infosys: Industrial Revolution 5.0: Ex-Infosys Veteran Helps Indian Factories Adopt Next-Gen Technology With Knowledge Lens

It is undeniable that the industrial sector is rapidly changing and adapting technology on all fronts. Covid-19 has further accelerated the digital aspirations of manufacturing industries, especially in cutting-edge technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Science and Blockchain. At the heart of it are the country’s small businesses, for whom embracing Industry 5.0 is not far off.

Many projected this vision. Sudheesh Narayanan, 45, former

and employee of Larsen & Toubro, also believes in it, which led him to launch Knowledge Lens in 2013.

Knowledge Lens, based in Bengaluru, is a B2B product company that provides solutions in new age technologies such as Data Science, Big Data Analytics, AI, Augmented Reality, IoT and the blockchain. Its customer base includes manufacturing, automation, pharmaceutical, retail and other companies. Its solutions include factory digitization, asset management and traceability, and fault detection, among others.

Practical experiences

After graduating as an electronics engineer, Narayanan began his career at L&T in 1998. His job involved visiting manufacturing plants. However, he has always been interested in software. “So after two years of doing all the heavy lifting in the electronics industry, I moved into software and joined Infosys, which has been with me for much of my career,” he said. declared.

Sudheesh Narayanan, Founder and CEO, Knowledge Lens.

Narayanan left Infosys in 2013 as chief architect and went to the United States for a brief period. After returning from the United States, he worked for a production company to understand what was missing in the Indian industrial market. He wanted to know what was hindering his growth. “As India’s forte has always been software, I realized that we had to build something on the software side to create a competitive revolution in the industrial sector,” he said.

At that time, cloud and AI were the emerging technologies and Narayanan wanted to tap into this segment. “I’ve always believed that data holds all the hidden gems,” he said, adding that the need to find insights from data led to the birth of Knowledge Lens.

The first thing the company focused on was climate change. As environmental monitoring became imperative in India and air quality issues increased, Knowledge Lens created a product called GreenLens or GLens to provide real-time data on industrial emissions. It can connect to any analyzer and sensor in the field, create analyses, identify the root of pollution and allow remote configuration and calibration.

The company’s other solutions are iLens and MLens. iLens enables factory digitization, AI-based visual inspection, labor management and optimization, and inventory optimization, among others. MLens meets large enterprise data requirements and helps with big data workload migration, cloud data management, and automated disaster recovery capabilities. The company also recently launched UnifyTwin, its first Industry 5.0 solution, as a software company that combines human and machine intelligence to remove digital blind spots for smarter manufacturing processes. Its headquarters are in California, USA.


Today, Knowledge Lens has more than 3,000 customers in automation, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, retail and other industries in India, USA and the Middle East. Some of its clients are Dalmia Group, Jubilant Group and Welspun Group.

Welspun Flooring Limited has worked with Knowledge Lens for two years to automate its manufacturing process. GV Subramanyam Gupta, Vice President of IT and Chief Information Officer of the company, called the experience incredible. Companies have co-created solutions to make things more efficient. “We are able to leverage Knowledge Lens technology to generate unified contextualized information from our connected workers and machines in real time for our coatings manufacturing facility. Some of the key areas of success have been predictable productivity, improving the quality of our products, and implementing operational dashboards at various levels, allowing us to make quick decisions. We plan to replicate the same in other Welspun flooring factories soon,” he said.

SME orientation

Narayanan pointed out that the company is also working aggressively with the SME market, including very small textile mills and tanneries. “The advent of digital transformation is very important to them, especially as Industry 5.0 evolves, as most of their systems today work with pen and paper. efficiency challenges have not been targeted and they are not very well equipped financially to make big investments in the industrial IOT space etc,” he said.

iLens data diode

While there are still challenges around financing and access to infrastructure for small businesses, he said, SMEs are keen to invest in technology to reap the benefits.

What Knowledge Lens brings to small businesses is a reasonable cost. Since the solutions are entirely made in India (hardware, software and last mile implementation), this gives Knowledge Lens an edge over solutions from foreign companies. “That’s why we were also able to gain the trust of SMEs. We also make an upfront investment for them to show them the benefits so they can get things done,” he said.

Knowledge Lens recorded revenue of Rs 90 crore last year, up from Rs 65 crore a year ago. Knowledge Lens India’s turnover last year was Rs 75 crore compared to Rs 55 crore previously.

Narayanan said they expect to earn around $30 million by the end of this fiscal year. The company has a valuation of $120 million. It has been initiated and the promoter is not looking for investments. “I have always believed that for a business model to be sustainable, it must be profitable. You cannot run a business that is not profitable relying on venture capital funds,” he said.

Knowledge Lens is seeking strategic partnerships and international certifications for some of its products.

The company is currently working on its expansion plans. This year, it inaugurated an office in the United States. Narayanan said he wants to expand his reach in Europe and the Middle East.

(Editing by Ram Mohan)

Donald E. Patel