Karsan Technologies: Experience the World's Most Affordable yet High Caliber Home Automation Solutions

Sanath Kumar, Co-Founder & CEO,Pragadheesh Raj, Co-Founder & CTO

Sanath Kumar, Co-Founder & CEO

Pragadheesh Raj, Co-Founder & CTO

When most Indian consumers think about Home Automation (HA), the first two words pop-up into our minds are ‘complexity & luxury’. HA solutions have been sour grapes for us even after the dawn of wireless technologies, which have brought down the cost from Rs.10-15 lakh to Rs.5-6 lakh for a home, primarily because they are proprietary and run on hub. Although the hub based models are comparatively cheaper, HA still remains unaffordable for an average Indian.

Helmed by Sanath Kumar (CEO) and Pragadheesh Raj (CTO), Karsan Technologies has invented a hub-less technology for home automation. Smitch control, their flagship product, is a tiny Wi-Fi based module that can easily sit behind existing switchboards (an attribute other companies are scrambling their brains about) and control your home appliances. This uniqueness of being a hub-less model which doesn't want you to replace your existing switchboard is what makes Smitch affordable. The product empowers customers to control their appliances from anywhere in the world through a simple remote, a mobile app or voice. Smitch takes pride in being the only Indian smart home company that has official skills integration with Alexa (Amazon’s voice assistant). In a nutshell, Smitch can make you feel like Iron Man for a menial price tag of Rs.25,000.

“For a developer building a product, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” Sanath echoes the sentiment of Da Vinci. Probably that is the reason why Smitch is so particular about leaving the existing switch boards unaltered, hence making it perfect for the millennial as much as it is for people awkward with technology. The best part is that the product is portable. It can be easily uninstalled and fitted into a new home if you are moving out.“Being a modular solution, you can choose to automate only few rooms or even appliances. Once you like the product, you can keep adding more based on your need– like adding toppings to pizza. It can also be easily uninstalled and fitted into a new home if you are moving out.,” Sanath explains the ground-breaking innovation with a mouth-watering example.

Perfecting the Consumer Angle

If you guessed that this idea struck the duo during a pizza party, you’d be terribly wrong. It took them over two years to perfect the product with clear understanding of the Indian consumers and their homes. During their tenure as automation engineering students in PSG Engineering College, the dynamic duo worked on diverse vertical-agnostic automation projects such as driverless car & renewable energy.It was only during their second year that they realized the penchant for HA. Shortly after that, they began their initial research to understand the technology behind existing HA products and the way the Indian consumers perceived the products. With this research and their idea for a hub-less solution, at the age of 19, they raised Rs.2 crore from a Coimbatore-based company to build the product.

Their vast effort didn’t go in vain! The 2015-registered company, began their sales of Smitch around October 2016and, within a short span of six months, it garnered over 750 customers and generated a whopping revenue of Rs.70 lakh.“We invented Smitch with the vision to provide a safe, secure and comfortable home that is affordable for every Indian, not just to make money,” clarifies Sanath.

With the enormous upsurge in demand, they also witnessed an uptick in the request of more innovations (an NRI asked them to prioritize safety as the prime feature and integrate monitoring devices with Smitch at his parents’ home to be with them even if he is away).

Based on massive influx of such requirements, Smitch underwent eight revisions and Karsan unleashed a barrage of new products including Smitch Power and Universal remote among others, with more to come. They also
integrated hundreds of other products with Smitch as per their customers’ wish. Even if the product is not integrated with any of the open source platform, Karsan goes the extra mile to perform a unique tech-backed system disintegration, wherein it approaches the product manufacturer, integrates the desired product with Smitch and performs backend service for the manufacturer.

Based on massive influx of such requirements, Smitch underwent eight revisions and Karsan unleashed a barrage of new products including Smart Plug and Universal remote among others, with more to come

Safeguarding Data

To gain control over the incessantly rising electricity bills, the company has placed an energy monitor into each of its products, which gives customers an energy map of their entire house that helps them to plug exactly where it leaks.“ This plentiful data will clarify where you waste the most and how much you have scored better than yesterday or over the people next to you!” explains Sanath. Being an IoT device, the company is very particular about safeguarding the system from hackers.So,the company has isolated control and analysis of data, which gets encrypted the moment it leaves the customer’s device. Hence, even if the system gets hacked, your data is safe and the hackers won’t be able to control the devices.

Multi-Dimensional Customizations

Smitch enables you to control your 2BHK with voice for a meager amount of Rs.25,000(not to mention a 12 month EMI scheme with zero percent interest), and flabbergast you with another level of service altogether.After clearly understanding the house layout and priorities, the company suggests luxury, good-to-have and must-have automations to help the customer make the right choice.“We provide a lot of inputs to customers besides HA. Our site engineer once sat with a prospect customer and clarified various doubts (why isn't my geyser efficient anymore?) beyond HA. Though we couldn’t crack the particular deal, a week later we got three orders from him for his friends, all because of our team’s service and in-depth knowledge,” Sanath reminisces an anecdote to demonstrate how customer relationship is Karsan’s topmost priority.“We are very candid with our customers.When we go to a house, we think of multiple ways to add value to every single thing in their home. Even though they just pay the one-time-fee for the device, we become an integral part of the customers’ life, since Smitch becomes an extended member of their family,” he adds.

“In this service-packed industry, I’d have one city to love me, rather than mess up my service in ten cities,” says Sanath underscoring the reason why the company hasn’t exploited its tremendous success to spread its wings pan India. After the founders were confident that expansion won’t hurt Smitch’s quality or service level, Karsan strategically broadened to geographical footprint to Chennai and Bangalore a couple of months ago. Since Karsanites have mastered the art of convincing customers in a Tier 2 city like Coimbatore, they find it easier to peddle Smitch in Tier 1 cities like Chennai &Bangalore where the tech adoption rate is pretty high.HA being a novel technology, Karsan lays immense emphasis on training, since its people need to sell the concept before selling the product. Besides its R&D team (comprised of 12 people, who have earned their engineering stripes from diverse disciplines) in Coimbatore, the company has 16 people in its Marketing, Sales & Finances team spread across Coimbatore, Chennai & Bangalore.

Enabling Smart Energy

Smart home is the building block of Smart City. Karsan is noticeably contributing to Smart City initiative by offering automation far beyond the halo of money or technological prowess as well as via vigorously generating awareness, so people won’t think twice before purchasing HA solutions. “We’re working towards understanding various sectors to empower every home to be a smart home,” asserts Sanath. Similarly, it’s participating in the Make in India program by making abundant innovations on energy sector.
The company is also working on an entirely different concept of smart metering, where it will integrate your entire HA solution with a government smart grid, which is hand-in-hand with the smart homes. Karsan is also attempting to elucidate utility department about the benefits in implementing surge pricing model (increasing price during peak hours), which would urge people to balance their energy consumption by scheduling selected activities to the time when the demand is less, even if they’re not at home.

Having its dream run with the stupendous success of its HA solutions, the company is working to make a fierce foray into the commercial automation solutions. Karsan is developing a building management system based on behavioral scale that can help businesses save ton of money by saving electricity.

One such idea is to have a energy tracking system for companies/multinationals. In general, these companies provide separate cabins for managers. Based on usage, each of the managers has different electricity consumption&internet usage patterns.Ideally, all these resources used effectively should become a part of the CTC (cost to the company) for that manager. This helps the company to identify the true CTC and to plug the leakages.This also helps in saving resources by asking the individual to be more judicious with the usage of resources. Currently in beta testing phase at a 100 people strong organization, the system will soon hit the market.

Road ahead

Intending to expand steadily nationwide by the end of FY 2017, the company will start with the other Tier 1 cities in its must-to-have list (Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai & Delhi) and then tick the good-to-have list (Jaipur, Pune, Cochin and so on). The company has plans to raise funds in future for expansion and R&D from investors who can add value not just money.Perceiving this humongous success as just a stepping stone, these fiery youngsters are whole heartedly striving to reach the pinnacle with no sign of exhaustion.


Key Management:

Sanath Kumar, Co-Founder & CEO
With a penchant for problem solving, Sanath is a natural when it comes to identifying the gaps in the ecosystem. Him co-founding his company at the age of 19 is a testimony to his entrepreneurial instincts. Being the face and the voice of the company, his focus is solely on the growth of the company.

Pragadheesh Raj, Co-Founder & CTO
A techie in his flesh, Pragadheesh is always on the lookout to create products that puts a dent in the world we live in. Without doubt, he is the backbone of the company's R&D, Engineering and the technology road map.

Offices: Coimbatore (Headquarters), Chennai & Bangalore

Clients:Though the product has been sold to over 750 customers(customers (B2C), Karsan receives its biggest bills from builders(B2B) in Coimbatore & Bengaluru, who have been implementing Smitch pan their projects by leveraging Karsan’s lucrative financial schemes and the value added model.


Smitch Control: A tiny module that enables customers to control their appliances from anywhere in the world through a simple remote, a mobile app or voice.

SmitchConnect:Smitch connect is an all in one remote control. This is one amongst such coolest invention, which can control multiple remotes of a house simultaneously as per preset commands. For example, if you utter the words ‘movie mode’, Smitch would turn on TV, switch to HDMI2 and turn on AC.

SmartPlugSmitch Power: It helps customers to be energy efficient by turning on/off heavy electrical appliances like geyser even when you are not at home.

Smitch is an Internet of Things company focused on building products for a smarter living. We believe in delightful design that provides perfect functionality in an easy-to-use manner. Our products blend seamlessly into any home and make daily life more convenient, secure and efficient.