Today, Smart home automation has a huge demand as the construction industry is constantly transforming. It allows you to step into high-tech functionality and luxury that was out of reach in the past. As the technology development continues to enlarge, so will the possibilities for consumer home automation to make life easier and convenient. Smarthome NX is one such leading organization which renders unique and cost-effective smart home automation solutions.
In an Interview with Insights Success, Dhaval Doshi, the Founder at Smarthome NX, shared the unique solutions the company offers to its customers. He has also shared his views and success mantra in making the company one of the leading organizations in the building solutions space.
- Tell us something about your company?
Smarthome NX is a discovery platform for Smart home solutions. We deal in home automation, sustainable living and connected solutions that can help consumers live better by saving effort, saving money and saving energy.
Adopting a Smart home solution is a challenging task. Consumers need to know what technologies are available out there and also evaluate several brands. We make this process easy utilizing the 3 Cs: Community, Content and Commerce.
We write about interesting solutions from the perspective of a user’s lifestyle. Therefore, our aim is to educate and evangelise the idea of living ‘Smart’ with technology. There is too much happening in the home design space as far as interiors are concerned but little being done to educate them about technology solutions when they are designing their home. We are doing exactly that for new homeowners and buyers so they can set aside a budget to build a smarter home and not just a prettier one.
We have tied up with over 200 service providers across India who help consumers with consulting, customization and installation of Smart solutions. We also collaborate with manufacturers to help them find new system integrators and we help system integrators in turn find new business.
This has been long due but we are on the verge of starting our ecommerce store as well for DIY smart products which consumers can buy and use right out of the box. These are plug and play devices like cameras, smart speakers and so on. Our aim is to be a unique destination for all ‘smart’ devices for homeowners.
- What kind of ‘unique building’ solutions, services or products are offered by your company at par with the current industry standards?
We provide a diverse range of solutions: the age-old and classic wired solutions that provide infinite possibilities for a stable Smart home, wireless retrofit solutions that work for old and newer homes and are more affordable, hubless smart home solutions that are easy to use and can be shifted easily as well; we also deal in Smart locks, curtain automation, custom audio-video solutions.
- Tell us something about the Founder/CEO of your company.
Dhaval Doshi, the Founder of the company is a serial entrepreneur with 11 years of experience in marketing, brand communication and e-commerce. In his career, he has led digital initiatives for brands such as Amazon , Bajaj , Axis Bank to name a few.
The inspiration to start Smarthome NX came when he was fed up as a consumer to find the right information and products to automate his home.
- What is the current scenario of ‘Building Solutions’ segment according to you? How are you contributing to making it better?
There is a huge impetus on technologies when it comes to making buildings better, greener and efficient. Rightly so, because of several reasons such as cost effectiveness, reducing project completion time, operational efficiencies and more. A lot of this is a combination of evolved MEP methodologies, BIM systems and sustainable materials. However, these are the macro aspects of the building which may or may not impact the end user of that building.
We are contributing to making the life better for the end user. Be it a guest at a hotel or a resident in his home or even an office-goer, smart technologies impact them in the things they do on a day-to-day basis.
To give you some simple use-cases: occupancy sensors can save electricity not requiring the resident to ‘switch off’ the lights when he is not in the room. Smart speakers are making a wave in the US and are now being adopted in India because of the ample convenience that they offer with the most easy to use interface i.e. your voice! We can provide solutions that can help consumers to just say ‘alexa, turn off the bedroom lights’ or ‘alexa, turn on the fan’/
- What tool/technique does your company use to deliver the safer, economical, and efficient building solutions to the customers?
We are a digital first company. We follow a discovery journey of a consumer as follows: 1) a consumer typically learns about a new technology, 2) he wants to know more about it 3) he then speaks to experts and tests a demo 4) he then adopts the technology. Therefore, at each stage of this journey, we help through a one-on-one consultation with the consumer.
- What strategies/techniques do you follow to surpass the various building disciplines such as fire-safety, security, building automation, lighting, and more? How are you shaping yourself to become extraordinary in this sector?
Currently, we are focussed on smart connected technologies that enable automation of lights, fans and all the appliances in the home. Typically, one can also set scenes (basically a combination of settings) that one may want to put on at the tap of a button. This would mean that a user can have a setting for when he or she just returns home from work and then another mode which has a specific temperature setting with the lights switched off during sleeping hours.
In addition, we are now also planning to enter the solar integrators space. Therefore, we are now entering other areas of “smarter” living which is a very underserved market.
- What were the major challenges you faced at the initial phase and how did you overcome it? What were the opportunities that came your way through these challenges?
One of the major challenges for us was to understand how to approach the problem. It is a highly unorganized sector (surprisingly one may think technology would be a more structured industry); however, the industry is extremely fragmented and scattered. For us, it was a challenge to get all of them together on one platform. As an entrepreneur, generally you are just working on hunches and market data. At the end of the day, you will not know what works until you try it. Therefore, our first experiment was to provide value to customers and we started doing that i.e. writing content that spreads awareness to consumers. This eventually led to customers asking us about these solutions. At the backend therefore we started building our network of solution providers to service these needs. So, to put it simply, we kept our ear to the ground and did what the market wanted us to do. Of course, this required us to also build a business model around it.
- Where is your company heading? How your company is benefiting your clients in thiscompetitive world? What is your success mantra?
We are entering an evolved space of home design and technology. Therefore, our company will not be just focussed on smart connected solutions anymore. Our grand vision is to become a go-to platform for customers to build a more functional and efficient home with solutions ranging from green building materials and contemporary windows etc.
- Share with us your piece of advice to the young entrepreneurs in the Building Solutions space.
I think there is a tremendous amount of innovation happening across the world; we should take inspiration and try to see how we can make solutions that are more accustomed to the Indian home. Most of all, I would encourage entrepreneurs to think about how to solve the problems of an Indian homeowner. At the center should be the homeowner and his day-to-day issues and entrepreneurs should be building solutions around it.
- How do you see the future of ‘Building Solutions Providers’? Tell us something about your upcoming products/services/plans.
I think this has already been answered in an earlier question.