TheNFAPost Podcast

Smartron India is redefining the journey of India as a desi OEM and IOT brand with products designed and engineered in India for India and the world. Led by the pioneering vision of founder and Chairman Mahesh Lingareddy, Smartron India is coming up with products as wide as mobile phones to ebikes. Its IOT platform is tronX is a game-changer in this journey. In an interaction with N V Vijayakumar from NFAPost, Mahesh Linga Reddy elaborates that innovation and technology-driven culture has been the core of Smartron.

1. Can you share how you transformed as an entrepreneur and your decision to set up Smartron in India? 

After the successful exit of Soft Machines Inc, a US-based semiconductor startup acquired by Intel back in 2016, I continued the entrepreneurial journey with the founding of Smartron in India for India and the world with strong India and US roots.

2. Smartron is envisioned as India’s first true global technology OEM and IOT brand that is designed and engineered in India for India and the world. Can you elaborate your grand vision in this regard? 

More than 5 years ago, we recognised the need for India’s own OEM and IOT brand. Its own Samsung or Sony of India. Smartron is founded with a vision to be India’s first global OEM/IOT brand. Given the current geopolitical dynamic and global supply chain (re)alignments, the timing couldn’t have been better.

3. You have already established tronX, an AI-powered IoT platform. What all the experiences and services you are planning to deliver via this platform?  

We start to see the benefits of our investment into developing our own AIOT platform, tronX. It is powering our smart home and EV products and solutions from basis user authentication to voice assistants to cloud storage to security camera monitoring to real-time intelligence to fleet owners/riders to advanced driver assist system (ADAS). tronX platform is ready for use for any IOT application whether by Smartron or others. You will see more and more companies using tronX in the coming years.

4. Smartron India has started Tronx Motors. Till now how many products you have launched and going forward what all products you are launching to tap the huge e-mobility market in India?

We have launched “4” products under the tbike category for personal, rideshare and cargo delivery markets. It’s all designed and engineered in India and also the complete technology platform, powered by tronX is a home grown technology that offers plenty of unique and intelligent features to operators and riders alike.

5. Brand building is a herculean task. What all the strategies you put in place to enhance the visibility of Smartron going forward?

We continue to believe that our products will build brand visibility for us. Thanks to current geopolitical dynamics and global supply chain (re)alignements, our vision and mission that we have started almost 5 years ago have been recognized and appreciated by the market. We will continue to build on our vision to build India’s first OEM and IOT brand. It is more relevant than ever before. Sachin Tendulakr as a brand ambassador and investor has been tremendous.

6. Made in India is the order of the day and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ is gaining big push from the government. How do you view this opportunity? Can Make in India will give us a competitive advantage?

Government need to continue to improve the environment for startups to raise capital and operate easily.

7.Technology team is important pillor of any successful company. How do you view the company’s technology team and product development strategy is aligned with your vision?

Over the last 5 years, we have focused on developing a wide range of HW products from smartphones to laptops to wearables to EV to the smart home, all powered by homegrown tronX, AIOT platform. Innovation and technology-driven culture has been the core of Smartron from day one.

8. Indian startups are facing a huge challenge of capital dumping by other competing companies in similar space. It really wipes out Indian startups competitive advantage. What is your perspective on this and your take on the steps government should take to counter this?

We can’t and shouldn’t stop the competition. Instead, we should focus on providing capital access to Indian startups.

9. What is your strategy to go global so that the brand expansion and bottom line of the company can be expanded? Do you have any plan to raise funds?

Smartron is founded with a vision to be a India based global brand from inception with strong organizational and investor roots in both India and US. We have been exporting our tbikes to EU, NA and countries like Bhutan, Nepal etc.

10. Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem is bubbling with activity. Can you share your thoughts and basic principles to be adopted to our aspiring entrepreneurs?

We have turned the tide on entrepreneurship. We need to focus on innovation infrastructure that is at par with countries like US, Israel and China especially the investment ecosystem.

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