I have been associated with telematics industry for more than a decade, now I am a founder of a telematics start-up, let us sit back and analyze where this industry is moving towards or what you need to do to create a scalable business model?
There is a clutter of operators mushrooming everywhere in India, but only a handpicked few understand the business model which can be a scalable and profitable, others think that they package the initial offer with exciting prices, they can scale up faster, but it is only a myth, people who have adopted this model have burnt cash and are vanishing from the industry. Predominantly this industry works on SAAS model, unless we engage customers by adding value to their operations we will not be able to sustain this model. Gone are the days of tracking vehicles, now the USP is business intelligence, lower cost & increase safety. The reliability of the blackbox is another question, according to me very few manufacturers deliver a quality Blackbox and I have seen operators look at only price point for buying hardware and end up bleeding. Some of the service providers think this industry is about selling blackboxes, and they don’t invest in designing and developing applications, I can assuredly tell one thing, if the operators are not going to design & develop their own applications, it is equal to a suicide mission and when consolidation is happening in this industry it will be a natural death for them. I can only say that this category of operators have a short term vision and lost sight of long term.
We need to think differently to take this telematics industry to the next level, globally I can see the movement of operators from the black box to mobile based technologies, which is easily scalable and no headaches of inventory, maintenance, manpower etc. It is the only mindset of certain operators that telematics works only works well with blackboxes, even my own co-founder used to say years back that mobiles cannot be used in telematics due to driver behavior, the in-vehicle environment etc, see how UBER has revolutionized using mobile-based technology with telematic tools. Times are changing and we need to adapt or perish.
I think with smart mobiles becoming affordable, today it is a great way to move forward and scale your businesses. The mobiles can do a lot of things which your blackbox cannot even think of and with the advent of mobile technologies, the dreams of telematicians like me are coming good, yes the blackboxes are going to be around for a while as long as the statutory mandate of Government is standing and for some niche segments, but otherwise I feel that this industry should learn from the past mistakes and look forward with great hopes. Telematics as an Industry is going to be the blue eyed boy of industry watchers, what we are seeing is the tip of the iceberg, wait for the volcano to erupt.
Mr. Antony Sheen
Founder & CEO