A Passage to India IoT Success — Interview with Dilin Anand of the EFY Group

The market for IoT products in India is one of the most vibrant in the world, but one of the comments we often hear from the members of the HWTrek community is that they are unsure of how to enter the market and moreover what strategies to adopt. That is why we spoke to Dilin Anand, Executive Editor for the EFY Group, the foremost publishers of technology content in South Asia. Read bellow as Dilin gives advice on how to crack the Indian IoT market.

The India IoT Market

According to a 2017 study from Deloitte, the IoT market in India is expected to grow exponentially to 1.9 billion units in by 2020 and to be valued approximately US$ 9 billion. This represents a significant increase from $1.3 billion in 2016. Deployment is expected to be especially high in digital utilities, smart cities and for manufacturing, transport, logistics and automotive industries. Read our interview below to find out more:

Please introduce yourself and Electronics For You?

I lead a team of eight people based out of Bangalore, India. Our achievements include leading two online products to clock triple-digit traffic percentage growth over the period of one year, through innovations in content development and delivery, user experience, feature development, audience engagement, and community growth. I also conceptualized and executed conferences like EFY Conferences, Electronics Rocks and IoTShow.in to achieve high visitor turnout and delegate revenues. One of our conferences eventually won an award (Voter’s Choice IoT Event of the Year 2016 by Postscapes). Plus, I oversaw digital marketing projects for internal and external clients and set up and ran Get Funded 2016 which enabled ten shortlisted IoT startups to pitch to six different VCs. For EFY Conferences in 2017, we were able to double our performance with respect to conference delegates.

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Who are the biggest players in the IoT field in India?
Considering that the Internet of Things is based on interconnectivity and convergence of technologies, players vary based on which segment within IoT it is that we are looking at. A non-exhaustive list segregated by segments:

  • Component manufacturers & vendors: Redpine, NXP, Qualcomm, Renesas, Microchip, ROHM and most semiconductor vendors with sensors, MCUs or actuators
  • Middleware/Analytics vendors: too many to count
  • Connectivity providers: Vodafone Business, Airtel Business’ AccessMate, Reliance Comms
  • Platform vendors: ARM, Thingorx, Microsoft, IBM, SAP, Ericsson, WebNMS (almost everyone has a platform for IoT devs these days 🙂 )

Noteworthy upcoming companies into IoT that I can recall right now include Knewron, Shalaka Technologies, Calixto, Atoll Solutions, SenseGiz, Mobmerry, NexIOT, Telematics4U.

What competitive advantage do Indian IoT companies have?

Leveraging locally available resources is perhaps one of the most effective ways to grow an industry. And guess what we have in abundance in India? IoT developers. We are already known for a large number of software developers, we now have a lot of these techies getting their hands dirty with technologies that relate to the Internet of things paradigm, resulting in an abundance of IoT developers. Indian IoT companies can thus easily (relatively) grow their engineering team to scale up with requirements. And of course, the usual benefit of comparatively inexpensive engineering costs in India also helps.

How open would you say that Indian consumers are towards Smart/IoT products?

India is very open to technology adoption on a large scale as it is. This is a good write-up that explains it for 2015. We also saw how despite a lot of complaints, the country quickly moved forward to e-wallets and other fin-tech solutions as a reaction to the trigger of demonetization that happened in November. So basically, this is a very open market, full of early adopters.

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What cultural preferences/differences should overseas creators of Smart/IoT products be aware of if they want they want to crack the Indian market?

Considering that India mostly has a globalized lifestyle, international brands see quite a lot of traction in India. Global brands are a way to show of status (remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs 🙂 ) A Mckinsey & Co report from ’07 suggested India will grow to be the fifth largest consumer market by 2025.

What barriers would you say there would be for overseas company succeeding in the Indian IoT market?

The single biggest roadblock (in my opinion) seen currently is that many technology products sold in India come with a significant markup due to shipping and taxes — but they sell quite well in India even with this barrier to overcome.

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What advice would you give to companies who want to market their device to India?

If you can find local assembly, it can help to reduce these markups on price and also help to bring products closer to their international prices. This then will surely help a lot.

Thanks so much.

If you would like to reach out to Dilin, he can be found on Twitter at @thedilin. For the latest India technology and IoT news, check out Electronicsforu.


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