing & allied industries – Education, Exhibitions, Tourism, etc. We count Adani Ports, L&T, Arvind, Bajaj Allianz, Milacron, KHS, Rohan Group, Prima Automation, Thermotech, as our clients.
The core team comprises of a mix of Business, Technology & Design functions with experience ranging from working with Indian Giants like TCS, HNGIL, Reliance Retail, MNC like KHS, starting their own venture OrydenTechlabs, HJ Dimensions, BizSim to getting acquired by funded startup Squareyards.
Our quest as individuals and as an organization has always been to create solutions that help companies/clients achieve better productivity, cost optimization & Customer Satisfaction.
With the above quest in mind and with understanding how the business scenarios & IT adoption will change with the advent of Emerging Technologies, we decided to form Plutomen.
What services/products/solutions do you offer?
We focus on building Products and Solutions. We integrate solutions into your business processes that can bring the greatest value for your business. With an initial focus on Manufacturing & Engineering Industries, Process Industries, Oil & Gas, Utilities/Renewables, and Smart Cities; we have launched our SaaS-based Products: Plutomen ARMS – Augmented Reality Based Remote Assistance and Plutomen V Notes.
ARMS is a peer-to-peer platform that allows you to intervene remotely, in real-time, carry out ordinary maintenance procedures or resolve technical failures. Collaboration among workers is a key driver for including AR technology into enterprise systems and processes. The display of real-time 3D annotations on environments and objects help the teams to solve problems efficiently and with no extra relocation costs.
The platform can be used from preventive maintenance, Inspection, Problem identification & Troubleshooting, On-the-Job training, & quick fixes. It will alter the way Service Field Engineers operate.
VNotes – Augmented Reality (AR) based Virtual Sticky Notes. An Augmented Reality & Location-based Multi-User platform that can augment the notes, images, and video onto any environment virtually. The messages are hereby fixated to the geolocation where they were originally posted and can be looked upon in the augmented reality view. With Sticky Notes AR you can enrich your surroundings with virtual content created by yourself, everywhere and anytime.
What were the challenges you faced during the inception of your start-up?
We started this company in Nov 2016. The very month when demonetization took place. So, the initial 6 – 8 months were very tough. It took us some time to come back financially. But that initial 1 year we focused on creating use-cases of this technology (AR/VR or eXtended Reality) across various sectors.
The other bigger challenge was educating the customers about emerging technology. AR/VR is at a very nascent stage and hence has very limited use cases as of now. Also, the understanding is low, this leads to high risk for clients to adopt.
Ultimately this resulted in a very long sales cycle. And generally, the project we get would be a PoC (Proof of Concept) which they will test, take feedback and then will decide on the final order. But being there in the domain for 5 years, we consult and take the journey along with the client so as to give full benefit of the implementation to the clients.
Is your company bootstrapped or have you received funding, or do you plan on approaching investors?
Yes, we are bootstrapped. We intend to approach investors from March 2020.
As the founder/CEO, what is your opinion on the current landscape of start-up culture in India?
Startups in India have received increased attention in recent years. They are now being widely recognized as important engines for growth and job generation. Countries like the US and France have created innovation hubs that allow a large number of start-ups to flourish.
India also needs to invest in creating a culture that not only embraces but paves the way for entrepreneurs. There is a huge need for innovative solutions, particularly those that alleviate poverty and benefit a large number of people. Through innovation and scalable technology, Startups can generate impactful solutions, and thereby act as vehicles for socio-economic development and transformation.
I have read this somewhere: “Historically, the most disruptive and long-lasting products were not built through a single, emergent technology. Rather, they were built through a combination of existing technologies, innovation and new business models that appealed to customers”.
It is very important to be aware of the technology, but what business model to apply so as the customer accepts it, is very important. That’s what makes or breaks the solution you create using the technology.
As we are playing with emerging technology, you need to build a research-based culture of learning, unlearning, & proactiveness. The bottom line is, technology doesn’t wait for you and if your organization isn’t keeping up with it, you will surely be left in the dust by one of your competitors.
How do you strategize on scaling your company in the future?
We have closely seen the adoption curve of Augmented & Virtual Reality. From being used only in Sales & Marketing as Delight Factor to now being utilized as a Training & Simulation Tool for the various sectors to being rightly placed for utilizing it in Maintenance & Operations activity on a daily basis.
8 months back our core team took a strategic call and decided to pivot ourselves from a service-oriented company to aSolution & Product-oriented company.In line with that, we have started standardizing our offerings, pruning few sectors, upgrade our sales process & channelize our resources.
With many of the PoC concluded & in the process this year, we are expecting large scale projects and implementation coming up next year. The amalgamation of IoT and AI with XR is important for the overall industry to succeed. We are taking a step closer next year by integrating these technologies into our existing solutions.
Client Base: 60% of our current revenue comes from India and 40% is spread across the rest of the world. By the end of next year, we are planning to have our Sales Office in Canada, US, Singapore, Australia, and the UAE.