With an experience of over 15 years in Internet of Things(IoT) Practice Development, Strategy, Consultancy, Product Development in Digital Technologies, Srikant Menon is passionate about combining Design and Technology to execute business goals with energetic start-up attitude and entrepreneurial drive. Recently joined Happiest Minds as the Practice Director of Internet of Things, his sole goal has been to help enterprises use the power of Design and Technology to create a positive impact in their operations, customer engagement and business model innovation.
Posing an experience in applying Internet of Things in industries like Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management, Healthcare etc, he has helped various clients in Digital Strategy Planning and Execution. To learn more about his new job, the IoT play at Happiest Minds and the IoT industry in general, IoT India Magazine interacted exclusively with Srikant Menon and found out some interesting facts. Read the complete interview as below:
IoT India Magazine: How have you settled into your new job? What drew you to Happiest Minds?
Srikant Menon: Yes, I have settled down quite well in my new job at Happiest Minds. Thanks. The convivial environment & the ‘can do’ attitude of my colleagues helped me feel at home quickly!
Born in the digital age, Happiest Minds brings in disruptive technologies as a differentiator from our competitors. This is evident in our investment in building IPs, accelerators, CoEs, et al. This focus, depth of engineering talent, execution capabilities coupled with a unique culture that emphasizes ‘mindfulness’ to ensure happiest people and happiest customers are what drew me to Happiest Minds.
IoT India Magazine: How is Happiest Minds vouching for Internet of Things?
SM: Happiest Minds has a strong focus on IoT and it operates as a CoE at the corporate level. The CoE places emphasis on building digital capabilities around Industries, Technologies, Product Engineering, Agile Infrastructure, Security, Platforms and the IoT Operations Center. All these capabilities come together as a unified force and help us in mapping the business needs of the customers. Our focus is on Enterprise & Industrial IoT. The mission is to have laser-sharp attention towards a few things – be it industries, solutions & service offerings, geographies and establish clear business goals to work backwards with a strong focus on delivery. We have recently announced a major offering around IoT Ops Center, which is an industry-first.
IoT India Magazine: How is the association with Microsoft going to boost the IoT business for Happiest Minds?
SM: Microsoft is one of our key strategic partners and we are excited to be a part of the Microsoft Azure IoT partner program. We started our journey with Microsoft as soon as they launched their Azure IoT Suite & we were among the first partners who executed large IoT projects with them. We will keep strengthening our relationship going forward with key initiatives & engagements. However, we remain vendor agnostic and work with all the major IoT platform players in the market – our intention is to place the needs of our customers first and provide them with an objective evaluation of each platform and leave the final choice up to them.
IoT India Magazine: What are some major initiatives that you would like to introduce in the IoT portfolio of Happiest Minds? What are your top priorities and goals?
SM: The energy, enthusiasm, talent and agility is already present in Happiest Minds. So that makes my job easy. I am amazed with the kind of projects that we have executed in IoT for our global customers in the Industrial, Energy, Retail, Building & Home Automation, and Transportation industries. The engineering talent & energy on display in our recently concluded technology fest “Blitz” was electrifying & contagious. My mission is to channelize this energy, take these existing capabilities to our customers and bring in scale to our customer engagements.
If you think about it, the IoT market so far has been in the experimentation phase with organizations mostly playing within the sandbox through demos and PoCs. But the next phase will be all about understanding a customer’s problems and the speed with which these problems can be addressed while building partnerships, momentum and scale. With scale will come the challenges of security, device provisioning & management, end-to-end program management, managed services and innovative pricing models to name just a few. My top priorities are therefore to align with our vision to be the most preferred partner in IoT where we can solution, integrate, deploy and manage a customer’s business needs in the most cost effective manner. The agility, energy, rigor, leadership drive and an inorganic growth strategy are all in place to help us achieve these goals in the coming months.
IoT India Magazine: There is a build, buy and grow strategy in IoT space when it comes to outgrowing the competition? IoT is the main focus at Happiest Minds and we hear some acquisitions are on the way? Could you share a few details?
SM: Yes, we are actively on the lookout and talking to a few potential candidates. While this is a time intensive process, it is still a major strategic element of our growth plan. We are also engaged with a lot of ecosystem partners as IoT more often than not is an ecosystem play. In addition to this we are growing organically and upskilling our team in all areas of IoT technologies. We will be investing in building huge analytics capabilities in IoT very soon.
IoT India Magazine: On a general note, how do you think has the ioT industry grown in India? How do you see it evolving?
SM: As per the recently published Nasscom report, the IoT market in India is expected to grow to $15 billion in 2020, contributing to 5-6% of the global IoT market. The current Indian IoT market stands at $5.6 billion, and is driven by adoption of IoT in the Industrial sector, which is around 60% of the total market and the rest coming from the Consumer segment. Govt. of India’s Digital India initiative will also push the adoption especially in areas like Smart Cities, Healthcare & Safety, Environment, and Agriculture in the coming years. Govt. of India has also come out with a Draft IoT Policy, which is highly encouraging. Lastly, growth in the ecommerce segment will also have a rippling effect on the Transportation & Logistics industry, which will witness increased IoT adoption to remain competitive, improve their operations and provide differentiated customer experiences.
IoT India Magazine: How competitive is India according to you in the Global IoT space?
SM: The IoT Technology Service providers market is highly consolidated with the top 20 providers contributing to approximately 82% of the overall market. Interestingly, Asian IoT Technology Service Providers addressed approximately 47% of the total outsourced market of $2.8 Billion last year. I wouldn’t be wrong if I assume that most of these Asian IoT Service Providers would be Indian IT Services Companies, given the stature we enjoy in global IT services outsourcing. So, we are highly competitive in the IoT Services landscape providing services in Consulting, Product Engineering & Managed Services. However, going forward, I would like to see our share in the IoT Technology Products market, which includes products in Sensor Technologies, Hardware Gateways, Infrastructure and Platforms grow bigger. And that’s not a tall order, especially considering the mushrooming of innovative startups in India that are highly focused on IoT product technologies.
IoT India Magazine: Would you like to talk about the need of IoT education in India?
SM: With the growth that is expected in India, both as a consumer of IoT and as a solution & service provider to domestic & global markets, there is no doubt that one department that will have to catchup and rise to this technological phenomenon is education. We need to inculcate skills in IoT Security, Field Service, Analytics and Sensor Technologies. This attention to skilling for IoT is also highlighted in the Govt. of India’s IoT Draft Policy. However, the onus for this doesn’t necessarily lie with the government. Industries & associations will have to work closely with academia to enable this. Over the last few decades, we have already witnessed some change in the education sector as a result of growth in the Indian IT industry. The IoT revolution will again push the boundaries of education and skilling. If India has to become the nerve center of the world for innovative IoT products, intellectual property, solutions & services, then education will have to be the key catalyst.
IoT India Magazine: What geographies account for maximum business in the IoT market?
SM: The largest market for IoT is definitely North America, followed by Asia & Europe. As per a recent study, in 2021, the North American market will spend $98 billion on IoT products & services of the overall $253 billion IoT spend by markets worldwide. Asia’s contribution will be $87 billion and Europe’s $65 billion.