How to Build a Smart City Business ft. Sridhar Gadhi, Quantela Inc.

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Building a Smart City Business from Scratch

In this episode, we speak to Sridhar Gadhi, the founder & Executive Chairman at Quantela Inc. Quantela is a global leader in the space of urban infrastructure digitization with its outcomes-focused technologies deployed in over a 100 smart city projects across the Americas, EMEA, CIS, India and APJ markets; helping improve liveability of citizens, operational efficiency, resilience and sustainability in those cities.

This was a conversation I've wanted to have for a long time to understand how the Smart City initiative actually works and what the opportunities are for new entrepreneurs entering this space. We have a detailed discussion going into the Go to Market strategy for Smart City startups, the entire value chain of the business and even whether new companies should first focus on the Indian market or export.

Sridhar is also a Member of the Global Internet of Things (IoT) Council at the World Economic Forum and thus at the end he also gives us a perspective on the Global opportunities that exist in IoT and Smart Cities.

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Episode Timeline

(0:00) - What is Quantela, what inspired you to start Quantela?

(3:55) - What is a Smart City?

(7:00) - How did Quantela's unique ‘Outcomes-as-a-Service’ business model help Quantela to become global leaders in the urban infrastructure digitization space?

(11:15) - How do Smart Cities fund their project and measure ROI of the project?

(16:15) - What are the new Funding Models that cities are using to fund their Smart City projects?

(23:30) - What is the value chain of Smart City Projects - Software vs. Hardware?

(25:45) - What are the focus areas by the Government for the Smart City Programme?

(29:00) - How do you identify the problems that need to be solved and enter the Smart City Space?

(32:20) - What are the profit margins in the Smart City space?

(33:10) - What are the infrastructural requirements for the Smart City Programme to really take off in India?

(35:05) - Should you focus on exports or domestic supply if you're a new business in the Smart City space?

(36:20) - What insights have you derived from being part of the World Economic Forum for Smart IoT and Smart Cities?

(37:50) - What are the necessary skills and minimum readings for new entrepreneurs entering the Smart City space?