Dr Rishi Mohan Bhatnagar, president, Aeris Communications, is an established thought leader in the internet of things (IoT) and digital space. He is credited with having continually delivered sustainable revenue growth through IoT and smart city initiatives, among other digital transformation programmes.
At Aeries, Bhatnagar is tasked with taking the company’s platform to different operators and enterprises. “We are trying to sell our IoT solution in the enterprise market via telecom operators. We are implementing our platform with Aircel and have already deployed the vehicle telemetry and smart meter systems in partnership with the operator. We also have an agreement with Airtel and are in talks with all other operators in India,” he says.
Bhatnagar is the chairperson of The Institution of Engineering and Technology, the IoT panel for India. He is also a member of the NASSCOM Smart Cities Task Force, the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Core Group on IoT, and the Telecommunication Engineering Center.
The IoT phenomenon is catching on across the world, Bhatnagar believes. However, it has different use cases in different parts of the world. “In India, IoT can be immensely useful in the delivery of services such as healthcare and energy distribution. The main trigger for utilising this new technology in India and other developing countries will be an improvement in operational cost efficiency,” says Bhatnagar.
One of his most memorable assignments was implementing IoT solutions for the Mahindra Group’s smart city. “It was quite exciting and a big learning experience,” he says.
On his management style, Bhatnagar says, “I like to be hands-on to see how things work, so that I understand the technology and see the kind of challenges that may arise in future. However, I do delegate as and when required,” he says. He likes to call himself a people’s manager but says that he can be very demanding. “I am personally very hard-working and expect similar behaviour from other people.”
His family includes his wife and two school-going daughters, aged ten and seven. “I spend as much time as I can with them,” he says. He loves reading on technology and has also co-authored a book on IoT, titled Enterprise IoT. Bhatnagar has a Ph.D in information technology and computer science from Singhania University, Rajasthan, and a master’s in computer applications from IMT Ghaziabad.