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COVID-19 Has Uncovered A Digital Divide Between Companies: Sudheesh Narayanan, Knowledge Lens

In this interview, Narayanan also shares his insights on the massive digital revolution in this post-pandemic era and how industrial IoT participates.
Knowledge Lens

Knowledge Lens is a digital acceleration product company that leverages artificial intelligence, industrial IoT, and big data analytics to offer business insights to its customers. This Bangalore-based technology firm has helped 3,000 customers worldwide, including Fortune 500 companies, by implementing next-gen enterprise and manufacturing data lakes, AI-powered intelligent apps, industry 4.0 solutions and sustainability cloud. 

Analytics India Magazine caught up with Sudheesh Narayanan, Founder & CEO, Knowledge Lens, to know more about its innovative solutions and its recent partnerships. In this interview, Narayanan also shares his insights on the massive digital revolution in this post-pandemic era and how industrial IoT participates.


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 Edited excerpts:

AIM: How are companies driving digital transformation in the post COVID era? 

Sudheesh Narayanan: Digital revolution has transformed businesses and our lives in ways we never thought it would. It has fast-tracked diverse sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare, fintech, automation, retail, electronics, energy, among other sectors. I believe that the onset of COVID-19 has uncovered a digital divide between the companies that had already invested in digital transformation models pre-COVID and those that did not.  

The onset of the pandemic has seen industries moving towards digital transformation. There is significant traction in industries adopting industry 4.0 by first looking to digitise all the paper logs within the shopfloor, bringing in centralised visibility of the entire plant operations, and increasing focus on deploying AI-based solutions on edge to enhance quality efficiency and productivity. Some traditional solutions like energy management solutions are now seeing a new interest in energy forecasting and optimisation. We are seeing an increasing shift in customers towards leveraging AI-based solutions for improving product quality etc.

AIM: What are the current developments in Industrial IoT, especially in the Indian context? 

Sudheesh Narayanan: According to a new study by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), AI and ML along with 5G and the Internet of Things would be the most important technologies in 2021. manufacturing, healthcare, financial services and education are the industries that would be most impacted by technology.

The demand for IoT in India is emerging across industries such as utilities, manufacturing, automotive, transportation and logistics. IIoT uses a data-driven approach to drive efficiency into the industries. IoT is expected to add value to business processes and create value for industrial applications, especially in the case of the manufacturing sector. AI and IoT are the key drivers for cost-effective, high quality, scalable manufacturing operations. To realise the full potential of “Make in India”, there is a need for manufactures and enterprises to adopt the latest technology advancements to drive digital growth. 

We also see increased development in the IT-OT security for Industry 4.0 adoptions. Data diode and secured communication have proved to be the essential backbone of IT. Apart from the digitisation of all paper logs, we see significant development in the new age Historian and Cloud MES as the focus for the industry. If utilised accurately, IIoT can play a significant role in bolstering the manufacturing sector. Organisations must invest time to understand how efficiently IIoT can be deployed to lower the use of their resources. 

AIM: What are the primary products and services offered by Knowledge Lens?

Sudheesh Narayanan: Some of our key products and offerings include —

iLens — our industrial IoT solution helps in shop floor digitisation using AI, vision analytics and digital logbooks. It offers seamless connectivity with industrial assets, edge analytics, asset efficiency, predictive maintenance, and quality enhancements.

iLens is currently being used in automation, manufacturing, energy and utility companies. It provides early warning alerts on machine downtimes and thus helps save millions of dollars for the manufacturers by either eliminating downtime or enabling controlled downtime. 

On the other hand, the Vision Analytics solution offers accurate quality control and improves customers’ product quality and eliminates waste. The efficiency monitoring app provides alerts in case of efficiency drops.

Our second product is GLens, a cloud-focused product that provides a real-time environment and energy data acquisition, monitoring, analytics, and climate change accounting. The platform is currently available in 3000+ industries in India across industry segments such as oil and gas refinery, cement, pulp and paper, fertilisers, power, sugar, manufacturing, and agriculture.

This environment data monitoring platform provides a simplified view for our customers to meet their compliance and regulatory needs. It also enables customers to connect various OEM products and assets in a single window and do compliance monitoring and climate accounting.

By leveraging AI, we provide early warning indicators, forecasting and predictive analytics using which our customers have been able to reduce their carbon footprints.

The third product on the list is MLens, a data migration product useful for customers looking for cloud migration. With MLens, customers can perform a cloud assessment in less than a day.

Not only does it quickly enable both data and workload migration to accelerate the cloud migration journey for our customers, but it also offers a 75% reduction in the cloud migration efforts and reduces migration time by a factor of 10x.

AIM: Can you tell us about your Knowledge Lens’ core technology stack? 

Sudheesh Narayanan: We are focused on IoT, cloud, big data, blockchain, and artificial intelligence. Our tech stack primarily focuses on Microsoft Azure for all cloud, big data, IoT, and AI services. We further leverage python, NodeJS, and Angular/React as our development tech stack. 

For big data and AI, we extensively work with Spark and deploy most of these workloads in a microservice architecture leveraging Kubernetes or AKS on the cloud. Our Edge Gateways works on IoT edge and provides a seamless experience to our end customers. 

AIM: What are some of the prominent collaborations and partnerships undertaken by Knowledge Lens in recent times? 

Sudheesh Narayanan: Some of our recent projects are —

Gold Partnership with Microsoft for its data, AI, and IoT offerings. We have been working together on GTM solutions in the space of industrial IoT, sustainability cloud, and large-scale digital transformation implementation.

We have also partnered with Databricks to provide value-added solutions on the Azure Databricks stack.

Further, we have partnered with Intel on their IoT Edge Acceleration platform, showing significant results. We have been able to deploy on-premise Vision Analytics using the Intel Edge offerings. In addition, Intel’s powerful hardware and the inbuilt AI algorithms by Knowledge Lens have helped build a robust solution for a leading Indian cement manufacturer that is a Fortune 500 company. This has enabled the cement manufacturer to achieve an annual cost savings of $250K.

We have recently partnered with Geovale Services, India, to provide digital transformation solutions for mining, river and water management, and monitoring industries. The partnership focus is to deliver quality solutions and value to the mining industry and its various stakeholders by providing an end-end solution leveraging technology starting from mineral exploration to the final dispatch of ores to customers.

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Shraddha Goled
I am a technology journalist with AIM. I write stories focused on the AI landscape in India and around the world with a special interest in analysing its long term impact on individuals and societies. Reach out to me at

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