The first product that Bangalore-based start-up Oxys Technologies made, and sold off cheaply, was a sensor for sanitary ware installations that is now being used in millions of units. But the founders of the five-year-old start-up have no regrets. “When starting out probably you don’t know the real price of your product,” says Moorthy P, managing director of Oxys.
Now, the embedded software maker is expanding its focus in the telematics and healthcare sector where sensors can play a critical role. Oxys recently won bids for selling sensors which help to monitor the oxygen pressure in the high altitude regions, to the defence forces. “We are also talking to big companies on this to be used in their equipments,” says co-founder George Verghese (52) who looks after business development for the company. But he is realistic about what India need to in developing hi-tech products. “We can’t compete with the Apples and Samsungs of the world. With our talent, we can make niche products where the muscle might of these big companies are not present,” he says.
Oxys now employs 20 engineers for R&D and outsource the manufacturing to the contract manufacturers. The firm is currently focusing on automotive tracking system called telematics. One of their products, Oxyscope, for which the company has filed for patent, track the vehicle and fault diagnosis from a remote location using GPRS and SIM card. It does this by tracking the tire pressure or fuel consumption or the gear change patterns of a vehicle that will help to use the system more efficiently.
The product is being used by the public sector firm BEML which exports its earth movers to many East Asian countries. In case of defects it is costly for BEML to fly the engineers to these countries to diagnose the faults and sensors helps them monitor the machine’s health sitting in its Bangalore office.
The engineers will then give the required instructions to repair the vehicles saving both time and money. Oxys said it is looking at other earth moving manufacturers as potential customers.
Moorthy, a former software architect with Philips, says that most of these applications can be used for healthcare in India so that these services can be availed of at much cheaper rates in remote villages.
The company is now also looking to expand its workforce and scouting for private equity investments. Verghese is unperturbed by the fact that his startup is