IoT Leader SenRa Turns 7! Interview With CEO, Ali Hosseini

Global IoT leader SenRa turns seven years old – boy does time fly. To celebrate, we reached out to the charismatic founder and CEO for an interview encompassing the company’s accomplishments, future goals and even advice for aspiring IoT entrepreneurs.

Reflecting on the Past Seven Years: As SenRa celebrates its 7th anniversary, can you reflect on the company’s initial vision? How has that vision evolved with the advancements in IoT technology and market demands?

Our vision has always been to leverage our expertise in technology to create a more sustainable environment for people to live in.  When I started SenRa in 2017, we approached our vision by bringing wireless connectivity to the forefront in India in hopes of enabling organic growth of improved smart solutions that can address the sustainability challenges India was facing. Deciding to position SenRa as a public IoT network operator in a country where, at the time, the Internet of Things was really a point of discussion was a risk I felt was necessary in order to introduce a technology I felt would have a positive impact on the country.  Being a pioneer in LoRaWAN in India enabled advancements in the way people operate businesses, manage cities, and how the use of critical resources are being consumed such as water, electricity, gas, etc.  Over the 7 years, I have seen a big shift in the market from proof of concepts to large-scale deployments as well as increased focus on solutioning and how to use the data generated to justify ROI. The investment in advancements of technologies such as AI, ML, big data, digital twin has increased and companies are looking at how to use them with the data being collected from deployed IoT solutions.

Key Milestones and Achievements: Over the past seven years, what have been some of the key milestones and achievements that SenRa is most proud of? How have these accomplishments contributed to your standing in the IoT industry?

What I am most proud of when looking back at our achievements throughout the last seven years is how we have been able to continue to lead the market with new advancements and innovations that address a variety of challenges our customers face across different industries.  Not only have we developed new products such as Ginjer, an IoT analytics platform, and Netsy, a first-of-its-kind indoor & outdoor network planning and surveying tool, we have also been able to find cost-effective ways to solve problems for customers in a price-sensitive market. Our involvement in smart cities and government projects has allowed us to use our expertise in technology for water conservation efforts, reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and even reducing human-wildlife conflict. These accomplishments have positioned us as a leader in the industry and has built confidence in our abilities to address real-world challenges with cost-effective, quality smart solutions.

Overcoming Challenges: Every company faces challenges, especially in the fast-evolving tech industry. Could you share some significant challenges SenRa encountered and how you overcame them?

Initially, our challenges were more focused on how to educate people about the positive impact LoRaWAN can have on the way people live, conduct business, and improve critical infrastructure.  I believed the “if we build it, they will come” mentality would help rapidly grow a LoRaWAN ecosystem that had yet to be established in India.  We aggressively deployed network infrastructure in hopes that by bringing connectivity to the people, the use of LoRaWAN would increase.  The approach we took did, in fact, trigger the movement that we had hoped for, but it introduced many challenges that we, as a startup, were not prepared for such as the challenges of maintaining a public LoRaWAN network, ensuring we were financially able to continue to operate our business and network, and staffing the company with the right people that were able to learn quick and be flexible in what we would need to be done to get the company up and running in an new market.  To sustain, we had to pivot several times which enabled us to introduce new products and services that have now made us a global contender in the IoT market.  Aside from market challenges and business decisions we made initially, the world was hit with a global pandemic which had a massive impact on businesses around the world.  Many businesses were forced to shut down due to the pandemic and we were not immune.  Fortunately, our ability to innovate and address the challenges people were facing during the pandemic allowed us to continue operating.  The challenges we face now are more focused on how we continue to stay at the forefront of innovation and how we continue to lead the industry with technology advancements that add value to our customers.

Innovation and Technology: Innovation is crucial in the IoT sector. Can you discuss any groundbreaking technologies or solutions SenRa has developed? How do these innovations address current and future needs in IoT?

I am really excited about the innovation efforts we are currently working on.  I have asked our team to address some really hard challenges by leveraging new methods and technologies that the industry has yet to see.  A lot of research and development is currently taking place and I am very proud of the team’s progress. Some of our innovation efforts have already resulted in products that companies are already using to improve their digitalization efforts such as our network planning and surveying software called Netsy.  Our patent-pending algorithms and methods which we implemented are unique and more advanced than what has currently been made available in the market and it is already having a positive impact on our customer’s IoT deployments.  The future of SenRa will depend on our ability to innovate and continue to push the boundaries of technology advancements.

Impact on Society and Industry: IoT technology has the potential to significantly impact various sectors. Can you provide examples of how SenRa’s solutions have positively affected industries or communities?

We have seen an increase in the demand for deploying smart solutions in industrial plants and large business campuses.  The main focus is around the company’s strategy and actions to reduce adverse environmental and social impacts resulting from their business operations.  Most of the solutions we are asked to provide are currently around water management and consumption monitoring, building environmental readings, emergency response systems, and building infrastructure maintenance. 

Sustainability and IoT: With increasing emphasis on sustainability, how is SenRa incorporating sustainable practices into its IoT solutions? What role do you see IoT playing in promoting environmental sustainability?

As mentioned above, our solutions and services are focused on helping organizations improve operations and improve workforce wellness in a more sustainable manner. We help their corporate sustainability efforts by using the data collected from deployed IoT solutions to provide better visibility and tracking of their ESG metrics. With regards to smart cities, our solutions have already helped sustainability efforts such as water conservation, reduced waste accumulation, reduce GHG emissions, and even wildlife conservation.   I believe IoT can help with efforts in sustainability and has proven to have a positive impact already, but the intent and openness must be there from governments and corporate organizations to take full advantage of the benefits of IoT.

Partnerships and Collaborations: Collaborations can play a pivotal role in the growth and innovation of tech companies. Can you talk about any key partnerships that have been instrumental to SenRa’s success?

SenRa would not be here today if it was not for the support and trust we received from our partners.  Senet, our first and longest-standing partnership, was instrumental to our initial market penetration in India as well as our growth as a LoRaWAN operator.   Their ability to provide us with a robust platform for network management as well as their continued technical support, enabled us to deploy scalable and high-quality network services for our customers.  We also benefited from our membership with the LoRa Alliance by giving us a place to grow, learn and meet others in the ecosystem which in turn lead to more partnerships and collaborations.  Relationships with companies such as Tektelic and Milesight started from our involvement in the LoRa Alliance and have enabled us to address our customer’s needs with high-quality and reliable LoRaWAN products.  Over the last seven years, we have collaborated with many companies across the ecosystem and I would like to thank all of them for their support in the growth of our company.

Global and Local Reach: How does SenRa balance its global ambitions with the need to cater to local markets? Can you share insights into your strategies for global expansion while ensuring local relevance?

Our approach in the Global market is more focused on the services we can provide which will enable our partners to deploy solutions in their corresponding regions.  Our direct involvement in deployments are currently limited outside of India, but as we continue to grow that may change.  We are and will continue to deploy end-to-end solutions in India and are determined to remain as an IoT leader in India.

The Future of IoT and SenRa: Looking ahead, what are the next big trends in IoT that you anticipate? How is SenRa positioning itself to lead or adapt to these trends?

I believe the use of artificial intelligence in IoT will be the next big focus for companies and I am excited to see what kind of innovations will come from it.  I also foresee a focus on leveraging cutting-edge technology to improve the way IoT deployments will take place and to ensure true longevity of deployed solutions with minimal issues.  Being able to proactively identify issues that may arise before they do will allow for more rapid growth and broader adoption.

Advice to Aspiring IoT Entrepreneurs: Lastly, based on your experience, what advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to venture into the IoT space? What lessons from SenRa’s journey could be valuable to them?

For the upcoming entrepreneurs, I would say the following, understand your market, partnerships are key to success, be flexible in your business approach and be willing to pivot. Never lose sight of your purpose, have faith in what you believe to be true, and ensure you conduct your business in an honest, reliable, and ethical manner.  If you follow this, everything will fall in place. 

Aside from his role as CEO of TMC and chairman of ITEXPO #TECHSUPERSHOW, Rich Tehrani is CEO of RT Advisors and a Registered Representative (investment banker) with and offering securities through Four Points Capital Partners LLC (Four Points) (Member FINRA/SIPC). RT Advisors is not owned by Four Points.

The above is not an endorsement or recommendation to buy/sell any security or sector mentioned. No companies mentioned above are current or past clients of RT Advisors.


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