Affordability is important for growth of home automation in India: Virang Jhaveri, Picostone


Home automation, a 4 decade old industry in India, was limited to its utilization by HNIs (High Network Individuals) and office spaces with affordability being one of the main reasons for the slow growth of this segment. With the growth of technology, and specifically mobile technology, home automation industry has now moved from wire technology to wireless technology with many startups, today, are working towards making this segment affordable for the common man.

Picostone, an app based home automation solutions provider, is working towards building affordable and durable products that are energy efficient. This startup recently raised INR 5 crore from Metaform Ventures LLC along with other India based angel investors.

Manish Joshi from NewsBarons spoke with Virang Jhaveri and Niket Sarvaiya, Founders of Picostone Tech (P) Limited on the role and growth avenues for Home automation in India, wherein, Virang informed ‘The role of technology is to improve human efficiency with the aim of saving energy, time and money’.

Virang Jhaveri Founders of Picostone Tech (P) Limited
Virang Jhaveri, Co-founder of Picostone Tech (P) Limited

NB: Brief us on Picostone?

Virang: Picostone is a smart home automation startup that focuses on affordable home automation solutions that are easy to install and use. Our vision with Picostone is energy management through affordable home automation solutions.

Picostone products provide remote access and control of all home appliances like Air Conditioners, Television, Set-Top Box, Lights, Fans, Geysers, Motors and Curtains through their app and it can easily be integrated with Amazon Alexa and Google assistant to further enhance the experience.

The focus is on building a robust software, hardware and integrated platform to manage energy resources that is accessible to average middle income homes across the globe, where energy savings matter the most. The entire Hardware and the Software stack is built, developed, designed and engineered by us, and nothing is outsourced to China. This is a Made in India product.

NB: What has been the experience so far?

Virang: We have seen month-on-month growth and in a period of nearly 18 months, we have successfully tapped into the B2B and B2C segment with our two products, Basic and Polar, focusing on building a strong distribution network across 21 cities in India.

Affordability will play an important role in the growth of home automation technology in India coupled with ease of use, product monitoring & control and monetary savings.

We are working towards making affordable, durable and energy efficient home automation products that can be easily integrated into the existing system.

Product Highlights:
  • Made in India - The entire Hardware and the Software stack is built, developed, designed and engineered by us, and nothing is outsourced to China.
  • Affordable – Energy efficient products the product are priced affordable and easy to install.
  • Design and Engineering principles - The products are designed and engineered with keeping the user at the center of the process. The deployment, installation and the ease of use is our primary goal.
  • Technology – Wi-fi based technology for ease of use.

NB: Tell us about your B2B foray?

Virang: We have been in discussion with a large number of leading developers across India for integration of home automation in their final product. Developers were also looking at improving their end user delivery proposal part from the regular set of internal and external amenities. While most of leading developers were open to the acceptance of technology, they were vary of passing on the additional cost of home automation products, installation and maintenance to the end users. With Picostone, we provided them the assurance of quality and affordable products with long term maintenance facility. We have already completed pilot projects with few developers and are now working with them as regular partners on their new projects.

Niket Sarvaiya, Founders of Picostone Tech (P) Limited
Niket Sarvaiya, Co-founder of Picostone Tech (P) Limited

NB: Tell us about your products:

Niket: We have two major products: The Basic and The Polar.

The Basic:

This little compact device fits behind any switchboard and allows control of any four devices that follow our technical specifications like tube lights, fans, dimmable and non-dimmable LEDs. The product requires 15 minutes for installation and one can control devices from any part of the globe using the smart phone.
Basic also provides usage statistics of appliances so that one can schedule the device to its best possible performance while also monitoring it.

Polar with IR stones:

Polar comes with RF based IR stones that can help to control every remote controlled device. The Polar also controls your TV, Set top boxes, audio systems and any other remote controlled (IR based) devices and provides usage statistics as well.

NB: How are you looking at utilizing the raised funds?

Niket: We are looking at further improving and increasing our product offerings and introducing new app based home automation products in the coming months.
We are also working towards strengthening and further developing our distribution network across Tier I & II locations.