AI and IoT is not a buzzword anymore, feels many industry experts. This is because it is commencing a new market same as what cellular devices have done for seamless communication. These days, people are dependent on real-time information and not on historical records. Technology helps the availability of accurate information anytime and anywhere. But, some industry experts also opine that India is very slow in adopting innovative technologies when compared to Australia, US, Europe, and other Asian countries like China, Taiwan, and Vietnam. There is a requirement for a huge investment in AI and IoT technologies to get rid of the impediments. For a better understanding of the sector, we spoke to Dinesh Patkar, Director-India, Quectel about the bigger barriers India is facing in deploying cutting-edge AI and IoT solutions, the growth ratio the country is expecting in the coming years, and many more imperative aspects.
Q. When compared to other developed countries, what are the basic problems faced by India in deploying AI and IoT solutions?
If you look at it from the perspective of challenges, India’s geography is very large, the population is also huge and hence, it is very difficult to reach out to the last mile and in the remotest areas. AI and IoT is a new domain and new technology. So, probably the main challenge is the country’s huge geography. Maybe we need to educate the people on these things collectively as a society and on the ecosystem for the advantages and the values that need to be brought into the end-users, customers, the industry, and to the consumers, which also could be a bigger challenge.
Q. Where does India currently stand in this ecosystem?
If you look at the global perspective, India has taken a lead in terms of numbers, but in terms of percentage and penetration, we are still below the bar. Ideally, that also gives me a positive sight that we have a huge market that needs to be explored. We have huge markets and India is absolutely in the niche stage and everything has to get connected like our ACs, equipment, consumer durables, and vehicles. We need data to check what is happening, and whether the vehicles are running properly or not. Data is going to be crucial and it would be very good if we can make data connected to the IoT. Once, if data starts coming to us then probably we can run some AI engines, and then one can have their own studies based on that. The other side is we are still in the niche stage, we have a niche market there is a tremendous scope for us to grow.
Q. What is the growth ratio you are expecting in this segment in India in the coming years?
In terms of exact numbers, I cannot say, but one thing I can tell you is that India is going to have exponential growth in this market in the coming two years, the volume would definitely explode. I can see the way things are happening like new companies are coming, industries are getting explored, new ideas, new innovations, and new start-ups, and all these will help the industry to grow.
Q. What does India need to do to become globally competitive in this segment? Which are the countries leading the race?
First of all, India is a global country and we are serving our customers across the continents right from ANZ, North America, Latin America, Europe, South Africa, Israel, and also in the Asia Pacific. What I have known from this market is that more developments are happening on the North American continent and of course Europe. But, no doubt of the fact that North America is leading in new technologies. The mainland IoT is having a huge volume explosion in those countries, every device is connected, and a huge volume of street lights, vehicles, and meters are being connected. So, the growth is huge in North America, China’s domestic market, and Europe.
Q. What Quectel stands for and why was it founded?
Our company was founded a decade back in 2011 in Shanghai (China) and I have been associated with Quectel for the last ten years. We wish to make the world smarter and wish to make the world more interactive, and more knowledgeable. So, our theme, and our vision is to make the world smarter and interconnected.
Q. Can you please highlight some of your current solutions and products, which you think will be a game-changer in the industry?
We have been continuously innovating things. We work with start-ups and with industries and basically, we are component vendors hence we work with this industry that brings a system of innovation. So, there are various products like we talk about vehicles, C-V2X, and AI engines. Primarily, we are into cellular and communication and we are getting into GNSS modules and antennas as well. In addition, we are into connectivity as well and we have highly diverse portfolios. We are trying to serve the major industry and we will see how effectively we can serve our customers as possible. We will follow the industry and now everybody is talking about 5G. So, 5G and automotive are one of our key focus areas for Quectel. We are focusing deeply on automotive-related products and most of the vehicles you see on the road are now having C-V2X technology, vehicle-to-infrastructure, and vehicle-to-vehicle, and we will have a particular focus on connectivity in automotive. 5G has already been rolled out in many countries. For India, the auction has already happened and the rollout is going to happen very soon. From our perspective, we look at 5G and automotive as more focused areas and in addition, we are looking at the metering as well. We will see a huge deployment in the near future.