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🤖 "Is Software to Measure Water Quality Actually a Matter of Hardware?"

(don't) Waste Water!

Photo by Ilya Pavlov / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Antoine Walter
Guest: Meena Sankaran | CEO & Founder | KETOS
Category: 🤖 Technology

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[4:58] “One of the projects that KETOS did in early 2017, has been a project around smart villages […] in India. […] These villages […] were getting [water] about once every four days or so. […] That shouldn't be the case. And there is enough technology for us to figure out how to make sure that both the quantity and the quality of water is somewhat managed. It's more of a distribution problem than an availability problem. […] So we were able to implement a solution […] that allowed […] to get water every day, even if it's a couple hours, because they could put a limit on it and manage that threshold versus not getting water for a substantial amount of time. And so very simple things like that were implemented across 25 villages.”

[6:22] “My philosophy has always been keeping local people involved. Because I think when companies fail internationally, it's because you're trying to just go into a community. It's not just technology, it’s people, it’s culture, it’s involvement, and including them to be part of that solution. So we created a circular system where we take the local teenagers and the youth and make them part of the solution. So they could manage our system when we leave. And by doing that they get more enticed to be in the village versus migrate off to cities. And so you're creating multiple impact layers there.”

[12:36] “If you look at the basics, air, water, food, most of it, we take for granted. And we end up measuring every aspect of our day. How many steps we walk, what's my heartbeat. Yet 99% of people have no clue to the quality of water they drink. And it's very easy, because we have just been very privileged in our society, to not have to think about the water we drink nor care about how much water we use.”

[15:36] “What KETOS fundamentally wants to accomplish is, how do we create first, the sensors and the hardware to actually detect heavy metal ions in a continuous manner. Because if that existed, I would have just done the platform, but then it doesn't exist. So we have to dive in and build the hardware layer in a way that it bridges all the gaps from what we see in the traditional legacy market today. And then be able to take all of that data and create the layer of intelligence, which allows industrial, municipalities, agriculture to now look at water safety, food safety, across all their customers in a very different lens.”

[29:29] “Our hardware is proprietary, our software platform that we have built is proprietary. But I think it's important to allow for easy flexible integration with […] APIs, with different types of other sort of layers on top of your platform for the customer to play around with. Because otherwise it's very difficult as a customer to stick with six proprietary systems in their environment that don't talk to each other. And I think the drip part of being data rich, information poor […] that keeps going around and around a lot of the water sector, I think it's because of that legacy approach. And I think the enterprise world is quite used to integrated best of breed type of mentality for decades of adoption. I think that mindset has not seeped into the water sector yet.”

[46:58] “In six years, I hope KETOS is no longer having to worry about awareness to start with. People actually understand that there is a solution to solve this problem. Second, people are able to look at their phone, when they're dropping their kids off to school, [and] know that their school is monitoring their water quality, and their kid is drinking safe water. And know […] by punching in a zip code [for] neighborhood that they're living [in to] understand what that water safety looks like for them. So that communities feel the control and the power back in their hands. And the ability for utilities to also be respected and appreciated by its own constituents knowing how hard they operate.”

Rating: 💧💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 54 min | 🗓️ 07/21/2021
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