In the latest of our Q&As with the innovators selected for Energy Australia’s inaugural Startupbootcamp program, we talk to Umesh Bhutoria, founder and CEO of EnergyTech Ventures. Bhutoria argues that companies in a multitude of sectors could dramatically increase their profits by crunching their data with algorithms such as those being developed by EnergyTech.
Unlike many of the teams in the Startupbootcamp, EnergyTech Ventures is not developing hardware or software. Can you explain your output to us?
That’s correct: we’re not developing any hardware or any platform. Instead, we’re creating sector-specific algorithms to help our customers – who operate in energy-intensive industrial and commercial sectors – leverage the data that they have. We’re giving them actionable insights with which they can improve their energy productivity. It’s simply an intelligent suite of codes that can help companies make decisions to improve their energy productivity.
Do your customers need programs to run these algorithms and display the results?
All they need is an API – an application programming interface, which exists on almost every computer – and a visualisation tool to display the results. If a client doesn’t have a visualisation platform, we can source one, but most clients do. We try to integrate our product with our clients’ existing systems so they don’t need to make any additional investments.
Can you provide an example of a company that might benefit from this?
For instance, we’re currently working with a large hospital in Australia that has access to a lot of data from its building-management system and its energy provider, but that data is going unutilised – no one looks at it. What we’ve done is develop a suite of algorithms which can process that data without any human intervention. We’re collecting the hospital’s data in real time and using the algorithms to return insights about what it can do to reduce energy costs and prevent the failure of key assets.
How beneficial could data-crunching be for industrial and commercial companies?
Take the manufacturing sector: according to a recent report by McKinsey, manufacturing companies are only leveraging 20 to 30 per cent of the potential value of their data. But not all sectors are equally bad. Oil, gas, mining and cement have longer histories of collecting data and are therefore slightly better than, say, food processing, textiles and other more conventional sectors.
You’re currently headquartered in Calcutta. Has participating in the Startupbootcamp been an effective way to learn about industrial and commercial companies here in Australia?
More than that, it’s given us a perspective shift: we’ve now started to think a lot more global than we were initially. I’m glad to share that we’ve decided to shift our headquarters to Melbourne in the next couple of months. India will remain a focus market, but our headquarters will be in Australia.