FY 2022 has been a spectacular year for India’s technology industry. It recorded a 15.5 percent growth - the highest ever, to reach US $227 Bn in revenue. A combination of digital and innovation was the industry’s winning formula. Platformisation and software-as-a- service (SaaS) were instrumental in accelerating tech adoption. It was also the year of start-ups, when tech start- ups began leapfrogging into scale-up mode. The industry doubled down on operational excellence of the O+O model (offline and online).

Today the share of digital to total revenue stands at 30-32 percent with 1 in 3 employees being digitally skilled, establishing India’s position as the ‘global digital talent nation’.

These factors have pushed India’s share in the global sourcing market to 59 percent - a testament to India’s new tech value proposition.

*Credits – Nasscom 2022 annual strategic review - resilience to resurgence

Another landmark that the industry achieved was to cross 5 Mn in direct workforce, a highest-ever net addition of 445K. The industry’s ‘people first employee-centric’ approach saw tech firms quickly adapt to hybrid work models and scale up the industry’s digital capacity/capability building programs.

However, India’s relationship with technology began to deepen some 30 years ago. This was post the introduction the economic policy in the 1990’s, based on liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation.

  • J M Baxi and its tryst with tech

J M Baxi’s rendezvous with technology began when the company entered the wireless telecom market by establishing Arya Communications & Electronics Services (Aryacom) in 1988. It was a visionary move as it foresaw the impending telecommunications revolution that would take place a few years from then.

One of Aryacom’s major early initiatives was the association with Motorola, USA in which operating licenses were secured for paging services and Public Mobile Radio Trunking Services (PMRTS) in 10 Indian cities. The company set up its own telecom services division focused on providing pre-sale engineering services and other post-sale services for various mobile telecom operators such as Hutchison Max (Vodafone), BPL (Loop) and others in India and abroad. Aryacom also partnered all major OEM’s engaged in mobile networks and infra equipment suppliers, in the implementation of cellular networks all over India based on radio frequencies and fibre optics.

In the domain of two-way radios (walkie talkies) Aryacom participated and won most of the tenders issued by various government departments as well as non-government customers.

Thereon, Aryacom entered into encryption solutions in association with Transcrypt for all two-way radios, system integration solutions for telemetry, marine radios, and in association with Sargent & Greenleaf for highly secure locks for ATMs and vaults. As of today, Aryacom maintains the pole position in the ATM Segment having an installation base of more than 215,000 high security safe locks which comprises a close to 90 percent share of ATM’s in the country.

From 2010 to 2020, Aryacom began providing wireless broadband solutions, enabling connectivity for offshore installations.

Pivoting once again, during the pandemic Aryacom diversified into the domain of Body Worn Cameras (BWC), Alcohol Breath Analysers (ABA), Unmanned Vehicles (UAV) and drones solutions and services, and received and implemented orders from police authorities, ports and railways. The company also signed exclusive agreements with Barrett Communications, Australia to serve leading central paramilitary forces, intelligence agency and research agencies in the country.

  • Foraying into the water and waste water treatment industry

In 2014 J M Baxi ventured into water and waste water treatment by setting up Arya Water Technologies. The reason for its existence is to 1. provide quality wastewater treatment facilities as per established norms 2. provide efficient cost effective and reliable water and wastewater treatment systems in a manner that respects the environment and 3. protect public health and enhance the environment by treating wastewater and recycling valuable resources wherever possible.

Arya Water Technologies is an ISO- 9001:2015 company with 100 plus installations of water and wastewater treatment plants. The focus is on package plants, standard plants, small and medium projects with emphasis on sewage treatment plants in rural and urban areas.

The company specialises in complex, cost-effective and customised end-to- end water and wastewater treatment solutions based on technologies ranging from conventional to next generation for various applications across sectors. This is done by integrating process technologies, design, engineering and project management capabilities with single source responsibility. It’s customers are the real estate, hospital and hospitality industry, cement industry, port and related infrastructure, biomass industry etc.

From Analogue to Digital

  • Platforms that promote ease of doing business across the maritime world

A key stakeholder in the maritime industry is the reclusive ship-owner, who invests in this floating asset that carries 90 percent of world trade in volume, and 70 percent by value on its tenuous everchanging routes. The myriad geopolitical, weather and economical shifts in world trade were navigated by these shipowners with minimal visibility and control before digitalisation was introduced to the maritime industry.

Within the maritime ecosystem, ports and port agents play a vital role in managing overall port costs and duration by efficiently planning various services like cargo handling, bunkering, ship maintenance, crewing and victualling etc.

Even with multiple digital platforms available in the market today, managing landside time and cost is no easy task as there are still some critical pain points which existing technologies are unable to address. The issues are myriad:

  1. Lack of end-to-end visibility and transparency on port tariff structure
  2. Uncertainty about transit timelines of various currencies
  3. Lack of one integrated solution which can empower end users to control/manage their tasks pretty much from one platform like a one- stop- shop
  4. Lack of tools providing cutting edge analytics, putting data to real practical use thereby enhancing business decisions
  5. No control over Disbursement Accounting (DA) timelines especially in certain parts of the world
  6. Compliance issues

Maritime Stakeholders move to digital networks

Due to such complexities, port cost management is a surprisingly time- consuming and risk ridden process. This is where J M Baxi launched Diabos Global, in the UAE. The company plays a crucial role by providing customised IT enabled services specifically built for the maritime space. The platform delivers superior agent and vendor management, and frees shipowners and operators to focus on driving their business forward. Apart from optimising operational costs, Diabos solutions keep the ship owner / operator in control via an accurate, transparent, sustainable and cost- efficient cloud solution without making the experience of the end user too complex. All this while simultaneously managing mutual trust, concerning data-sharing protocols and protecting respective competitiveness.

Diabos has since 2008 been one of the very few global entities in this space helping shipowners with their global voyages 24/7 and 365 days a year with over 8000 agents serving over 800 ports around the world.

Diabos clients have spent more than a decade with the company, and grown their fleet and their topline more than 500 percent with continuous improvement in the vessel per operator employee ratios.

  • Enabling smart ports and seamless landside logistics ecosystems

With vast experience across the maritime world, J M Baxi understood some of the seemingly small, but significant pain points being faced by the industry. One of them was the lack of a platform that enables all parties involved to talk to one another and in the same language.

The company Portall Infosystems (Portall) was launched in 2015 to expressly provide information technology solutions to the maritime trade sector. The aim is to build transparent, cost effective and efficient landside solutions that contribute to the overall ease of doing business for all the stakeholders in the maritime and logistics space. Portall since then has grown to become a leading provider of information technology solutions and services to the maritime sector and associated trade. It specialises in conceptualising and implementing community platform systems that connect stakeholders and enable collaboration and coordination between various stakeholders.

Besides servicing the J M Baxi group’s internal requirements, Portall also is presently working on two projects of national importance namely, the Port Community System (PCS 1x) and the National Logistics Portal – Marine (NLPM) for the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW), Government of India. The PCS project is presently running on a steady operations mode, while the NLPM is scheduled to be delivered by September 2022.

The PCS implemented by Portall for the Government of India has:

  • Helped India improve its Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) rankings
  • Won the Digital India Award 2020 in Exemplary Product Category from the President of India.
  • Been featured in global case studies
  • Catapulted Portal into working on the prestigious national logistic trade platform

Post COVID-19 J M Baxi’s technology vertical has further stepped up its connections with several global players to contribute actively within the spheres of maritime and logistics, encompassing environmental responsibility, care for societies, governance, productivity enhancement and ethical business practices - for holistic growth and sustainability.