“Give us your M2M problem, and we will offer a solution”

With a primary focus on machine-to-machine(M2M) solutions, Maven systems has been providing hardware, embedded and web or mobile-based products and services since 2009. To tell us about what makes their company tick, we have Dhananjay Kulkarni chief operating officer(COO), Maven Systems Pvt Ltd, in conversation with Abhimanyu Rathore of EFY.

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Dhananjay Kulkarni chief operating officer(COO), Maven Systems Pvt Ltd
Dhananjay Kulkarni chief operating officer(COO), Maven Systems Pvt Ltd

Q. What is your organisation’s unique selling proposition(USP) for electronics design?
A. Simply put, we provide reliable electronics comparable with European or American counterparts, at a fraction of the cost. In addition, our deep knowledge of Indian needs and interfaces allows us to provide customised hardware at an affordable price. The focus has been on developing electronics and solutions for wireless machine-to-machine(M2M)/Internet of Things(IoT). Our solutions include light controlling modules for wireless light emitting diodes(LEDs), global positioning system(GPS)-enabled vehicle tracking devices, remote engine monitoring devices for construction mining equipment, generators and many others. Maven has developed solutions, which on one hand are wearable and sleek, while on the other hand being robust, reliable and able to sustain harsh environmental conditions.

Q. What are the key technologies you are working on?
A. Wireless technologies is the key focus area. Maven has developed 50+ hardware boards designed for ZigBee, WiFi, Bluetooth, radio frequency(RF), GPS, global system for mobile communications/general packet radio service(GSM/GPRS), video and audio, in the arenas of smart metering, lighting, M2M communications, telematics, remote monitoring and medical electronics, to name a few.

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Q. Which of these technologies do you specialise in? What are the niche industry applications you focus on?
A. Our specialities are sub-1 GHz RF modules for street lighting and smart metering, heavy equipment or diesel generator monitoring modules and a first-of-its-kind Bluetooth-enabled remote monitoring solution for underground mining equipment.
We focus on niche applications like cloud-connected automatic lighting control, cloud-connected parking management solutions and remote monitoring for construction and mining equipment.

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Q. What are the major circuit or system design projects you are currently working on?
A. We have undergoing projects like Bluetooth low energy(BLE)-enabled wearable temperature patches and wearable electrocardiogram(ECG) monitoring, lighting automation, Bluetooth, WiFi or GSM-enabled construction and mining equipment monitoring.

Q. Could you tell us about your partners and customers?
A. We have silicon partners like Texas Instruments(TI), Atmel, Microchip and Cypress for getting the best microcontrollers and system-on-chips(SoCs) for various applications. We have customers in 17 countries, with more than two-thirds of our revenue coming from abroad.

Q. Can you name some of your leading international clients and the kind of work you have done for them?
A. We have rendered hardware design services and driver development focused on power line communication for Cypress, enterprise and smart phone apps to enable online shopping for NTT data and hardware design services for Maxim Integrated. We have worked with iMedkey for medical electronics and Pacific Controls for industrial automation.

Q. Can you also name some of your leading Indian clients and the kind of projects you have done for them?
A. We have developed diesel generator monitoring solutions for Cummins India, heavy equipment monitoring like excavators and wheel loaders for Larsen and Toubro(L&T) and automated lighting and metering solutions for Philips and Landis+Gyr, respectively. We have also worked on projects like smart or connected cars with TATA motors, wireless automation for Johnson Controls and vehicle infotainment, smart metering and wireless automation for KPIT.

Q. What is your marketing strategy to reach to global clients? How about Indian clients?
A. We have an inside sales and marketing team that finds out global contacts to find out a pool of leads. Mailers and calls are then arranged to qualify the leads and they are processed further. It is more or less the same for Indian clients too.

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Q. How do you see the IoT phenomenon? Do you see it driving business growth for India’s independent design houses(IDHs) or is it more of a marketing gimmick?
A. The IoT is indeed great and has enormous potential. It is not at all a gimmick because of the value-adds the customers get in terms of saving operational costs and bettering preventive maintenance.

Q. What can kind of projects does your team work on, in the IoT arena?
A. Our key areas of operations are automated lighting, smart metering, heavy equipment or asset monitoring, vehicle tracking and field force tracking. Other areas where we offer services are wearables, wireless connections, medical electronics, audio or video, and lifestyle, GPS related personal tracking applications.

Q. How many design engineers do you have? Would you be recruiting in the coming 12 months?
A. We have around 15 engineers who design circuits. We are looking at recruiting trainees, and engineers with upto 10 years of experience.

Q. Do you hire freshers? What are your expectations from candidates?
A. We hire freshers who are graduates from information technology(IT) or electronics stream. We look for candidates from all institutes and provide training. We find that freshers these days are ignoring programming basics like data structures and algorithms to a great extent. This could probably be because high-level languages offer basic data structures and algorithms in a ready-made fashion. We urge freshers not to lose focus on their basics but to build a strong foundation.


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