Archana Sastry is the CEO of UtilSens Technologies. UtilSens Technologies is a technology innovation company founded in August 2017 contributing ideas to upgrade lifestyle with technology products. Their aim is to unleash the potential in the technology markets with ideas to organize and upgrade lifestyle by empowering minds and increasing awareness. Archana was in conversation with Susparsha Gaikwad, Assistant Editor at incubees.com.
INCUBEES: Tell us about your product or services?
Archana: Utilsens has their homegrown products in the road safety domain and currently service their own products. The Services division of Utilsens is yet to be started. Road safety products are first of its kind initiatives to digitize road safety concept among the drivers and learners.
The first set of our products at UtilSens are:
Traffic Sens, Traffic Sens for Learners, Traffic Sens Online, and Kannadadalli Traffic Sens.
These are mainly mobile, web, and Windows applications with animated tutorials of traffic sense and road behaviour for users and also has built-in gamification for testing the driver psyche & understanding by generating scores for their performance as well as we provide certificates of completion!
Street Sens is an in-transit mobile app to report on-street incidents and access helplines & nearby services instantly during emergencies on the road
Our goal is to reach “Zero accidents on-road” and customized navigation assistance to our road users based on Google maps and other geographical parameters
INCUBEES: What makes your product/services unique and what competition do you see in India and globally?
Archana: Traffic Sens is a novel tutorial-based, interactive virtual reality app. It has a voice tutor similar to the real-life tutor guiding the learners. The tutor instructs to attempt driving online in various real-life imitating scenarios. The game motivates the learner towards thinking & situation-based decision making and enhances driver alertness and presence of mind. Traffic Sens for Learners plays a key role in modifying the mindset of the new aspiring drivers and learners to behave with caution while on road. We have demoed the same to BTP and got good comments on the same.
- Street Sens provides First-help in connecting the public with the emergency helplines, assists in raising help tickets during emergencies on roads and helps in reporting road incidents or traffic rule violations to the concerned authorities making you streetwise and road safe.
- Not many competitors are seen in this regard in the field of road sense and safety both in India and globally. We are proud pioneers in this direction to set out to change the world
INCUBEES: What are the challenges you see in the market at this point?
Archana: Spreading awareness: Visibility that is required to reach next generation aspiring drivers & the right set of audience at the right time is the biggest challenge that we are currently dealing with.
- Like-minded counterparts: We are approaching NGOs, Schools & Colleges and transport organizations to spread awareness on the topic and to announce the mere existence of such an app in the play store and the world wide web. So far we have enrolled more than350 users including both individual and organizations.
- Lack of faculty: To join hands with the initiative is another big challenge. Traffic Sens being an educative app it should be picked up as a part of the road safety syllabus or as a social responsibility of existing educational institutions and the knowledge needs to be imparted to various strata of the society.
INCUBEES: Tell us about your team and what inspires them?
Archana: Any invite for a session in public gatherings about Traffic sens and the street Sens app is definitely inspiring for us and our team! After our first public speaking at Lion’s club meeting during the traffic safety week, we spoke to the police commissioner about our app. We were also invited to the Rotary zoom meet for a speech about Traffic Sens!
- Reaching out and certifying drivers inspires us. Reaching out to the Traffic Police team and the RTOs. We would like to contribute to the RTO testing infrastructure using Traffic Sens!
INCUBEES: Where do you see your product/service reaching in the next five years?
Archana: In the next five years, we see this app becoming really popular and universally well known to all the drivers and students who are willing to start driving on public roads.
- Our goal is to ensure that this app is present in everyone’s mobile or laptop in every household and parents really encourages their teenage kids to go through this educational app and assess their traffic sense before actually venturing on their own.
- We would like to see that in the next 5 years India is fully free from road accidents and we get to see a uniform behaviour and well-disciplined traffic on the roads : )
- We also wish our advertising rap (Traffic Sens anthem) crosses one million views on YouTube and Street Sens really becomes an in-transit buddy for all the travellers : )) across the globe.
INCUBEES: Do you have plans to raise funding to grow your business or allow your business to organically grow?
Archana: Utilsens being a bootstrapped start-up company has been growing organically until now.
- Going further, we would like support in terms of like-minded people joining hands with us as partners in upholding this initiative, spreading awareness, employing online training faculty and subscriptions from many transportation organizations and driving schools enrolling for this app as an add-on course for their students.
- Service being the motto, we have also translated the app from English to Kannada (regional dialect) and made the same available for the smartphone community, web users and windows stand-alone application users.
- Once an organization registers with us we provide free access to the app for all their students or employees. We welcome many reputed institutions to come forward to us with an opportunity!
INCUBEES: What are the challenges you face as a start-up?
Archana: Getting funds and investments to bring more to the table
- Conducting contact workshops during covid times (we are fully online now) • Prioritizing public needs in this interest of road sense and safety
- Spreading awareness through media like new channels, radio channels etc.. • Onboarding conventional driving school admins as app administrators.