Amid all the youthfulness Kerala’s vibrant startup ecosystem exudes, a company helmed by a group of seasoned professionals has found a solid ground, making strong footprints in the all-challenging deep-tech industry.
Incubated under the Kerala Startup Mission, International Virtual Assistance Pvt Ltd (IVA), based in Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram, recently bagged the title of “Best Research Company in AI” at the 4th edition of the Global Artificial Intelligence Summit and Awards (GAISA) 2024.
With this, IVA became the only company from Kerala to have received the global award in all four editions of GAISA, jointly hosted by the All India Council For Robotics & Automation (AICRA), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Director General of Civil Aviation and Centre for Joint Warfare Studies.
The company started its operations in 2019 with an innovative human health monitoring system for which won an ideation grant from the Kerala government. Later the company forayed into aerospace and defence with AI research and developments centred on digitising the high-profile domain.
“IVA maintains a strategic academic partnership with premiere Indian institutions such as IITs and NITs to ensure a cutting-edge technology advantage. In 2021, we launched our flagship product DataCivet in the Gitex Supernova Challenge, held in Dubai, where IVA was the only AI-based company in India to be shortlisted. DataCivet was initially a data management platform and it was later expanded into a digital twin platform. It is now utilised in research and development organisations in defence, for developing aircraft engine health monitoring solutions,” Suresh Kumar S P, the company’s chairman, told Onmanorama. He joined IVA after retiring from DRDO’s gas turbine research establishment as associate director.
Thiruvananthapuram native Aji Soman is the founder and chief operating officer of IVA. He comes with 25 years of experience in entrepreneurship and business management. Dr Roy George, professor and chair of cyber-physical systems at the University of Atlanta, is the director and chief scientist at IVA.
The research and development works of IVA on defence and security address challenges in industries similar to aerospace, by developing cost-effective and resource-efficient ‘digital twins’.
A digital twin is a virtual model of a physical object, system, or process, created by integrating data from various sources like sensors, across the product life cycle. It enables the development of a real-time health and usage monitoring system preventing unscheduled downtime in operational environments.
“IVA’s product, DataCivet, aims to address the absence of such solutions in India by providing an indigenously developed digital twin infrastructure promoting human resource-efficient digital twin development. It is highly cost-effective and customizable to meet specific needs. Data is entirely stored and processed in India maintaining compliance with Indian regulations,” Suresh Kumar said.
Through AI-enabled farming in collaboration with the Kerala Agriculture University, IVA also promotes sustainable farming by ensuring efficient resource supply to plants in the agricultural environment. IVA has also diversified its technological reach into the industrial security ecosystem, with its advanced video analytics platform, with features such as accident detection and prediction of accident blackspots, for which the company bagged the runners-up title for the Delhi Police Open Innovation Challenge by AGNIi Mission. In addition, IVA was featured for its exemplary use of AI Technologies to revolutionize Kashmiri Carpet Weaving with a mission to preserve the cultural heritage of India.
The company has a 27-member team. It is poised to expand into other major sectors, aiming for comprehensive industrial digitisation to meet the standards of Industry 4.0/5.0. The company intends to diversify and amplify its research and development endeavours within the key major industries like aerospace, oil & gas, healthcare, maritime and defence in the global market in the forthcoming year. The company has yet to explore external investments.