Commercial vehicle companies that own large fleets face immense challenges in managing the same. There are several issues such as poor driving, pilferage of goods and fuel and absence of real time vehicle information which leads to a lot of operational inefficiencies and safety concerns.
But with technologies such as IoT, the job can be optimised and made simpler. And that is what Hyderabad-based T-Hub startup ‘IoT Research Labs’ (IoTrl) has set out to do.
“We aim to address all the problems that fleet managers/owners face on a daily basis such as pilferage and asset under-utilisation with the help of our comprehensive solutions. A lot of times even after knowing the issue, the managers or firms are not able to take appropriate action because of the lack of data. With our reports and analytics, we address this concern,” says co-founder Thanmai Duvalla.
Founded in 2015, IoT Research Labs is an IoT powered, analytics driven, fleet management startup. It offers various end-to-end solutions for fleet management such as fuel monitoring, temperature monitoring, employee monitoring, school bus monitoring and RFID/Biometric Integration. This is done through sensors that are placed on different parts of a vehicle. The customer is then given the IoTrl application with a dashboard that helps monitor the fleet and access data on it.
IoTrl claims that post the onboarding process, there is a continuous dialogue between the startup and the customer. The idea is to give commercial vehicle companies insightful reports and analytics and help them make data-driven business decisions.
Its GPS tracking feature helps companies keep track of their fleet. It provides the fleet’s whereabouts, its fuel usage and even idling time. It helps safe-guard the assets on the vehicles, by limiting the vehicles movement to a fixed area with intelligent Geo-fences.
It also has a driver-score system, which generates a score based on driver performance by analysing parameters such as average mileage, idling times, optimal route usage, harsh braking and harsh acceleration, and other critical parameters. This helps in ensuring that the driver adheres to safe driving practices, the company says.
And apart from just information, it also generates relevant reports to interpret the data and help save costs.
Co-founder Deekshith Duvalla says that the business is customisable to every customer’s requirement. “We have an in-depth discussion with the customer to understand his needs and requirements and then fine-tune our solution accordingly. We not only suggest the appropriate hardware device, but also customise our software features to provide the required analytics and reports,” he adds.
The company works on Software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, where it charges a company an annual fee for the software.
It currently has over 70 customers across India and a few in Nigeria as well. Thanmai says that there is interest coming in from across the globe and across industries.
Although IoT-based tracking is currently a fairly crowded market with several players that provide tracking solutions, Thanmai says that their customer-centric solution sets them apart.
“We go much beyond tracking and provide insightful reports and analytics which helps businesses make data driven decisions. Our solutions are scalable and we also provide API integration with the ERP/SAP. Our solutions have proven to have a 10-15% impact on the bottom line of a lot of firms,” he adds.
Given the traction that IoT Research Labs is seeing, the startup is looking to soon expand its client base across the globe.
It is also in the process of incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to enhance reporting insights and gamification.
Not limiting itself to just the commercial vehicle industry, the startup is coming up with industry specific solutions.
“Our varied services can cater to almost any industry such as FMCG, cold storage, cement, waste management, mining, cement etc,” Thanmai adds.
A testament to the traction that IoT Research Labs is seeing is the fact that the startup has already reached operational breakeven.
The road ahead now is to establish a global presence and eventually become market leaders in this segment, Thanmai says.