Startup Stories

Gyan Data Private Ltd

Volume 2 Issue 1 June 2018 : By ITM Research Team

GDPL is fast growing Bangalore based data science startup with a mission to empower the business ecosystem with value-added services and products. The company founded by Prof. Shankar Narasimhan, Prof. Rengaswamy and Prof. Venkat Venkatasubramanian, who are experienced academicians from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and Columbia University and bring in a wealth of domain expertise and knowledge in the area of data analytics


GDPL has been actively engaged in delivering solutions for the manufacturing, auto, telecom, defence, pharma, chemical, finance, healthcare, sea navigation and CRM domains, to name a few. The company’s motto is to reach out to industry, specifically the Indian industry, with cost effective solutions that are easy to deploy, self sustaining and easy to manage. The portfolio of clients and solutions outlines the vision of the company, which is to make state-of-the-art solutions accessible to companies in India. GDPL practices the use of open source platforms and cloud-based solutions widely as part of its deliverables. The suite of algorithms available with the company offers domain agnosticity and can be deployed across industry verticals. This capability allows a high degree of leveragability across projects that GDPL exploits to deliver richer and more cost-effective solutions.


The landscape to provide solutions is rather vast and industry is in the throes of change from digital / technology and market-driven forces. It is therefore necessary to build the ability to clearly educate and help the client articulate their needs and expectations to deliver solutions that bring value. Customization, instead of off-the-shelf solutions is therefore a necessary aspect of all projects that the company has engaged with. GDPL also takes into consideration organization readiness (digitization, database integration / architecture and management expectations) and recommends the appropriate solutions that bring value to the clients. Calculation of ROI, critical for businesses to understand level of investments required to achieve desired results, allows GDPL to work with clients and critically evaluate the benefits achieved through the solution.


The company has demonstrated success in the areas of predictive and prescriptive analytics, process modeling, real time optimization, preventive maintenance, smart manufacturing, IoT, supply chain, NLP, CRM, financial analytics and image processing.


GDPL has worked on both continuous and discrete manufacturing industry problems. The manufacturing domain solutions typically require a blend of domain-specific expertise as well as data science. Often the problem statement is arrived at through initial rounds of discussion with the client and the solutions so delivered, are integrated with client systems.  The typical nature of manufacturing data, which is ‘dirty’, is handled using the company’s expertise in data reconciliation / assessment followed by trend analysis and other techniques required for data pre-processing.


For the process industry, GDPL has algorithms for preventive maintenance and diagnostic studies for sensors, control valves, process systems and enterprise level data reconciliation. Real time optimization and optimum maintenance scheduling for the oil industry required development of innovative tools that predict the characteristics of crude oil entering the plant. Also, soft sensing for fouling factors of the multitude of exchangers in the preheat train allow to identify those that need to be taken off for maintenance cleaning.


For the minerals and metals industry, GDPL has developed solutions for blast furnace material / energy balance reconciliation and digital twins for smelters. The solutions for the auto / discrete manufacturing sectors focus on early warning of faults, reliability prediction, preventive maintenance, accelerated ramp up of new designs and production planning. The current portfolio of projects has a large number of clients from this sector.


In its solutions for the defence sector both in India and the US, the company has offered edge analytics algorithms that can maximize battery life that further help in extend the duration of submarine sorties. They have also worked on developing light-weight battery packs that have better portability for use by soldiers.


The Indian foundry industry, which is beleaguered with lack of standards and operational procedures witnesses defect rates for products that are orders of magnitude higher than industry benchmarks. GDPL worked with one of the clients to develop solutions from scratch, offer optimized measurement standards and operating procedures to predict the final defect rate anytime during the process. This was further enhanced to offer recommendations that the end client could use to correct the course of the project and steer it towards benchmarked values.


The company has also worked with the financial sector and offered strategies to maximize growth/ profits, minimize risks and provide balanced portfolios. It has also worked in text processing, NLP space to address sentiment analysis and scrub data for adverse drug reactions for the Pharma industry.


The Pharma domain projects include development of a proof of concept for 3D printing of tablets and another one wherein a data driven model was developed for condition monitoring of a Pharma process that has portability, modularized construction and smaller batch sizes as its differentiated attributes.


An interesting project for the healthcare sector analysed predictive analytics based on cattle iris data. The objective here was to obtain health information about cattle from data that was easier to generate and could be shared remotely thereby enabling solutions to reach the end client faster.


One of the earliest offerings in the IoT space was the development of the Intellimeter, a smart city solution in collaboration with IIT-Madras. The project involved development of software as well as compact hardware that could house the R-Pi platform. The algorithms developed could do dynamic route planning, assess costs of trips and could use the specially developed sensors to collect variety of information such as noise, temperature, traffic density, weather data etc. that could be stored in the cloud-based platform.


GDPL has provided the IoT driven technique for determining the optimum concrete required for piling work. As part of this work, 2D images from underground cameras were used to develop 3D profile of the soil. Specialized, custom-made sensors along with acoustic technologies used to were determine the spatial characteristics and volume available for concrete works. The product so developed was cost competitive and is being marketed abroad by our client (Aver Systems).


Recently, the company has been engaged in some projects that required sophisticated, IoT based solutions. GDPL worked for a textile unit and automated multiple stages of the operation to develop a compact machine. This product is capable of precise dosing of chemicals, maintains pH more accurately and requires significantly less footprint.


The resources at the company are hired from premier institutes in India and are largely from the IITs. There is a panel of advisors drawn from pool of experts from academia and industry who additionally offer their expertise as and when required on projects. With access to research and academic experts available across IITs, GDPL has no dearth of talent to leverage in order to deliver high quality solution to clients. The skills of the work force are kept updated through training initiatives that are also offered by the company. GDPL is the preferred training provider in Data Analytics for some corporates and also offers customized and regular courses to students and practitioners of data science.


The company has seen an organic growth through its services and customized, cloud-based products and has not gone for external funding. The future prospects face tail winds from Industry 4.0 initiatives and the desire for companies to fully exploit their digital capital.


GDPL is located at the IIT Madras Research Park, a buzzing ecosystem of start ups working together with large industries. The location adjoining the IIT Madras premises fosters partnership between academia and industry, the latter brought closer to the various start ups through an incubation cell located in the research park.


Among the list of clients GDPL has worked for are BHEL, BPCL, DRDO, US Defence, Honeywell, Tata Steel, Dr.Reddy’s Lab, Mitsubishi Electric, Hinduja Tech, Murugappa, MPM Infosoft, Art of Living, Simulstar.

A Contribution form ITM Business School Research Team