Sudheesh Narayanan – A Leader Accelerating the AI Revolution

Knowledge Lens is an Indian & US-based technology trendsetter providing its clients with actionable business insights, leveraging our expertise in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Industrial IoT & Big Data Analytics. With absolutely no VC funding, Knowledge Lens is in its eighth successful year and they have been focused on accelerating the business transformation for 3000+ customers worldwide, including several Fortune 500 companies in the US. Knowledge Lens has successfully transformed companies into Smart Enterprises by implementing Next Generation Enterprise Data Lakes, AI-Powered Intelligent Apps, and Industry 4.0 solutions both on-premise and cloud.

An ace leader Mr. Sudheesh Narayanan, CEO at Knowledge Lens, is the backbone behind Knowledge Lens’s long-standing success. Under his innovative and 360-degrees futuristic vision, the highly skilled team of professionals at the knowledge lens is striving hard and smart to transform their client’s businesses.

In a conversation with Mr. Sudheesh, we discussed the current industry scenario and how Knowledge Lens is empowering its clients with top-notched solutions.

  • Which was that point that triggered the growth of Knowledge Lens?

An important milestone that we achieved was working with the Government of India to build a National Air Quality network for monitoring and analysis of AQI levels across India.

We pioneered the design, development, and built a Real-Time Environmental Pollution Control suite to help Indian Regulators enforce regulations on various industries and violators. Today, the solution GLens handles the pollution analysis and control for the Government of India with 70% of industries (i.e., approx. 3000 industries), securing a truly premier position in the country’s environment space.

GLens was recognized among the NASSCOM Emerge 50 products and is internationally recognized today as the MCERTS certified solution.

Most recently, we signed an MoU for Digital Mining powered by IoT, with the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research- Central Institute of Mining & Fuel Research (CSIR-CIMFR), an autonomous government body and India’s largest R&D institute, dedicated to enhancing the entire coal-energy chain from mining to consumption.

Knowledge Lens has also recently signed a strategic alliance partnership deal with Geovale Services for Digital Transformation solutions in Mining, River Monitoring, Water Management & Monitoring industries.

  • How have Knowledge Lens graphs changed since the foundation? Can you share a few statistics?

We have had a successful growth rate that has doubled Year-on-Year. Our business model is entirely self-sustained, with absolutely no dependency on VC funding. And this model has proven to be revenue-generating and profitable for us because of our tech-driven, employee-first approach.

  • What is the reason behind Knowledge Lens’s long-standing success?

We believe that our most valuable asset is our people. At the core of our, DNA is our focus on building trust, gaining customer loyalty, and the mission to touch the lives of every Indian. Time and again, we have pivoted our brand strategy to create a long-term impact in India. Our Pollution Monitoring, Environment Monitoring, National AQI Analysis & Industrial IoT solutions have helped us build a pan India presence.

We have strong partnerships with industry leaders in management consulting, biotechnology, and industrial automation. Our USP is the speed of delivery and customer-centric approach, due to which we have provided a lasting impact through our endeavors with Manufacturing, Energy & Utilities, Pharmaceutical companies, Pollution Control Boards, and several government bodies in India & the Middle East. Our deep domain expertise also enables us to evolve as per the changing business landscape.

  • What are the products/services Knowledge Lens focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market?

Our key differentiator has been our product simplicity and customer-focused experience. We focus all our products from a business outcome perspective and every feature is built considering the priority of our customers. This has always helped to evolve the product as per the needs of our customers and thus has created relevance of the product in the market.

Our Product “GLens” is our Real-time Environment Data Acquisition, Monitoring, and Analytics Platform currently live in 3000+ industries in India across industry segments such as Oil & Gas Refinery, Cement, Pulp & Paper, Fertilizers, Power, Sugar, Manufacturing, and Agriculture.  It provides a simplified view for our customers to meet environmental compliance and regulatory needs. It enables customers to connect various makes of OEM products in a single window and do compliance monitoring. Apart from this, by leveraging AI we have been able to provide early warning indicators on exceedances to our customers; this has helped them to take proactive steps to control their exceedance and thus, avoid penalties from the regulators.

Our premier Industrial IoT solution, iLens addresses the Industry 4.0 demands with capabilities including Interface Connectivity, Edge Analytics, Asset Efficiency, Vision and Predictive Analytics leveraging AI, Machine Learning (ML) & Deep Learning (DL) accelerators. iLens is currently powering automation, manufacturing, energy, and utility companies. iLens provides early warning alerts on machine downtimes and thus helps save millions of dollars for the manufacturer by eliminating downtime and enabling more of a controlled downtime. Our Vision Analytics solution has been effective in bringing accuracy in Quality Control, thus enriching our customers’ product quality and eliminating wastage. Our efficiency monitoring app provides proactive alerts on any potential efficiency drops and thus providing early warnings to the operators.

Our Product “MLens” provides a very unique value to our customers who are looking for cloud migration where they can perform a cloud assessment in less than a day and come with the required effort and plan for planning their migration. Also, MLens quickly enables both data and workload migration to accelerate the cloud migration journey for our customers.

Knowledge Lens has strong partnerships with industry leaders such as Microsoft Azure, Databricks, and Informatica for Data, AI & Cloud modernization projects.  Through our deep technical collaboration with the Intel AI Builders innovation team, we developed an Intel-compatible AI model architecture and used the Intel Open VINO toolkit to optimize inference performance and efficient use of hardware on Intel® Xeon® Cascade Lake.

Knowledge Lens is an ISO 9001, ISO 27001, CMMI, MCERTS certified company and has been recognized by CIO Insider, NASSCOM, and CIO Review for our excellence.

  • How do you decide to take Knowledge Lens a step further in terms of your products/services?

Artificial Intelligence-Led Innovations in the space of Industrial IoT that enables Connected Factory and Connected Workers are going to be the primary roadmap for Knowledge Lens.

We aim to bring the power of Digital to Small and Medium Manufacturers across the world and bring in a significant change in how they do business in the coming year. Improving their operational efficiency, enhancing quality control in their manufacturing processes, and enabling Predictive Maintenance is on the top of our roadmap. Our innovative and agile business models to achieve a cost-effective business outcome will always keep us ahead of the game.

  • How has technology transformed the traditional way of business?

We believe that data is the new oil. Successful enterprises are the ones that leverage the power of data to create a competitive difference. We play the crucial role of transforming this data into actionable business insights. Through our deep expertise in Big Data Analytics, AI, Industrial IoT & Blockchain, we have enabled several enterprises to digitally transform their operations.

In the years to come, Data Science & AI will have an even larger role to play in enterprises’ path to success. The need of the hour is innovative solutions coupled with deep domain expertise. Our brand DNA of ‘doing the impossible’ and redefining accepted standards of digital innovation has helped us pioneer this new wave of digital business transformation.

  • Can you please brief us about your professional experience?

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Knowledge Lens. Over the past 7 years, we have established Knowledge Lens as an established brand in the industry. 

Having 20+ years of hands-on experience in Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Cloud Platform Management, PaaS product development, and technical expertise in Spark, Hadoop, and HBase, we have enabled Cloud and Big Data adoption within several enterprises. At Knowledge Lens, I have conceptualized and built multiple products in Big Data, Cloud, and IoT including iLens, GLens, MLens, and Fluxa.

I don many hats at Knowledge Lens – Artificial Intelligence Researcher, Big Data Strategist, Lead Solution Architect, and Chief Product Architect. I have also authored the book “Securing Hadoop”, published articles on Big Data and Cloud Management, and have secured patents for Big Data and Cloud Orchestration.

  • What are the key achievements of your entrepreneurial journey?
  • 2014- Knowledge Lens was launched
  • 2015- We launched our first product – GLens
  • 2016- Awarded with the NASSCOM Emerge 50 product.
  • 2017- Recognized by CIO Review as one of the Top 20 Most Promising Big Data Solution Providers.
  • 2017- Established office in Thousand Oaks, California, US.
  • 2018- GLens became MCERTS certified.
  • 2018- NABL accredited GLens Innovation Labs established in Chennai.
  • 2019- Established office in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.
  • 2019- Recognized as one of India’s Most Admired Data Solution Providers by White Page India and featured on India Today.
  • 2020- Certified as Great Place to Work 2020-21.
  • 2020- Recognized as one of the Top 10 Industrial IoT Solution Providers by CIO Insider for our iLens- Industry 4.0 solution.
  • 2020- Signed an MoU for Digital Mining powered by IoT, with CSIR-CIMFR.
  • 2021- Signed a strategic alliance partnership deal with Geovale Services for Digital Transformation solutions in Mining, River Monitoring, Water Management & Monitoring industries.
  • 2021- Became a Gold Partner of Microsoft Azure.
  • 2021- 400+ employees in the KL family.
  • How do you look after your employees? What makes your team unique?

We consider our employees as our family members. Competency and R&D in new technologies have been one of the key priorities for the organization.  We encourage them to foster a spirit of learning, building, and sharing. We provide incentives for taking certifications on cutting-edge technology. We provide a flexible environment for employees to experiment and conduct R&D. There is no limit on the financial budget for any of the R&D efforts undertaken by employees. We follow the philosophy of doing the right thing always. For our employees, this means that the sky is the limit in terms of learning opportunities and skills enhancement.

We make sure to keep our employees engaged through weekly team-building games & activities held at our offices, including the teams connecting remotely. We also have an Annual Celebration where we recognize the efforts of our employees. This is a great opportunity for employees across all our locations to come together for the celebration.

At the core of our philosophy is the principle of wealth sharing with our employees, which enables mutual growth and success. This keeps our young and vibrant team motivated to take up new and challenging opportunities for growth.

  • Is there any special experience with your clients you would like to highlight?

We are serving Fortune 500 companies in Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing, Industrial Automation, Retail, and Utility verticals.

There are multiple instances of customer success stories that have created a good industry reputation for us. Once, a prominent industrial automation company approached us for their electronic manufacturing requirement. One of the solutions which we brought for them was making predictions on their machines. From identifying the quality issues on the production side of things to intervening to make sure that the operators are well alerted before any quality issues came up—we helped them achieve all these deliverables.

For another Pharmaceutical major, we deployed an AI-based system that recommended critical parameters to enhance their batch yield. For a leading manufacturing firm, we have incorporated a complete Digital Twin model of their manufacturing line, enabling them an AI-powered solution for remote troubleshooting and Predictive Maintenance. Similarly, we are working with another large manufacturer on their Digitization journey and connected worker initiatives for their entire shop floor.

  • According to you, what are the basic factors that businesses in the digital landscape should focus on to get better results?

Today, Big Data, AI, and IoT -led innovations are gradually taking the centre stage in organizations.

Successful digital transformation initiatives are a product of technological expertise and the demonstrated ability to disrupt existing models of innovation. Organizations must show a renewed focus on their client’s unique business challenges and play an active role in their journey, rather than promising quick-fix transformations.

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