Startups
Ayasta uses data to monitor the electrical grid within a facility to identify any anomalies.

A Fortune 500 Oil and Gas company in India had to bear an expense Rs 2 crore, due to the periodic failure of their equipment. The actual cause of the failures turned out to be an old dot matrix printer, which was causing the failure of other equipment. 

This discovery was made by Ravi Teja Avasarala, Saideep Reddy K and Raghu Kumar M, who were working with the company on a proof of concept, working on IoT modules for transformers to create predictive maintenance models out of it. Applying these learnings helped them figure out what was causing the failure of the equipment.

“What is universally ignored is the interconnected nature of the electrical grid, especially within a given facility. There is a potential for one particular equipment to adversely affect other equipment, as is the case with our first customer. Electrical is not considered a data-driven environment. We want to change that,” Ravi Teja says.

This made them realise the core need of the customer--using data to monitor the electric grid in a given facility to detect anomalies and avoid failures.

They began working on this proof of concept with the same customer and eventually carried out a pilot to validate their idea. After working on it for a year, they started attending expos in January 2017 to talk to more companies and understand use cases. That’s when they realised the need for monitoring system or equipment failures was not limited to any particular industry, and that their product could create value across sectors.

In March 2017, they officially founded their company Ayasta.

In simple terms, Ayasta digitises the electrical grid within a facility to identify any anomalies that arise. Based on the analysis of said anomalies, customers are alerted to avoid any potential failure of equipment. This helps a company manage its maintenance process better. 

“In any facility, say a pharma facility, if there is an issue in an equipment at one step, it can cause the entire production to stop. And the reason for failure is mostly because of electrical issues, which can be avoided with real-time data,” Saideep says, adding that any such fault needs to be dissipated to avoid a security risk, such as an electric shockot just equipment failure but also accidents and even deaths in certain cases.

They have built a proprietary technology platform for this called CEGMA. CEGMA stands for Converged Electrical Grid Monitoring and Analysis.

There are two core offerings--CEGMA Earth and CEGMA Node. 

CEGMA Earth is about monitoring leakage current that arises in the earth of a facility. By using leakage as an indicator, potential problems in the facility are identified. “It's like doing an ECG for the facility,” Ravi Teja says.

Improper earthing can damage electrical, electronic and networking equipment, leading to partial or total shut down of a business or an SBU.

CEGMA Node goes one step further and captures load, current, harmonics and reactive current data at each and every node. It helps understand and pin point specific anomalies and problematic equipment in an electric grid.

And how does it do this?

In a given facility, it provides the customer with devices with a bunch of sensors that are connected to the earthing and to sockets at various points in the facility. Through a culmination of sensors, software, machine learning and computer vision, the device sends data to the cloud server, which is monitored by Ayasta on a portal created by them. 

This data predicts failure events even before they happen. Any current leakage than usual would trigger alerts through email, SMS and a call, in case immediate action is required. This avoids equipment failures for companies and increases their return on investment by reducing the system downtime.

Revenue generation

These devices are assembled in Hyderabad and typically a device costs around Rs 50,000 a piece.

When catering to a client, Ayasta has two pricing models. Under the capital expenditure model, customers procure hardware from the company and are charged as per an annual maintenance contract for the software and the alerts sent.

Another model is where Ayasta enter into a contract–typically for 60 months–and charges the customers a fixed amount per device per month.

For the first year, the software is given for free and only the device is charged for. Charges for the software are levied post the first year of the contract.  

Since launch, Ayasta has garnered three big-ticket customers and has installed around 100 devices so far. It is also in the process of conducting a proof of concept for four more clients.

It has its installations spread across South India and is constantly participating in various exhibitions to reach out of potential clients.

It currently works out of its incubator T-Hub in Hyderabad.

“Within the first 45 days of being on board T-Hub, we were exposed to a lot of high profile events, relevant customers and even a few investors. T-Hub has accelerated our company significantly. We also got to participate in events in Silicon Valley and Berlin, which opened up opportunities for our offerings abroad,” says Saideep.

In fact, Ayasta’s visit to the US and Europe made them realise that this offering is not only relevant in India but also in Europe and the US. 

Started with an investment of Rs 50 lakh, Ayasta is now in the midst of closing a round of funding.

And what works really for Ayasta is the fact that it is operating in a very niche space with no competition.

“Our focus on capturing data that does not yet exist makes us unique. Our patented system helps us maintain the edge over any potential rivals,” Ravi Teja says.

With their US and Europe visits giving them a perspective of the international markets, Ayasta is now looking to expand outside India to figure out what problems it could solve. They say that being a startup, they have a more diverse customer base. 

It is already seeing good traction from prospective clients and hopes to close two to three big deals by the end of 2017. If that goes as planned, Ayasta hopes to break even by the end of FY18.

In the long term, the seven-member team wants to establish itself as a leading provider of proactive systems in the electrical space.

“We want to gather as much data as possible to build reliable models that help our customers predict and prevent failures,” Saideep says.

This article has been produced with inputs from T-Hub as a part of a partner program.

This article has been produced with inputs from T-Hub as a part of a partner program.