“India can be a big market for us, especially given its improving technology landscape”

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Jerry Cheng, supervisory specialist, Askey Computer Corp.

The adoption of smart devices is increasing exponentially across the globe. The Indian ecosystem is gearing up for smart city solutions, connected automotives and narrowband (NB) IoT applications. This transition has caught the interest of foreign investors. Jerry Cheng, supervisory specialist, Askey Computer Corp., talks to Paromik Chakraborty of the EFY Group about how the firm views the Indian market and its expansion plans.

EB: Tell us about your range of smart solutions.
We are a B2B solutions company that started off as a broadband devices manufacturer. Now we have expanded into the domain of smart solutions. We provide smart kiosks for smart city applications like bus schedule updates, local weather reports, important public information, advertisements, and so on. Soon we plan to add purchase and transaction features.

In the smart navigation segment, we provide software applications to help tourists and commuters navigate easily within a certain area. For instance, the Taipei Main Station is a large place which can often be confusing and difficult to navigate. We have designed an app for the Taipei Main Station.

We have recently started offering NB-IoT solutions too. For example, we have built a panic button for emergencies and for aiding the elderly, which uses NB-IoT or LTE to send signals and alerts in real-time. We have an NB-IoT smart dashcam for cars that can help in better driving. It comes with a SIM module to run on LTE. The camera can send telemetry data, navigation data and driver data in real-time. It is one of our flagship product offerings. We also provide smart metering solutions and IIoT services.

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EB: Tell us more about the different applications of the car dashcam.
It is mainly intended for transportation and fleet management applications. The dashcam can provide real-time location and navigation routes of the vehicle, provide health analysis of the vehicle and can help analyse the driver’s experience and behaviour. It allows fleet owners to manage their vehicles properly and take timely decisions on things like vehicle insurance requirements, fuel cost optimisation, service improvements, etc. The cam also comes with an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS).

EB: How do you reach out to the target customer group for these cams?
We reach out to organisations that require vehicle management solutions. Most transportation service companies do not have monitoring systems for their cars, which leads to major financial and operational problems. They can use these technologies in their business. Moreover, big automakers often need customisation for their vehicles if they have to provide cars on a B2B basis to any organisation. That is where we come in too.

EB: Where can customers store their data while using your services?
We have our own cloud platform for the purpose. We also partner with companies like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft to bring in their cloud capabilities. In this way, we cater to all kinds of customer requirements with respect to data. All the data is stored and analysed on the cloud.

EB: Are you doing business in India?
We are not too active in India at the moment. We have a few customers from India, who we are catering to currently. But the business volumes are very low.

EB: Do you have any plans to expand your business here?
Definitely! We are highly interested to explore and grow in the Indian market. India can be a big market for us, especially given its improving technology landscape and the increasing use of smart applications.

EB: Are there any business projections or targets that you may have in mind for India?
We have started to think about our plans for the Indian market, but we have not delved deep enough to have made any specific projections.

EB: Are you looking for distributors or partners for the Indian market?
Yes, we are looking for distributors who have technical expertise in NB-IoT and smart products, and have strong B2B connects. Having a good local presence will be an added advantage to expand quickly into the local markets. We will also be looking for manufacturing partners in India. That will help us develop our products
locally and reach the market quickly.

EB: How are you supporting your customers in India at the moment?
We have a customer support team in Noida that takes care of the services and technical support for our customers there.

EB: Do you have any plans for setting up an office in India soon?
We have not planned for any office units at the moment. However, once we understand the market better and have made some business connects, we will consider the possibility of doing this.

EB: Where are you manufacturing your products?
We have a manufacturing facility in Suzou, China. However, we do not manufacture the chips. We are using Qualcomm chips for our products.

EB: What upgrades have you planned for your products?
Taiwan has traditionally been a hardware hotspot. Our hardware is quite strong and of satisfactory quality. At the moment, we aim to improve our software features to sync them better with our hardware so that we can cater to more business cases.

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