Before we begin with the story, let us take you through some facts.
380,000 fatal accidents were reported in 2017, globally. 48,000 workmen died at the workplace in India.
We read these numbers in a news article. We were shocked and saddened at the same time. With technological advancements everywhere, why can’t lives be saved at such places? And that was a trigger to set our thoughts in motion.
The story of Zerek Technologies starts with a talk at one of India’s largest conglomerates. We were invited by our friends at Future Foundry to speak on ‘Next Gen IoT Networks’. We had to address a gathering consisting of engineers, managers and senior officials from various business units. Post the talk, we demonstrated a smart helmet to be used for the workers in the mining industry. This application caught the eye of the digital head of one of the business unit. Post discussion, we agreed to test the application on the actual site. The site was a residential building and 20 workers were to be monitored. The experiment was successful.
That was the time we realized the potential of the solution. We put in months talking to other users and simultaneously developing the prototype. We found that the darker side of the industry is the lack of safety measures due to the tight budget. Accident not only causes damage to workers but the company’s reputation as well. Also, working conditions at sites takes a toll on the health of the workers increasing the absenteeism. In case of a mishap at the site, accidents turn fatal due to delayed assistance. The reason being an uncertainty of the location of worker/s during the critical situation. The accidents further can be avoided if workers are alarmed before they enter a restricted zone or are known to be unfit for work.
We believe “People are the biggest assets for any enterprise”. We see real-time tracking as the best solution to safety and productivity. A monitored situation often performs better than unmonitored one.
In the meantime, we came across an opportunity to apply for a global accelerator – Brinc which supports IoT, Drones and robotics and Food Tech. The two-stage selection process, which lasted for two months, saw companies participating across the globe. After the first stage of selection, teams went in a ramp-up mode for a month. And finally, we were selected among the three teams for the IoT and connected hardware program at MENA region.