The Indian police force is struggling to keep up with the times. As governments procrastinate over modernisation plans, entrepreneurs are attempting to bridge the void with some smart tech-based solutions. In a world where cameras and mobile phones have become our eyes and ears, 34 years old IITian Amit Dubey is using Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking and mobile monitoring solutions to help crime fighters stay ahead. The venture has already received Rs 25 lakh from the government and Amit hopes to touch Rs 5 crore in revenue this year.
Outdated, obsolete and in need of desperate intervention, this is the unfortunate reality of our police force. But some state governments are waking up to the need for urgent course correction and young entrepreneurs like Amit Dubey and Pradeep Rai are stepping up to meet the challenge. Founded in 2010, Heuristics Info Systems offers live tracking, facilitates the collection of images and video during field investigations. An activity that began as a hobby really took off after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks when the vulnerability of the Mumbai Police was painfully exposed. Amit tells us how he and Pradeep got started.
Amit Dubey, co-founder & chief executive officer, Heuristics Info Systems says, "Punjab Police approached us and we gave them a solution. This is called E-Beat, E-Investigation solutions. This is our very first prime project which we did to solve a particular problem for a police department and there we improved the beat efficiency. Now, we can monitor live locations of their beat constables. They are in and out from various locations. These sensitive points could be railway stations, bus stops, historical monuments, schools, shopping malls etc. Also, we helped them to use the same mobile phone for investigation operations where whatever they captured through the mobile phone, whatever they record through the mobile phone that video or image content could also be uploaded on the server instantly along with the location details, so that helps them to collect the investigation data. For example, if in any village some crime takes place and a police team is supposed to go and investigate that crime, they normally carry that mobile phone with them and they record the images and statements of the people those were available there at the time of crime and that entire data is available in the control room instantly on the same day. That helps them to investigate it fast, to create a charge sheet fast and to prepare it and to go to the court fast.
After the Punjab Police the National Investigation Agency (NIA) came calling. This helped team Heuristics clock revenues of Rs 35 lakh in the first year of operations and three years later he hopes to close at Rs 5.5 crore. With an aggressive product development strategy Amit is looking beyond the police force. Heuristics also targets transport logistics and cold chain management companies like ColdEX and Maruti. Government agencies like the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the Ministry of Rural Development have also employed their services. So how does this venture make money?
"We are focusing on channel partnership model where we are making partners in India as well as abroad. Right now we have 35 partners in India who are selling our product to different segments and we charge a particular money per month from them, so this is our recurring revenue, because we are providing them our servers. Those are used for tracking different gadgets, mobile phones and devices. We are also involved in many customised products. So any industry which needs these solutions, but they need it in a different way we customise these solutions for that particular industry and we offer them as a project," says Dubey.
Pained by the recent brutal rape of the 23 year old student in Delhi just before the start of the year Amit decided to make the safety of women his new mission. Heuristics has designed a free mobile application to help you alert your family and the nearest police van via GPS technology. All you have to do is keep button pressed on your mobile for 4 seconds. Amit is doing the rounds of police stations to sell the idea to them. While the application may or may not gain acceptance, Amit says the company’s ability to identify problems that no one else seems to be thinking of giving them the edge.
Reiterating it he says, "The good thing is that we have already travelled so far. We are almost four years ahead than our competitors. We support many gadgets at present where our competitors are supporting only one or two devices. So that is one of the Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Second thing, we have customised solutions for various industries. We have done a very successful project with police department. We have done a big project with a manufacturing company in India. We are also going abroad. We have done a project in Ghana South Africa where we covered all the presidential elections through iPhone and getting the location based clippings from various locations through the polling. That was the success and such kind of approaches are helping us to go ahead from our competitors."
A self-confessed hopeless romantic and a poet with a passion to beat crime Amit is quite an unusual mix, but after penning a successful start Amit is all set to develop a cloud based GPS tracking server. On the lookout for Series A funding the team is set to open shop in Sri Lanka and Jordon later this month and eventually tap into developed markets in the UK, US and Canada. Amit hopes to rope in a 150 partners by the middle of 2013.
Watch videos for more.