Suparna Systems: From e-Governance To AI, Excellence Achieved

Satish Kumar, Founder & CEO

Startups have had their time in India. Some perished, some flourished and some broke the internet and media with their revolutionary ideas and innovation. Driving a startup from scratch, to heights, when government bodies and media conglomerates can’t stop talking about it, is excellence. Bangalore based Suparna Systems is one such startup with Satish Kumar, as the harbinger to this venture.

The incredible journey of Suparna Systems started with Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) selecting Suparna Systems for implementing Standard and Labelling (S&L) Software application. Bureau of Energy Efficiency is a Government of India body entrusted to implement and monitor Energy Conservation [EC] Act and Standard and Labelling is a key thrust area of EC Act. The BEE S&L Portal developed by Suparna Systems played a key role in the adoption of energy efficiency labels prominent on Air-conditioners and Refrigerators.

Moreover, Suparna Systems was entrusted the work of development of Customer Care Application for Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM). Since the project was sanctioned to Suparna Systems at the eleventh hour, the company showed exceptional swiftness by delivering the software application on-time. At the time, Suparna Systems had couple of engineers and technical support people on its payroll. Given the people being freshers, Satish faced twin challenges of developing its people as well as delivering the application for which one of the most reputed public sector companies had selected Suparna. The company was able to successfully deliver and maintain the application up-to contract period.

In a similar venture with the state of Karnataka, Suparna Systems was selected to develop and deliver eJanaspadana Systems for the Government. eJanaspandana System was a centralized grievance application system used across the departments of Government of Karnataka. The challenge was to develop a multilingual grievance application (dual interface of both Kannada and English) which can scale to hundreds of government offices spread across 30 districts of Karnataka. With the competitive environment of the Bangalore IT workforce market, there was a recent turnover in Suparna System employees and the technical staff was freshly recruited. Obviously, Satish had to step in to write the application. The first CM Janatha Darshan Programme was organized through this software and the software is in use widely for monitoring state level grievances.

Having gathered success stories in the eGovernance and enterprise domain and scoring high in the software solutions market for the government sector and public sector companies, Suparna Systems is looking down the barrel to explore the most dynamic technology: Artificial Intelligence. More so, the past experiences have had a cumulative effect on Suparna Systems capabilities and the company is showing promises to excel in this domain too. Getting the entrepreneurial zeal, Satish realized that artificial intelligence is the way forward for Suparna Systems. The past successful projects building innovative software applications speak for themselves and position Suparna as a strong contender in the AI domain.

Enterprise Applications to Reform 10 Folds with AI
Suparna Systems is a bootstrapped startup led by the founder, Satish Kumar, a postgraduate from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and an ex-employee of Cisco Systems, San Jose. Satish Kumar’s work in information technology and eGovernance has been widely recognized and covered by reputed newspapers like Times of India, Hindustan Times, Navbharat times, and Punjab Kesri etc. He had also been interviewed by NDTV. When we talked to few other experts and entrepreneurs working in this area, they have very high praise for Satish meticulous and systematic exploration of new area and then conceptualizing a viable and workable product and service. When Suparna Systems has awarded the contract for 311 like services in NODIA, the entrepreneur explored 40-50 different US and Canadian cities websites and applications and tried to understand
their 311 delivery systems. This helped him learn a great deal about city services. Within such a small time of 5 months Satish with a newly recruited six fresh graduates delivered Noida Citizen Charter App. The app became instantly successful and got excellent reviews which are still available to view online. This motivated several other cities to consider deploying similar applications. More so, the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government mentioned that the Noida service delivery model will be replicated across all districts of UP (UP has 80 districts and having 20 million population). The work got recognized as a replicable model for other cities. “What was delivered was the one of the core blocks of Smart City, Citizen Services”, adds Satish. By mid 2015, the company delivered the MobileApp based city services. One of the leading newspapers of India, Hindustan Times wrote about the MobileApp being as good as those deployed in western world. What makes Satish different from other persons in the same field is his ability to build a team and institutionalize a process. In just over a period of six months, Satish had built a team of four android mobile developers fresh out of college to deliver the cutting edge MobileApp and established a quality check process which helped him to deliver such a cutting edge application. Satish has achieved one of the rare feats of making a profitable bootstrapped software company that has an incredible record of delivering multiple successful eGovernance and enterprise software. During the BEE S&L project, Satish handled all the roles in Suparna Systems, CEO, Financial Officer, Software Developer, Tester and support engineer. He was able to deliver this highly successful eGovernance application in a record time of less than 60 days. It goes without saying that Artificial Intelligence might just reduce this time period by half. This is exactly what Suparna Systems is venturing into, in the years to come.

"The past successful projects building innovative software applications speak for themselves and position Suparna as a strong contender in the AI domain"

AI is the Road Ahead
Currently, Suparna Systems is delivering Enterprise Applications Software for Hubli Electricity Supply Company Limited (HESCOM), a more than a billion dollar enterprise. The software delivery part is over and the application is mostly operational across more than 300 offices in HESCOM. Suparna Systems has been operationally profitable from last one year. The entry into AI backed enterprise solutions is going to give a lot of early movers advantage to Suparna Systems. When the company was started the web development revolution had already taken its vantage point. There were many companies globally as well as in India delivering great software. Also, Satish recalls that the companies who were good in Client Server domain had a very easy transition to web based software and these companies were having a massive lead over the new entrants. Besides, in India there is an entry barrier in terms of pre-qualifications requirements and financial turnover to compete in eGovernance works. Breaking this entry barrier is a very slow process starting with delivering the software build, achieving a certain level of pre-qualification requirements, and financial turnover and then going to the next level. Each of these levels takes more than a year to move, hence making the growth a very slow process. With the entry of Artificial Intelligence the market goes for a spin. “AI is going to take away the entry barriers for new companies everywhere. This is start of the race and any company can participate in the race. It is not necessary to work in eGovernance domain, rather it is much easier for us, if we go beyond this domain and focus on delivering great AI software. We want to diversify from Government and given the option, I want our eGovernance work to be a small fraction of our overall work,” says Satish Kumar, Founder & CEO, Suparna Systems.

Satish has rich prior experience in developing enterprise solutions and Citizen Services that were customer facing services in the enterprise world. Over a period of last few months Suparna also developed a good sense of Machine Learning and AI through MOOCs. Like US government digital services playbook, Suparna too is trying to develop an AI playbook for customer facing services that can be modified for Government Services also. The company is developing AI backed enterprise software with cloud enablement and having native Android & iOS Mobile Support. At the same time, Suparna is also putting machine learning models in different processes. Lot of existing processes of enterprise applications is going to be made redundant in the AI world. Digital Twins is also part of the agenda in the years to come. Digital twins are extensively used in industrial products. However, much of it has not been implemented where the business processes are concerned. As Suparna Systems develops and marches forward, this will become clearer and the company looks forward to get a better understanding of the correct method to do it.