Q&A - Rahul Birla, sales manager, EcoEnergy Insights Europe

January 30, 2019 by John Hatcher
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Q&A - Rahul Birla, sales manager, EcoEnergy Insights Europe

Rahul is the head of sales for Europe at EcoEnergy Insights. He is responsible for the go-to-market strategy and execution that includes sales, partnerships and marketing in the region.
 
Rahul has a successful track record of more than a decade - spanning sales, business developing, consulting and product management. He is focused on the role of IoT and Big Data in driving energy efficiency and other advanced analytics-led programs that add value to his customers.
 
Prior to EcoEnergy Insights he worked with Wipro Ltd, an India based information technology company.

How did you become involved in the Smart Buildings industry?

I joined EcoEnergy Insights six years ago and that’s when I realized that ‘smart building’ was not just a buzz word, but that it was becoming a reality. I also saw that smart building solutions were not just limited to large buildings but were also viable in small and medium-sized buildings. Today, EcoEnergy Insights is using its artificial intelligence platform CORTIX to analyse thousands of data points across buildings and translate them into business intelligence. This is being applied to businesses globally and materially improving energy efficiency, occupant comfort and smart space management. It is a very exciting industry!

What excites you about the Smart Buildings industry?
I am excited by the potential for expansion and innovation. With so many devices and equipment now connected, there is a constant stream of data being generated. The actual benefit comes when we are able to triangulate all these data streams and provide actionable insights to the building owner/operator for them to act on and be more agile. It is at this point that we can see tangible benefits in terms of energy savings and cost reduction.

Are there any particular technologies that we should be aware of, but are currently under the radar?
A single artificial intelligence-led platform, on which all the building’s IoT devices, assets and controls can be connected, is something all building owners/operators should consider. With business needs and scenarios constantly changing, a static policy is not an agile solution.
The EcoEnergy Insights CORTIX platform today integrates multiple data sources – building management systems, IoT devices, security, fire, access, business systems, weather feed, etc. – and provides granular insights.

What services does your company offer?
EcoEnergy Insights provides actionable insights to our customers today that contribute to real outcomes. Our analytics-led services complement existing investments made by customers. By integrating multiple data sources we design both short-term and long-range analytics outputs for our customers. These outputs serve various business use-cases, including energy reduction, maintenance cost reduction, food loss prevention, policy adherence and asset availability, among others. We engage with our customers in multi-year contracts designed to provide continual tangible savings.

Are people aware of the regulations that they will need to comply with in the near future?
In my experience, yes. Many of the building owners and operators are aware of the regulations that affect them. However, while some businesses create their programs and goals based on these regulatory policies, most are likely to only meet the minimum requirements, allowing them less room to manoeuvre if policies continue to change. Future changes to regulations are expected to be more stringent. Building owners and operators will benefit from being well equipped so that they not only reap the benefits of their program, but also stay ahead of any future developments.

What are the benefits of a smart building?
There are many. A smart building provides the building owner and operator with greater agility to create an environment that provides continuous comfort, safety and security to its occupants. It also works to save costs on energy and maintenance. Many businesses also use smart buildings as part of their corporate social responsibility strategy.

Who has been the biggest influence in your career?
I could not possibly name only one person. I am lucky to have worked with some amazing people and have had great mentors in my professional career. At EcoEnergy Insights, our Managing Director Mansoor Ahmad has been an influential mentor, who has not only guided me but also our company to greater heights with his vision, foresight and strong execution.

What is the question you are most often asked in your business life?
What are Big Data Analytics?

What are the best/worst things about your job?
The best thing about my job is talking to people about EcoEnergy Insights solutions and getting that ‘WOW’ response. Many underestimate the power of data and the value it can bring to their organization.
One of the things I find disappointing is that the industry is so fast moving in terms of new technology and equipment being introduced, that sometimes the industry has moved on to something new before we can fully realise the value of existing technology. That is where EcoEnergy Insights comes in, to provide advice to our customers on how to first maximise value from their existing technology and equipment before investing in something new. Through data we also advise our customers on how to best prioritise upgrades to their systems for continued growth.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?
To work in this industry you must be passionate because that will provide you with the required patience and dedication. Progress takes time and you must be prepared to work hard.

What living person do you admire and why?
That would have to be my mother. She has been an inspiration for me from a very young age. She taught me how to aim high but also be grounded in reality. I also learned from her how to be independent but connected to people. Last but not least, she taught me to how to be compassionate to everyone and to have a sharing mind-set.

Where would you most like to live?
I’m happy to go wherever my work takes me.

What is your favourite book?
Man-Eaters of Kumaon by Jim Corbett.

How do you relax?
Six months ago, I became a father for the first time, so now most of my relaxing time is spent playing with my daughter.

What sports team do you support?
The Indian Cricket team.

What is your desert island disk?
It’s difficult to choose just one, so I guess it will have to be my iPod with a selection of tracks!

What is your ideal holiday?
My ideal holiday is the Indian jungle with my wife. The thrill of finding a tiger at the next turn or a new bird on a distant branch is very exciting. It can sometimes get tiring, but the adventure is worth it for me.

 

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