India, being the growing nation, it is aggressively adapting digitization in most walks of life. With the surge in internet and smartphone usage in several developing countries across the globe, home automation solutions are evolving continuously. Whether it is an application across residential, commercial or hospitality segments, automation is used everywhere nowadays.
But one of the most crucial issues that most of the home automation companies are not paying a heed to, is a robust security system. In a few years, home automation will become the way of life and lack of a strong security system is like virtually handing over the keys of your house to any novice computer geek with a criminal mind.
Sensing the need to cater this problem, the alumni of BITS Pilani and London Business School, Manoj Malineni, Abhilash Dasyreddy, Prashanth Rao, Nikhil Mandalika and Aditya Chaudhry from CUSAT(Cochin University of Science and Technology) founded Wozart Technologies in 2016.
“We are creating the next generation living. We are bringing convenience, simplicity, and luxury all at once just like AT cars vs. MT cars. The idea was conceptualized when our founder wanted home automation for his house and one of the big companies in the world quoted a ridiculously high amount. So he decided to build his own home automation system and started the company with the other co-founders,” says Nikhil Mandalika, Vice President and co-founder of Wozart Technologies.
Based out of Hyderabad, Wozart is an IoT (Internet of Things) tech startup that have built a wireless home automation product which is India’s first and only Apple Homekit licensed product. It is the only product that provides OS level integration with your smart devices thereby providing India’s first future proof home automation product. It provides absolute data privacy and military grade encrypted communication protocol through the usage of iCloud for data communication.
“Our usage of iCloud provides the best in class security and also enabling the safest and secure environment required for a home automation product to integrate with locks and doorbell cameras,” says Mandalika.
On asking Mandalika, the reason behind the name given to startup, he says “The members of the founding team are huge admirers of Apple and the relentless revolutions in technology they bring about at the turn of every year. Steve Jobs might be the face of the company but we wish to pay our tributes to one of the legends in technological inventions, Steve Wozniak. Our aim is to create artistic technology the way Wozniak did and thus the name Wozart.”
First And Only Apple Homekit Licensed Product In India
Wozart home automation product line, Aura was built on the technology platform of Apple called Homekit — a smartphone home automation platform by Apple, that allows controlling smart home products with iOS apps and Siri voice commands. “Only certified and Apple approved accessories can experience the features and benefits of Homekit such as controls through Siri, OS Level Integration (meaning you can control the accessories which any smart device existing or yet to be released) and iCloud for updates,” explains Mandalika.
Apple has publicly assured significant updates to Homekit to preserve their lead in IOT tech with new competition arising from Amazon, Google, and other tech giants. The company claims that Aura is India’s first and only Homekit compatible device in India. It is a retro-fittable device and bridges the electrical circuit of the house to its IP circuit thereby allowing you to control your appliances through your smart devices such as phones, tablets, and smartwatches.
You can then control the appliances with your voice, set scenes (multiple actions with one command), schedule, regulate light intensity and fan speed, set location based triggers etc.
Talking about their revenue, Mandaika says that is generated through the sales of their product(s). Up until now, they targeted the B2B channel, mainly the builder segment along with solution integrators and dealers to generate bulk orders and spread the word on our product.
“From August we will be entering the B2C market as well where we will sell our product directly to the end users through online and offline sales,” says Mandalika.
Notably, the startup is also member of WiFi Alliance group, which is an international group of top companies manufacturing WiFi based products.
Competition & Sector Overview
If we believe the prediction by the industry guru’s, IoT is the next big thing in the Indian market and this can be proved by the figures mentioned in the Accenture report. According to the report, Indian IoT market is estimated to be a $13 trillion dollar industry by 2020 and home automation and industrial automation retain a major chunk of the IOT sector. If we look at the figures of home automation market in India, according to a report published by RedSeer Consulting, the market is expected to reach Rs 8800 crores by 2017. The key reason behind this rapid growth is the rising demand of the consumer’s, financial ability, increase in internet and smartphone penetration, and increase in the preference for energy efficient systems.
Sensing this opportunity, many entrepreneurs have come up with the idea to capture this untapped market. Startups like Oakter, Inoho, IFIHOMES.com, Silvan Innovation Labs, SharpNode are few promising home automation startups in India that are ruling the home automation sector in India.
Working on the shoulders of a giant like Apple should provide Wozart with a kick start to always stay ahead of the competition in terms of product development.
“Majority of the companies in the IOT space are focussed only on delivering technology at the cheapest possible rates without bothering about the reliability of the technology or the quality of the product. We do not want to fall in this rat race for the lowest price but are instead focused on delivering the best product we can which is superior to our competitors in all aspects. We were the first and only Apple licensed product in India along with having the Apple MFi license is a testimonial to our relentless pursuit of product quality,” says Mandalika.
If we look at the market they want to capture that is agriculture, Wozart may come across few challenges as they move ahead in the market. However, their dedication towards bringing the change the way people live and their passion for achieving their goal will lead them towards the path of success.
Scale-up/ Future Plans
Started company as a provider of smart solutions for homes, industries, and cities, Mandalika says that apart from this sectors they identified agriculture as a major domain that can adapt the latest technological advancements for better results at efficient costs.
Currently, they are operating out of their corporate office in Hyderabad but have distribution channels setup in all the major cities of India. They are in process of launching marketing offices for each city as well. Outside of India, they are targeting US, Europe and the Middle East with the setting up of the office already initiated in the US.
“We are launching our home automation products, Aura Switch and Aura Switch Mini. We have bagged some B2B deals with a few real estate companies across the country. From August, we will be launching Aura in the B2C channel as well,” concludes Mandalika.