Borrowed from SAMPADA old editions – for the 10th Anniversary Special Issue – Interviews section. This one is of Krishna A G, 2001 ECE.
Krishna A G is the Co-Founder of Light Metrics, a company that focuses on leveraging machine learning and Artificial Intelligence to provide video telematics and real-time coaching to their fleet customers as well as improve productivity of mobility enterprises. Krishna heads the product marketing and strategy function for the company. He has been granted 18 patents in the US and also has been an inventor or co-inventor in over 45 patent applications.
Team Sampada: What inspired you to start your own business? Tell us more about your company.
Krishna: When I graduated from UVCE or later from IISc, I definitely did not have any such plans to be honest. As I gained more professional experience, I realized that the success of a company is not defined by technology alone, there are so many other aspects to it – including product, marketing, sales, support, etc. This motivated me to learn more about how companies are run, and what is it that makes a company successful. I started reading books about founder journeys and this may have planted a thought somewhere deep in my mind. Finally, when we did decide to start, I honestly didn’t think much since my co founders were not just colleagues but very good friends having worked with them for so long.
LightMetrics (LM) works in the area of computer vision and machine learning, was co-founded by six people who had earlier worked together for over 5 years in Nokia Research. LM makes driving safer – for fleets, for auto insurance companies and others. We analyze video in real-time using ML and computer vision and are able to quantify driving behavior by ‘seeing’ how one drives. For this, LM provides a cross-platform software solution that extracts insights from dash cam video in real-time on the edge. Voice notifications help the driver avoid accidents & stay safe. Upon detecting non-compliances such as speeding, distracted driving, stop violation, tailgating, etc., a report is created for the event that includes a short video snippet. This is uploaded to the cloud. Analytics and event videos for the driver and fleet manager/owner are available through REST APIs. You can find out more at https://www.lightmetrics.co/
Team Sampada: What major challenges did you face while starting on your own and take it forward?
Krishna: It is kind of scary to leave the security of a regular pay cheque, but when you decide to go for it, you just go for it. And once you do start up, what do you do is a hard question. We knew our skills in computer vision, camera tech and machine learning/AI had a lot of applications – exactly what we should do and more importantly, how do we do it is a different beast altogether. We had the luxury of knowing several entrepreneurs and venture capitalists through our network, and they were extremely helpful in the early days.
Finding the problem to solve, who is the buyer, how will they know about your solution, how will they buy your solution – these were super important questions. Being in India, we started out trying to sell for the Indian market. It was a huge challenge. After a year or so, we pivoted from a market point of view and focused only on the North American market.
Team Sampada: What role did UVCE play in your life? If you get an opportunity to address the current students about what are the things they should not miss during the college days which will help them in future, what would you tell them?
Krishna: UVCE has been hugely instrumental in tangible and intangible ways. The college provided the freedom to think for oneself and learn to be independent, and as a result, I believe most people graduating from UVCE are better prepared for the real world. My classmates are all hugely successful in their chosen profession, and a lot of them have helped me hugely with LightMetrics, especially when we decided that our market focus would be North America. The network you get from a hallowed institution like UVCE is amazing, you talk to very senior people in most companies, you always find someone from UVCE – that establishes an instant connection.
– Krishna A G, Sampada-112