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IoT – still a long way to go in India

Among the most stimulating innovations in the digital world, internet has secured the top spot. Across the world we can see how internet services are making a difference to the lives of people in the digital community. But India is still a long way from tapping the full benefits of the internet wave.

“The model of ‘Internet of Things’ or IoT has been operational for a long time but in India the existence is yet to make an impact,” said Anant Maheshwari, President of Honeywell India .

What is new in the internet space is the presence of the internet in the home environment and not just the controlled and regulated enterprise environment of workplace. “An ecosystem of internet of things continues to make sense at workplace but not home,” added Mr Maheshwari.

However, Rohit Bhayana, Managing Partner and Co-founder at Lumis Partners begs to differ, and insists that some advancements have been made in the home space too. According to him, the most prominent instance of IoT at home include services such as safe and secure banking services, healthcare and entertainment.

Further, Sai Srinivas, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Teewe.in has taken a step to transform the entertainment system at home and include the services of IoT in the product. “We have produced an integrated device to manage entertainment content that has been stored elsewhere,” Mr Srinivas added.

“We cannot overlook the utility of a platform provider in the internet age that aids the user right from date acquisition to the decision making process. Today, data serves as a perishable commodity and the user has to act on it in a meaningful amount of time,” said Balaji Swamy, Senior Director at SAP Asia.

Dr Rishi Mohan Bhatnagar, Vice President – Global Head, Digital Enterprise Services at TechMahindra emphasised that such services are not yet profitable but once the movement gathers pace and the volumes increase, the market for IoT will only get larger. “Customer is keen to pay for the service. Therefore, B2B provided a better opportunity than B2C for start-ups,” he said.

To sum up the discussion that was taking place at TiEcon Delhi 2014, Prasanto K Roy, Tech Journalist asked the panelists to list opportunities they see in the IoT space that will transform the industry. Mr Maheshwari reiterated that IoT in the home space is a new opportunity as no script has been written in that space. It can serve as a business idea for several dynamic entrepreneurs in the country.

Mr Swamy, on the other hand, focussed his attention on two most important aspects of IoT — value from rational perspective and the emotional concerns, which include security and welfare of people. The marketers should be eager to tap opportunities under both heads.

Mr Roy concluded that IoT in India has a long way to go. Entrepreneurs must explore opportunities in the market and transform them into business ideas.