The Policy Times in its uniquely transformative initiative to shed light on the new and pioneering innovation and budding start-ups in India brought the “Global Innovation and Entrepreneur Show”. Mr. Akram Hoque, Founder-Editor of The Policy Times interviewed Pooja Maheshwari the MD & CEO of SMARG for the latest series.
Pooja, if you can tell us about yourself and a brief of your venture?
I’m Pooja Maheshwari, MD &CEO of SMARG. I’m a serial tech entrepreneur having about 30+ global recognitions and over two decades of industry experience now. Let me tell you about my passion. As I grew, I realize that prevention, protection, and care are inherent elements of human life and I wanted to translate this inner drive to make open spaces and workspaces that are not just public and woman-friendly but are also safe, secure, and hygienic for our children groups and other special care groups too. And hence came into existence, SMARG. SMARG is all about solving these daily life challenges related to security, surveillance, parking, and traffic through AI and applied technology.
Video Interview Link: https://youtu.be/SDXH_tb7qJU
What is unique about SMARG & How is different from the others in the market? What are the unique innovative features that you have under this brand?
SMARG exists to solve the daily life challenges of security, surveillance, and parking.
Surveillance challenges without SAMRG-
- CCTV based Surveillance requires constant human vigil and is error-prone
- No Traceability of usage, processes, and actions
- More human capital deployment to manage peak times
- Loss of opportunity to provide right experience & gain revenue
- Default user experience with stressful workflows
- Negative environment impact with excess Fuel and Time Wastage
SMARG is a one-stop solution that is an AI-driven smart premise experience and management platform. It has powerful deep learning-based video analytics intelligence with AI models that work over existing CCTV infrastructure on the edge. It delivers on-time safety alerts with no manual intervention and provides insightful user analytics that really matters. With 100,000 camera analytics hours delivered to date, our clients have achieved to reduce costs of about 20%+ through automation, 15%+ more footfall leading to greater sales conversion with transformative customer engagement. All this combined with the cost-effective rate of zero Capex and no hardware vendor lock-in has made us a game-changer.
SMARG custom AI models work over live camera streams on the edge of the appliance. The edge appliance is deployed in the same network as the cameras and NVR and delivers intelligence over these existing CCTV camera feeds while ensuring that the video doesn’t leave the premise. Stakeholders can view the dashboard with statistics, explore the site configuration and see per camera roles. There can be hundreds of cameras with varying roles configured as per the site’s need. Rules and analytics available including general safety, woman and child safety, people counting and user demographics, Zone wise entry-exit, shopping conversion stats, heat maps, SOP compliances, and much more. We have enabled premises with COVID safety: covering real-time alerts for no mask, social distancing, and disinfection checks to manage premise safety with the needed control. We also have a mobile application that empowers field staff with real-time alerts for COVID safety violations and tracking field staff productivity in the management of the premises.
The Global retail analytics market size is projected at 17.84 billion dollars by 2027. CAGR of 20%+ is being forecast for India, the US, and major global economies. We have targeted a service obtainable market of about 12 million-plus USD in the next four years. We look forward to a progressive SAS-based deployment on a camera basis from 1000+ cameras marked in 2021 to about 1,00,000+ cameras conservative estimate by 2025. SMARG started with pinning hackathons to several recognitions showcasing an international trade show to successful deployments. SMARG is a recognized AI startup India company and a proud member of NVIDIA US accelerator. British high commission UK government has selected SMARGfor the act of green accelerator. We are a bootstrapped startup with 120K dollars invested into office space talent and IP. Our target is 8 million-plus with a 300% year-over-year growth rate in the next four years. These are exciting times, let’s join hands and create a better tomorrow together.
I would like to highlight a few of the associations and age traditions that we have got in SMARG. I’m delighted to share that we have showcased successfully our solution in about 15+ international trade shows so far and have done about eight to nine big projects in SMARG enabling parking and surveillance and have done some market unique pilots for Adani Ports, Mumbai GVK airport, railway stations and so on.
We have been selected by the British high commission by FCDO UK government India UK partnership as a cleantech startup under accelerating cleantech startups for the green cohort. We were also part of the UK pavilion in the New Delhi exhibition. Further, we are part of the NVIDIA US accelerator.
What is your future expansion plan within India and outside India? How are you planning to take forward?
The way we have strategized our global marketing strategy is through a channel partnership model and here in India also I’m delighted to share that we are in central India, the development center is headquartered here whereas we have a channel partner presence span India with about 9+ channel partners in India, UAE, and the UK and now we are looking to again extend this model while penetrating more into India in 2021. We are looking to scale up in other geographies like UK, US and UAE gulf areas in the next year onwards and this henceforth after a quarter and so of the COVIDand where we are looking to spawn channel partner network and under channel partner network our criteria are that the people who are working into security surveillance and parking areas who already have the right connects with the real estate players and the government players. We are trying to target their strategic tie-ups and extend our offering through them so that they can handle the projects locally while we can still focus on our innovative products and help them with the remote deployments and support.
What is your financial strategy and investment expectation to achieve the 300% annual growth rate you are expecting?
I would like to share that we are a bootstrap startup so far and we have invested about 120k USD dollars so far into precisely the development, skill development, and AI infrastructure for training and custom model creation. While we are looking to focus on the innovation, R&D part and we are also looking to scale up in terms of marketing and sales team and the channel partner management and also focusing on the project deliveries so that the deliveries are of the best quality in all the geographies. So for the same, we are definitely looking for funding opportunities as well with the right mentors and the right strategic leaders who can guide us as well as fundus for the next level of scale-up.
Any message to all your stakeholders, your customers, your channel partners, your investors, anything that you would like to say and convey through this program.
I would say that intelligent video analytics is now the need of the hour. Though AI existed for a long back in some or other form but I think this is the right era and the right wave and the direction we are getting and a number of huge cases where surveillance, security, and parking traffic, the AI is playing a pivotal role not just in India, US or UK but the whole world. So we are looking forward to the right collaborations and it is the right time to join hands.
The series is Chaired and Mentored by Dr. P. Sekhar, Chairman Unleashing India, Global Smart City Panel, MTGF.
In his concluding remark, Dr. Sekhar added SMARG is going to revolutionize advanced digital technology-driven security and surveillance. Consumer comfort and security is a big concern for surveillance The way SMARG integrated security, AI, delivery, and comfort of users is going to augment expectation from security service worldwide. SMARG with an already established international channel partner is going to go forward by leaps and bound.
The innovator Pooja Maheshwari the MD & CEO of SMARG can be contacted at the below address:
Mob: +91 99773 26001
Email: [email protected]