January 2016

More power to your event with smart event technology

 

CarrotCoverpage2

Events are vibrant places to be in. The lively energy, dazzling displays, engaging conversations, lasting relationships and effortless networking are fostered by a beautifully woven magic, the result of hours of work and meticulous attention to detail by event managers.

In today’s digital world creating such memorable experiences cannot be limited to the ambience, aura, and performances, but needs to be extended with technology that recreates the very magic that the event epitomises.

Carrot event mobile app was launched to recreate these magical experiences.
According to Mangalam Nandakumar, founder and COO of AIDAIO, the company that created Carrot, “Last year, Carrot mobile apps were used by events that range from conferences, corporate events, exhibitions, concerts to weddings. We believe that the greatness of event technology is not in being a mere replacement of paper. Gorgeous design and smart technology has to blend in to recreate an event’s magical experience. Every event has its own personality and unique brand value. Technology needs to mimic and match the essence of any event.”

Events are highly volatile wherein schedules, speakers, sponsors are subject to change often. Event mobile apps rarely provide event managers the kinds of control or agility that can help them respond and react to these changes. Keeping the agility in mind, AIDAIO recently launched a secure cloud based platform to help event managers take complete control of their event apps with ability to design, theme, publish content and gain real time insights. Carrot’s unique focus on interaction and experience design is helping events create a new level of engagement and personalised experience for attendees – leading to more brand value, actionable intelligence, productivity and revenue.

Mangalam adds – “We want to provide a secure place for event communities to grow and thrive all year round. Today’s social networks provide tools for discovery not for deep engagement. Carrot offers a cost effective solution for event organizers to create brand ambassadors by targeting attendees with real time contextual content without being intrusive”

Besides traditional event app features Carrot provides unique features like
● Activity feed to aggregate buzz around community posts, announcements, and news besides a powerful chat option to talk to event organizers and community real-time.
● Interactive features like polls with images, timed quizzes, photo contests, online & offline gamification with beacons.
● A flexible multi-blog and pdf-document feature to highlight informative relevant content.
● Push and track text and image push notifications with quick actions.
● Best-in-class gorgeous templates to design apps that match theme and branding of the event.
● Easy-to-use control panel for event managers to organize event content, moderate user content besides better real-time insights to track event ROI.
● And for the first-time ability for event organizers to schedule and publish content in a jiffy from the app itself !

“Discovery is constant and desire to engage is instant. Intuitive mobile technology and smart engagement without compromising event experience are the need of today’s event world.” said Mangalam.

Carrot, powered by AIDAIO’s powerful, cloud based platform can now empower Event Managers to Recreate the Magic at their Events.

CII lists AIDAIO as Top 10 Promising Start-ups

This article first appeared in CII Innovation & Entrepreneurship

CII Industrial Innovation Awards 2015 CII Industrial Innovation Awards were instituted by CII in 2014 to recognize and celebrate innovative Indian enterprises across industry segments. These premier awards seek to recognize and honor the Indian Industry’s brightest stars and to identify the top Innovative Organizations in the country. They give an opportunity to companies to shine and be known nationally and internationally for their Innovative products and services. The second edition of CII Industrial Innovation Awards this year has been a grand success because of the high quality of applications, the doubling in the number of entries, the robustness and thoroughness of the evaluation process and the presence of an illustrious constellation of experts in technology, business and innovation space as the Jury.

From this year onwards, a special category of Start-ups, in addition to the regular category, has been introduced in the CII Industrial Innovation Awards. Under start-ups category there are two types of awards – for Best Manufacturing Start-up and Best Service Start-up. The overall winner in the start-up category is being given the Grand Award which is the Most Innovative Start-up of the Year. In the regular category, a total of 150 entries were received this year out of which the jury selected top 25 most innovative companies. From these 25, 4 companies are being given special awards under various categories. In the start-up category, the number of entries received was 50. Out of these, the jury selected top 10 most innovative start-ups. Out of these 10, 2 start-ups are being given special category awards.

In the regular category, the evaluation criteria gave 40% weightage to innovation, 40% to impact and 20% to innovation framework. In the start- up category, the weightages were 40% for innovation, 30% for market opportunity and 30% for impact. The jury members included Prof. Devang Khakhar, Director, IIT Bombay; Prof. P. P. Chakrabarti, Director, IIT Kharagpur; Prof. Rishikesha T Krishnan, Director, IIM Indore; Prof. Y S Rajan, Dr Vikram Sarabhai Distinguished Professor, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO); Mr Prabhat Ranjan, Executive Director, Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC); Prof. H P Khincha, Adviser, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bangalore and Prof. S.P. Kothari, Deputy Dean, Gordon Y Billard Professor of Management, Director, MIT India Program.
Award ceremony

A total of 43 awards will be given today. These include 25 awards in regular category; 10 in start-up category, 6 in special category and 2 awards in the grand awards category.
Top 10 Start-up Awards
1. Capital Numbers Infotech Pvt. Ltd.
2. AIDAIO Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
3. Right Track Admizzionz Campuz Pvt. Ltd.
4. Finmart Advisory Pvt. Ltd.
5. GT Silicon Pvt. Ltd.
6. Ananya Seeds Pvt. Ltd.
7. Yoma Multinational Solutions
8. Casa Brands India Pvt. Ltd.
9. Cyborg Cyber Forensics & Information Security Pvt. Ltd.
10. Feel Good Design.
Regular category
1. Arteria Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
2. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd.
3. Carborundum Universal Ltd.
4. CoreEL Technologies (I) Pvt. Ltd.
5. Cotmac Electronics Pvt. Ltd.
6. Efkon India Pvt. Ltd.
7. Elcome Integrated Systems Pvt. Ltd.
8. JK Lakshmi Cement Ltd.
9. Jyoti Cero Rubber.
10. Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd.
11. L&T Electrical & Automation.
12. Manatec Electronics Pvt. Ltd.
13. Max Life Insurance Company Ltd.
14. Neogi Technologies and Research Pvt. Ltd.
15. Robert Bosch Engineering & Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
16. Southern Agro Engine Pvt. Ltd.
17. Sterlite Technologies Ltd.
18. Hotel Suryagarh, Jaisalmer.
19. Tata Chemicals Ltd.
20. Tata Steel.
21. Uflex Ltd.
22. Vedanta Ltd.
23. Wipro Ltd.
24. Zen Technologies Ltd.
25. Zydus Cadila

Special category awards There were 6 awards in this segment, of which there were 4 awards in regular category (the other 3 categories in 2015 did not have any winners and there were 2 winners in the start-up category)

1. Best Start-up in Manufacturing category (Ananya Seeds Pvt. Ltd.)
2. Best Start-up in Service category (Right Track Admizzionz Campuz Pvt. Ltd.)
3. Award for Manufacturing sector – Large enterprises (Zydus Cadila)
4. Award for Manufacturing sector – Large enterprises (Uflex Ltd.)
5. Award for Manufacturing sector –Micro & Small enterprises (CoreEL Technologies (I) Pvt. Ltd.)
6. Award for Service sector Large enterprise (Robert Bosch Engineering & Business Solutions Pvt.

2. Grand Awards (includes both regular and start-up category)

a. Most Innovative Startup of the Year (Right Track Admizzionz Campuz Pvt. Ltd.)
b. Most Innovative company of the Year (Zydus Cadila)

Want to build the next WhatsApp? An idea & two people is all you need

This article first appeared in The Economic Times

August 13, 2015 – BENGALURU: There is an app for everything today: to study, to order groceries and to even call a valet. Two people could build an app, given the vast resources available today. There are even courses that help non-coders build apps. But can they sustain it? Unlikely, say experts. Akshay Kingar, who runs Foofys, an app development firm in Bengaluru, says the first step in developing apps is to spot big problems.

“WhatsApp identified that people needed to talk to one another, without paying. Flipboard improvised on the “flip” action. They might not be the best looking apps, but they stick, because they solve a very big problem,” said Kingar, whose firm works with Prana Healthcare Enablers, Happily Unmar-ried, among others. His firm was picked as the best startup in the Mobile Applications Conference in 2012.

Compared to creating websites for PCs, developing mobile apps is a different ball game. “Website keeps you in a bubble. Even if a website crashes, it is blamed on the browser or the net connection. Not so for an app,” said CEO Pallav Barah of aida. io, which is developing a platform to turbo charge the app development process.

Android and iOS platforms lay down the frameworks where one can build an app. But even before that, a bit of groundwork always helps. For instance, when Foofys was asked to develop an app for hyper local gaming communities, Kingar immediately set up several WhatsApp groups, just to understand what sportspersons talk about before the game. He observed their behaviour for about 20 days, and then started sketching out the specifics of the app. The user experience team conducts research, observe behaviour, while the user interface folks build the first prototype. They create a ‘wire frame’ or a bare-bone structure on a paper or on a software, laying out the elements, mapping out what buttons lead to which actions. Once this “prototype” or skeleton is clear, the team of developers and designers enter the Android or iOS environment. If the app is more than just a calculator or a flashlight, and needs to fetch data from servers like a Facebook or Flipkart, technologies like Java, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Python come into the picture.

48460782

Foofys said it takes at least five people to work on an app full time — the user interface/user experience person, an Android developer, a tester, a coder (who works on Ruby on Rails, Java and related technologies) and a project manager (in case of services firms). There is no step-by-step approach or a hand-over phenomenon.

Everyone works in parallel, and rapidly tests the app, before they release it to the Play Store. It takes about two months to develop an app. Foofys, which is an established firm, charges `3-4 lakh to develop a basic app for clients, while the maintenance could go up to `7 lakh a month. Starters can make do in much less amounts. Once released, it is important to talk about it on social media, blog about it and create awareness.

“It should be a two-way street — app developers should create awareness and desire among users to get the app,” said Manish Maheshwari, founder of txtWeb, which he exited to Intuit. Most startups and developers forget that an app is a means to an end and are often under the impression that a founder needs to know how to make apps.

“Mobile application development, per se by itself, is not a barrier to starting up. What is key, is the business model that the app is built around,” said Piyush Shah, chief product officer at mobile ad network InMobi. But do you ever stop working on an app? “You never stop tweaking it,” said Pallav Barah.