“Merkado is created with an objective to enable solution providers and start-ups and customers to provide Right Solution to Right Problem. In short, Merkado is a bridge connecting Solution Seeker with Solution provider”, says Ravinder Pal Singh, CEO, Merkado RHA, in conversation with Poulami Chakraborty of BW SmartCities. Excerpts below:
What instigated the birth of Merkado RHA Technologies in India?
Two major factors which I have been watching since last 7-8 years:
India has a lot of innovation and capability. Startups with innovative solutions can be found in every corner of this country. However not many of them have a chance to grow - either they have no funds to take this innovation to market or they have no capability or business acumen.
Digital transformation products (IOT, Sensors, AI applications) are being created and sold by solution providers. System integrators are busy installing and deploying. And another breed of outsourcing companies are available to manage/operate and maintain. One big gap in all these is Design for Digital Transformation solution. This is not a one size fit all concept. You need to understand customer challenge or problem, then design a solution and finally marry multiple solution pieces to create Digital Solution.
Merkado is created with a objective to enable solution providers and start-ups and customers to provide Right Solution to Right Problem. In short, Merkado is a bridge connecting Solution Seeker with Solution provider.
Would you share with us what domain of service is Merkado focussing to serve as they plan to cater to Indian market?
Merkado is focused around 4 areas: Digital Transformation Services, Digital Transformation Solutions, Digital Transformation Security & Digital Cloud for Solutions. Our domain focus is around IOT, AI, Blockchain, Analytics, Cloud and Robotics.
What strategies are you adopting to serve the highly populated market in India?
Very clear 3C strategy: Consult, Create, Collaborate. We don't SELL solutions off the shelf, we first help the customer with problem identification, apply design principal to create a focused solution and collaborate with solution providers to ensure the customer gets what he needs to solve his problem.
What challenges do you face while operating in India? How do you mitigate these challenges?
India has its own Peculiar challenges as well advantages. One challenge I see to navigate is to create a brand in the market as there is a very thin line between what a Digital Transformation consultant like us can do versus a System Integrator. Second as I mentioned, we do not sell solutions, which means we tend to engage with customer first, understand and then provide. This might be seen as a bit time consuming but at the end of the day what matters is to have the right fit solution for customer need. Last but not least, Govt being a large market, we may need to build our branding around that side. Especially tacking RFP and Tender situations.
Is India 5G ready? Your views.
We are in the process, companies like Ericson are working on the backend, and telcos like Bharti are testing now. We will be in line with global markets to launch 5G in spite of concerns being raised.
What is your opinion about the Data Protection Bill?
I have been very closely involved with this. This is a must-have regulation, in fact it was supposed to be implemented last year but could not. India has a complex system we know, hope it gets implemented soon. This will help allay fears around Data Privacy and Localization.
What future-ready solutions is Merkado RHA planning to roll out for Smart City in India?
We work in all aspects of solution value chain here. Right from Digital Consulting to Digital healthcare for citizens, Digital eGovernance, Drone as a Service and Robotics for city operations - our vision is to have all emerging areas tied to our problems to ensure we are a great place to live, work and sustain.