SenseGiz, founded by 25-year-old Abhishek Latthe, is developing a smart watch that is expected to hit the market next January. The watch can be clipped onto clothing, issue alerts to avoid accidents, facilitate gesture control to drop calls or snap pictures. The company plans to open the platform for coders to develop newer applications.
Abhishek founded SenseGiz along with Apurva Shetty his college time buddy.
Abhishek is a MSc., Mechatronics from University of Southampton. He completed his Bachelor of Engineering (B.E), Electronics & Communication from KLS’s Gogte Institute of Technology and his schooling from M.V. Herwadkar High School Belgaum.
SenseGiz makes wearable tech and other consumer electronic products which customers can use in their daily lives.
Abhishek spoke his heart out about his dream project:
Tell us more about the products you have made at SenseGiz.
Abhishek Latthe ————-> The SenseGiz FIND is a track & find Bluetooth based tag which can be used to track & find commonly misplaced/lost objects like keys, bags,pets etc. It comes with a replaceable battery which can last for 6 months. It is waterproof as well so you do not have to worry if it gets wet!
The SenseGiz Star is a wearable smart tech product which can be used as a smartband worn on the wrist or clipped to clothing. It can trigger automatic alarms on loved ones phones if the user has a crash/fall/any other emergency. It can monitor fitness & sleep quality and can display incoming call/text alerts as well as app notifications on its screen.
It can also use simple gestures to control any phone functions like automatic calling/rejecting calls, launching apps and taking pictures. It is waterproof as well and has a battery life of 7 days and can be easily re-charged via a micro-USB slot.
Why this name SenseGiz?
Abhishek Latthe ————-> Sense stands for the multiple sensors in our products, and Giz stands for Gizmo, which is another name for gadget!
What made you come back to Belgaum to start your company with offices in other countries?
That was always the plan since a long time! I wanted to start-up in an environment where I had a lot of support already in place instead of moving to a new city and having to bother with things like renting a place, eating outside, finding new contacts for everything and so on. Starting up in Belgaum has given us a jump start and allowed us to concentrate on work better.
Here it takes me 2 minutes to get to my office from my home, which would have been much longer in a place like Bangalore!
We have wholly owned subsidiaries in San Francisco, USA and Dublin, Ireland to manage sales and also for better visibility in the developed markets.
What are the main challenges to overcome?
Abhishek Latthe ————-> There have been a lot of technical challenges, most of which we have overcome, and next is the financial challenge– to develop and launch products while keeping costs down at every point since a product based company does not make money till the products are launched.
Another challenge is to market our products well in the global markets, for which our subsidiaries in USA and Europe will help.
When are you likely to launch the products in the market?
Abhishek Latthe ————-> FIND will be available to pre-order online by mid to end of December and ships a month later, while the wearable smart tech product- SenseGiz Star will be available to pre-order in mid January and ships in March 2014.
How has been your experience working from Belgaum especially with regards to human resources management?
Abhishek Latthe ————-> Not a problem really. When we needed specifically skilled engineers, all I did was place ads on an online job portal and we received almost 200 applications from people in various cities in just 2 days! We have engineers from various parts of India with experience of working in China, UK and India before joining us.
2014 Will Be The Year Of Wearable Technology? Your thoughts in this
Abhishek Latthe ————-> Yes, wearables is a sector which is poised for massive growth in 2014. Currently the wearables market is at a similar stage to the smartphone market around 2005/06–poised to take off. A lot of technological advancements have made wearable tech products possible now.
In my view, wearable tech products will complement your existing devices such as smartphones and not seek to replace them. That has been the philosophy behind the SenseGiz Star product. It has features that can complement your smartphone.
You started this startup in 2013, what made you start this? What was the motivation behind it?
Abhishek Latthe ————-> It was always my ambition to launch a product based company. India is famous for a lot of software companies, but not too many product based companies in the hi-tech sector. I pursued a master’s degree in Mechatronics primarily to equip myself to build a product based company. I was then working in my family’s manufacturing business to get some managerial exposure before venturing out on my own.
Me and my friend Apurva Shetty had been looking at various ideas since early 2012 in our spare time. Once I was sure that the ideas could be turned into successful products, we went ahead and launched the company.
Aren’t you afraid, what if the company fails?
Abhishek Latthe ————-> Me and my team will do everything that is needed to be successful. Yes, there are risks, but we have confidence in our capabilities and in our products. As a startup- there are a lot of tough days in the initial stages, but it will be worth it when we have delighted customers later!
How did you fund it? All with internal accruals or personal savings?
Abhishek Latthe ————-> My family is my ATM currently:) But we will be looking at venture capital or similar funding down the line to help grow faster as the field we are in requires a lot of capital, especially for product research and development.
How and what was the reaction of your parents and friends when you told them about this startup?
Abhishek Latthe ————-> Well my parents always knew since my college days that I wanted to startup my own business, so there was a lot of support from my family! Doing a job–even if it was a high paying one in a Western country would have been very boring for me personally! Also my father also has an export oriented manufacturing business, so I have learnt a lot from him since childhood.
Friends have always been supportive! My co-founder – Apurva Shetty is a friend since college, a lot of other friends are involved in advising and supporting in various means!
In this time of global recession is there any slowdown in your business, or do you see it coming a bit later?
Abhishek Latthe ————-> Well, for the sector that we are in, I do not feel there will be a big impact due to the recession. We don’t have too many competitors currently as well, so that will also help!
I think if a company has great products, recession does not matter!
What is that you like the Most of Belgaum?
Many things like the weather, the fact that it is less crowded than the metros and the abundance of friendly people!
Your thoughts on people thinking of coming back to Belgaum and starting up a new venture.
It is a very good option to startup a new venture as renting/buying land is cheaper than the metros and skilled manpower is available. And if you have family and friends in Belgaum, what else do you need!!
As the number of ventures in any sector goes up, the support ecosystem for those ventures will also grow.
Lastly what do you think about this blog?
Abhishek Latthe ————-> AAB is awesome! The best online blog to know what is happening in Belgaum! When I was studying in the UK, it was my best link to stay in touch with Belgaum! I think it brings together Belgaumites from all walks of life.