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Kunal Kislay: “It never gets easier as we grow and progress, we just get used it”

The range of possibilities ‘computer vision’ offers to enterprises is limitless. From retail, manufacturing, warehousing, safety and security it has incredibly diverse use cases for various verticals. Beyond what is already known and identified, I believe we have potentially unlocked the capability of making sense of visual data that can be adopted by developers and […]

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The range of possibilities ‘computer vision’ offers to enterprises is limitless. From retail, manufacturing, warehousing, safety and security it has incredibly diverse use cases for various verticals.

Beyond what is already known and identified, I believe we have potentially unlocked the capability of making sense of visual data that can be adopted by developers and enterprises alike.


As a part of our series about cutting edge technological breakthroughs, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kunal Kislay.

Kunal is a B.Tech IIT Mumbai alumnus with over a decade and half of experience in enterprise AI, Neural networks and Machine learning. Creating solutions for a vast array of verticals made him understand the pulse of technology and its changing paradigms. Integration Wizards Solutions owes its easy adoption of the most advanced technologies to him. Mentoring a team to tackle impossible challenges is integral to his nature, a trait he actually prides himself on. He led the creation of the flagship product — IRIS, an AI computer vision platform for enterprises. A smooth combination of fearless and fun, working with Kunal is an adrenaline rush for those passionate about technology.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was the chief architect at Antenna Software and had successfully created an enterprise mobility platform that was used by some of the largest organizations in the world. Later, when Antenna Software got acquired by PegaSystems, I along with two of my colleagues decided to bootstrap our own company.

I was fascinated by the sheer volume of visual information being generated in the world. 90% of the data humans consume is visual. Considering just the absolute processing capability of the human brain, it would be apt to say that sense of sight is probably the most advanced of human senses.

As computer vision was not a craze as it is today, I was hoping to use my former experience into building an enterprise computer vision platform to help enterprises harness the true potential of the visual data they generate today (mostly through CCTV Cameras).

The technology proposition we had was very simple. CCTV Cameras today are the most underutilized infrastructure investment and used mostly for retrospective analytics. We were going to convert these passive devices into active analytical tools and provide a platform to do it in a scalable, seamless and secure manner.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Of the many exciting things in my career span so far, it has to be the fact that we signed up a global Fortune 500 on our technology with only a promise of a platform and a company. The organization was looking for something that we were intending to build. We got the opportunity to present our plans and ideas to them, through a common connection. Initially, I was not expecting much from the conversation but had participated just to get some early feedback.

Interestingly, the organization decided to work with us and ended up being our first customer.

We are bootstrapped to this day and the credit goes to that one fortuitous meeting before we even registered Integration Wizards Solutions.

Can you tell us about the “Bleeding edge” technological breakthroughs that you are working on? How do you think that will help people?

Our flagship product, IRIS, is an AI-powered computer vision solution. It plugs into the existing CCTV network of the client and analyses the live feed from multiple cameras to provide actionable insights.

It has had many successful deployments — from monitoring manufacturing premises for PPE and safety compliance, to process optimization in warehouses. It is also installed in several malls and retail chains for visual analytics and is used as an outdoor security solution for the largest solar farms in India. So far, we have successfully deployed for several large-scale customers, several of whom are global Fortune 500.

Beyond enhancing productivity and sales in organizations, IRIS is designed to save lives. Our deployments in some of the most hazard-prone industries like steel manufacturing and heavy engineering ensure alarms are raised for potential hazards thereby saving a likely disaster.

We are also very proud of our solutions for COVID-19 helping manufacturing premises, malls and hospitals to operate with minimal risk. Our solution raises real-time alarms when it identifies a potential hazard or a threshold is breached.

How do you think this might change the world?

The range of possibilities ‘computer vision’ offers to enterprises is limitless. From retail, manufacturing, warehousing, safety and security it has incredibly diverse use cases for various verticals.

Beyond what is already known and identified, I believe we have potentially unlocked the capability of making sense of visual data that can be adopted by developers and enterprises alike.

Visual data accounts for a large chunk of data generated by humans today. In fact, 90% of all the data created in the world’s history was created in the last 2 years. The organization that can understand the magnitude and decipher data as much as possible, in the fastest possible way, is expected to win the AI race.

Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

I believe the most debated aspect of the technology is ‘privacy’. With the high surge in the adoption of technology, privacy concerns are inevitable.

Are people ready for an algorithm to ascertain their demographics, age, gait, and/or the time they spend in a particular place? As we have seen with social media, internet, and most recently mobile phones, if the perceived advantages are substantial, a lot of these concerns are ignored. But can they be forgotten?

Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this breakthrough? Can you tell us that story?

My smartphone would inadvertently get filled with data. A simple examination revealed that over 95% of it was essentially visual data, i.e. videos and photos.

Scientists say about 90% of the information our brains process is visual. Researches prove that the human brain can process visuals almost 60,000 times faster than text. Hence, the information we could potentially get out of a video is a lot more than text or other forms of data. What if we could leverage technology to process visuals in a second or less?

The more I delved into this concept, combined with my passion for technology, computer vision seemed a more viable solution for challenges in enterprises.

What do you need to lead this technology to widespread adoption?

I believe the two main barriers are — the perceived mindset about AI and the lack of interest in investing in a CCTV infrastructure.

Traditionally, CCTV has been under the purview of “security” department of the organization with a simple mandate of securing the premises. The cameras are placed to catch intrusion but seldom positioned to achieve anything more. Besides, the network that supports such infrastructure is often insufficient.

For optimal performance of our technology, it is important that the organizations invest in CCTV infrastructure with a planned and futuristic mindset.

While our technology delivers face recognition, generates demographics, and even operational parameters, the major inhibitor is the mindset.

In other words, there’s resistance to change. Humans, in general, are creatures of habit and often take some persuasion before accepting that the disruption, expense, or adopting new processes will eventually be worth the overall gain.

However, once we are able to create awareness about the product and how it enhances resource efficiency and reduce costs, people are likely to become receptive and engage with us.

What have you been doing to publicize this idea? Have you been using any innovative marketing strategies?

Our experience of working with global conglomerates is highly useful as their endorsement helps us move forward. We are proud to work with leading Fortune 500 companies, globally. We are actively talking about ‘the power of computer vision technology’ across our narratives on our blog, social media channels, partnerships, collaterals, and events. Networking and live demo of our product in industry events have proved to be a major boost for our portfolio. Besides, our partnership with a PR agency has been garnering good media coverage and visibility.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I started Integration wizards when after being settled for about 10 years in various corporate jobs. The responsibilities were manageable, I had a great team and obviously there was sense of stability in what I was doing. Starting Integration Wizards meant giving up on something I was so well settled in.

Before IW was actually started, we spent several weeks deliberating about the possibilities, the pros and cons of starting up at that point. Most of these brainstorming sessions were with my co-founders who also happened to be a part of my team, and my wife. There were nightlong planning sessions, competitor research and funding strategy.

I am grateful for the positivity I had from those discussions. All possible difficulties were discussed and mitigation plans were drawn up. What never came up during this discussion was the viability of the idea and our capability to deliver it. We believed in ourselves and

we believed in each other. This has given me the confidence to start up and remains my biggest drive as we try to overcome new challenges every day.

The fact that I did not need to worry about the financial stability of my house as my wife Puja had taken it up.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

We have contributed significantly by making workplaces safer. Even before the advent of COVID-19, our solution was designed to save lives. We support companies meet their occupational health and safety goals and have significantly reduced accidents by identifying and correcting safety hazards in real-time.

Post-COVID, we believe our impact has been far greater. We have helped several large organizations, particularly in India, restart their operations after a prolonged lockdown. Some of the largest manufacturing hubs (including steel, construction, and automotive), hospital chains, warehouses, and malls have used our solution to monitor face mask compliance and ensure social distancing.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started”.

1. It never gets easier as we grow and progress, we just get used it.

2. What we know today is hardly worth anything, how fast and efficiently can we learn is all that drives the success.

3. There are no best practices as far as building the best team is concerned. Every organization has to devise a strategy that works best for them.

4. Technology can be stolen and copied what eventually defines an organization are people — employees and customers alike. Their trust is the only thing worth striving for.

5. Irrespective of everything we try there will be mistakes and failures. Our competitors will make them too How fast can we get back on our feet after stumbling is what is going to define us.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I wish the next generation would foster a product development mindset. If they will be able to feel proud of a successful product, they will be the ones defining paths and breakthroughs, rather than simply following the “best practices” set traditionally.

Can you please give us your favourite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

The quote “By your stumbling, the world is perfected” by Sri Aurobindo, who is a noted philosopher and author, carries special significance to me. I believe no effort ever gets wasted. Just like any other organization, we have also had our share of slipups, but a positive attitude helps us navigate our failures and learn from them. I believe we are where we are because of our mistakes as much as our achievements.

Some very well-known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

We are a six-year-old bootstrapped organization, based out of Bangalore, with offices in the US and UK. Nine of our customers are global Fortune 500 conglomerates. With solutions deployed in over 21 countries, we have a significant lead in the area of enterprise computer vision platform.

Even by some of the most conservative estimates, there will be over 1 Billion CCTV Cameras by the end of the year. We believe CCTV cameras are one of the most underutilized infrastructure investments used mostly for retrospective forensic analysis.

We have a platform that enables customers to use this existing infrastructure investment to derive actionable insights that help them improve productivity, sales, safety, and security.

We have experience deploying our solutions in warehouses, retail outlets, manufacturing outlets, petroleum retail outlets, malls, and hospitals.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kunalkislay/

Readers can also reach out to me through our company pages on social media:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/10034684/admin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iwizardsolutions/?view_public_for=454831034676983

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iWizardsLtd

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/integrationwizardssolutions/

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

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