An exclusive interview with Meenakshi Vashist, Founder & CEO of TekUncorked, a LVIoT platform that makes the electricity distribution grid Smart
Welcome to an insightful interview with Ms. Meenakshi Vashisth, the visionary Founder and CEO of TekUncorked, a groundbreaking startup that is transforming the landscape of electricity distribution. With a trailblazing LVIoT (Low Voltage Internet of Things) platform, TekUncorked has garnered international acclaim for its innovation in creating a Smart, Connected, and Predictive grid.
Ms. Vashisth’s leadership has propelled the company to the forefront of the industry, addressing critical challenges and spearheading efforts to decarbonize the grid. Join us as we delve into the journey of TekUncorked and the remarkable contributions of Ms. Meenakshi Vashisth to the evolution of electricity distribution networks.
Meenakshi Vashisht, a visionary technologist with over two decades of experience in product architecture at esteemed organizations like ISRO, C-DoT, Temic, Motorola, and NXP, embodies a lifelong passion for addressing societal challenges. Her journey, inspired by childhood curiosity, began with a deep-seated empathy for disparities in electricity access.
Driven by a burning desire to effect change, Meenakshi traversed India, engaging with diverse communities that ignited profound insights into the nation’s fabric. Partnering with childhood friends, she embarked on an entrepreneurial odyssey, culminating in the creation of a successful ed-tech venture before channeling her focus towards her enduring childhood conundrum.
In 2019, TekUncorked emerged, spearheading an AI-based LVIoT platform revolutionizing electricity grid monitoring, fault detection, and combating theft. Meenakshi’s unwavering commitment to transforming electricity distribution systems extends beyond technological advancements. Her vision is anchored in creating smarter, connected, and predictive grids to curtail energy loss, enhance availability, and elevate power quality.
Meenakshi’s ethos reverberates through TekUncorked’s mission, advocating for sustainability and reduced carbon footprints in electricity distribution. Her profile reflects a paradigm shift in the conversation around energy consumption, urging consumers to align with sustainable habits for prolonged electricity utilization.
As an impactful leader, her legacy resonates in reshaping the narrative of electricity distribution with innovation, empathy, and a steadfast commitment to environmental stewardship.
What inspired you to start TekUncorked, and how did the idea for the LVIoT platform come about?
Meenakshi Vashist: A trek in the Chamoli district in the Himalayas and a chance meeting with a village lady brought me up and close to energy access struggles in India. A trigger that took me over 20,000 km through rural, suburban, and urban India helped me build familiarity with the landscape of electricity access in India and led me to found TekUncorked to create a full-stack platform like LVIoT to solve grid losses, its efficiency, and resiliency.
Can you delve into the specifics of the LVIoT platform and how it contributes to making electricity distribution grids smart, connected, and predictive?
Meenakshi Vashist: TekUncorked’s LVIoT platform leverages AI-IoT to enable better management of the electricity distribution grid and make the existing grid smart and predictive. It comprises LVIoT devices that sit on top of the grid infrastructure like sub-stations, distribution transformers, and feeder pillars.
The devices continuously capture data about electricity demand & supply, grid health, operation, protection, and safety. Tek Uncorked AI engine uses this data to auto-heal the grid for power quality, efficiency, and demand management in a predictive manner. The objective is to remove unpredictability, faults, and losses in the worldwide electricity grids and smoothly transition them towards net-zero.
TekUncorked has been making waves globally. Can you share some examples or case studies highlighting the impact of LVIoT in different regions or countries?
Meenakshi Vashist: Sure. TekUncorked has done pilots and commercial orders across 6 States. Some key achievements have been
- Getting about 100 sq km of rural area around Delhi under the supervision of LVIoT platform to eliminate transformer thefts and reduce time to detect and rectify outages in rural areas.
- Another pilot had been done in Puri in Odisha. Every year incidents occur during Rath Yatra owing to overloading of the grid along the 10 km path of the Yatra. TekUncorked LVIoT Smart Edge IoT Devices and AI Engine worked in tandem to closely manage the feeders providing electricity supply for the Yatra by giving early forecasts and alerts on overloads and helped the utility proactively manage the fault conditions. This led to a very successful Yatra this year devoid of any electricity related incidents
- TekUncorked has also digitized over 200 LT sub-stations in Delhi NCR to improved grid management and grid resiliency this year
Are there any upcoming features or enhancements to the LVIoT platform that you can share with us?
Meenakshi Vashist: The platform is being further augmented to build Open APIs for Smart Meters and EV Chargers so that critical distribution grid infrastructure can be brought on the common Big Data platform to drive holistic business and operational value adds.
How do collaborations with utilities, government agencies, or other entities contribute to the development and deployment of LVIoT?
Meenakshi Vashist: Utilities provide the key inputs about the challenges in the grid and evaluate the positive impact of the innovations brought in to solve those challenges. Thinktanks & CoE validate those benefits. Govt agencies play a key role in driving the policies and System Integrators help in accelerating the adoption.
TekUncorked is strategically partnering with the various players in this ecosystem to strategically solve for the grid with India leading the way.
What is your vision for the future of TekUncorked and the role it will play in shaping the future of energy distribution?
Meenakshi Vashist: Our key role is strengthening the distribution grid to facilitate transition to net-zero as everything fuel moves to electric.
As a successful entrepreneur, what advice do you have for individuals aspiring to start their own ventures in the tech and energy sectors?
Meenakshi Vashist: Focus on the problem you are solving and take your innovations in the field as soon as you can. Work closely with the customers to make the tech stack reliable and robust.
Beyond the technical aspects, how does TekUncorked contribute to broader social and environmental goals, such as reducing carbon emissions or increasing access to reliable energy?
Meenakshi Vashist: We are very conscious and committed to climate actions. The team is facilitated and encouraged to use only electric vehicles for office commute, there is a strong focus on reduced use of paper as well as educate the broader audience about the need for net zero transition through various forums and events.
In conclusion, our conversation with Ms. Meenakshi Vashisth has unveiled the transformative power of TekUncorked’s LVIoT platform in revolutionizing the electricity distribution grid. As the Founder and CEO, Ms. Vashisth’s dedication to sustainability and innovation has not only positioned TekUncorked
as an industry leader but has also significantly contributed to the global efforts to decarbonize the grid. The award-winning LVIoT platform’s ability to forecast and mitigate risks, provide accurate insights on power quality, load management, demand forecasts, and grid health underscores its significance in shaping the future of energy distribution.
Ms. Vashisth’s vision and TekUncorked’s cutting-edge technology are indeed paving the way for a smarter, more connected, and sustainable energy ecosystem.
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