As part of our new series on TechSpeak with ValetEZ, we sat down with Smit Kant Raturi – CEO & CTO, ValetEZ, on a Sunday afternoon to find out what ValetEZ was up to, on the product innovation and technology front, to transform parking in cities.
1) What is your product and technology vision for ValetEZ?
The technology vision stems from the overall vision for ValetEZ, which is to make ‘parking efficient and easy’. One of the roadblocks in this has been the lack of technology in this sector in India and the high cost of it. We want to democratize this technology and all our product development is done keeping that in mind- our products aim to be not only latest and cutting edge but accessible cost wise to our partners deploying that technology. So our Vision has been to create an end to end plug and play platform allowing partners to manage parking inventory of any kind while giving them freedom of pricing – right from handheld devices to sensors/ cameras/ RFID/ NFC/Kiosks/QR codes
2) What are the top few innovations that ValetEZ is doing on the technology side?
Some technology areas that we are innovating in:
- Lot of parking lots in India already have some basic ‘dumb hardware’ (i.e. without any processing power) like boom barriers, RFID readers etc. We build our products keeping this in mind so that our solutions simply integrate into existing hardware without having to replace it and increase cost for our partners
- We are also trying to make the existing technology ‘smarter’ through IOT devices- ensuring that we are able to give the best technology to our partners but keep costs effective compared to imported devices
- Making the parking technology more than a ticketing system and bringing in analytics related to utilization and optimization for the parking operators
- Lastly, a critical piece is making our products work in an environment with poor internet connectivity and frequent power loss (which is common in India) and ensuring that our products can operate well in these setups
3) What keeps you and the ValetEZ tech team going?
Our motivation is to build great technology products coming out of India. We are a lean team which works hard and smart and hence are able to build cutting edge products and support our partners across hundreds of parking locations. Working on cloud technologies, building IOT systems, and solving tough technology problems every day provides an exciting challenge for us. The thought that we are making a difference in a key infrastructure aspect of the country and that it is improving because of the work that we do is a big motivator. The impact and outcomes can be seen on the ground and that keeps us going.
4) What would be your message for all tech founders starting up in India?
India has always had some of the best engineers in the world and it is time that we live up to that. It needs to reflect in the kind of products that we have built. We need to focus a lot on the technology aspect and ensure that our products are not derivative (of whatever has already been built somewhere else) but is specific to our requirements in India. Our technology products need to be much more than just repackaging of what exists – we need more creators than traders in India. And hopefully what we build here can provide a template of what people build around the world- Make in India, Make for the World.
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