Team IntELCoM

NIT, Andhra Pradesh

Team IntELCoM from NIT, Andhra Pradesh is building a technology to monitor and control the consumption of electricity by appliances using the existing power lines. Their product is an intelligent switch that can be used to turn devices on or off from remote locations. The switch can also monitor and control power consumption by individual appliances. Unlike other smart switches in the market, which work via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, IntELCoM’s solution uses existing power lines and hence does not face any connectivity issues.

The product, the team believed, would find application in large buildings requiring energy management systems. Therefore, every power consumer was considered a potential customer. The team began its Customer Discovery journey by interviewing smart-home owners. They assumed that this segment could be their early adopter as Wi-Fi connectivity is still not optimal in many parts of India. However, data gathered from interviews with stakeholders indicated that mesh network-based solutions were existing in the market to address connectivity problems.

After discussions with mentors and instructors, the team turned its focus on a new segment – power distribution companies (DISCOMs). The sector faces several challenges to which the team has a potential solution at hand –monitoring and forecasting power load, reducing losses, and enforcing anti-theft measures. IntELCoM continued to study this sector even after the program ended.

The success of the I-NCUBATE program is measured by the learnings acquired by teams such as IntELCoM. By helping this early-stage startup understand who its customer is – or, rather, who isn’t – before the technology is crystallized, the I-NCUBATE program enabled the founders to perform a course correction before it was too late.