Founded in 2015, Aquasight is a brainchild endeavor by Founder and CEO Mahesh Lunani, an innovative thinker and strategic operator focused on breaking through the realms of business practices and bringing good financial acumen with a specific focus on increasing company value.
Mr Lunani is passionate about building businesses, who left the corporate world to pursue a passion for resolving big challenges in mature industries with innovative and disruptive digital businesses. Prior to starting Aquasight, Mahesh co-founded a corporate venture group at Cognizant, a NASDAQ listed company, and also worked at IBM, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, and Ford Motor Company. He was a member of the Strategic Leadership Team at Cognizant Technology Solutions that led the strategy and growth of the overall company.
Mahesh is a seasoned business leader with over 20 years of experience in the industry, consulting, and venture capital. His experience spans several industries and in several countries outside the US such as UK, Germany, Korea, China, Japan, and Mexico. Besides, Mahesh chaired venture boards and provided operational oversight on leading-edge emerging businesses that spanned across verticals.
A Glimpse of Aquasight & Service Portfolio
Aquasight invested and built industry-first Real-Time AI infrastructure dedicated to water. It comprises four key components. First, data ingestion can consume data from many proprietary and third-party source systems. Second a data management that partitions and store this high volume and high-velocity data so it can be staged for processing as well retrieval. Third layer Aquasight AI processing engine that has leveraged deep water expertise. The fourth layer is front-end apps that are used by various personnel in the utility workforce. There is a portfolio of six apps Aquasight has created to complete this infrastructure, ATLAS – Pump Health & Operations, AURA – Smart Water Distribution Network, ACE – Smart Sewer Intelligence, APOLLO – Efficient Wastewater Treatment, AMP – Asset Management & Capital Planning, CEWS – Infectious Disease Sewage Surveillance.
Aquasight ‘s clientele primarily includes Municipal water and wastewater systems. And, the company’s motto is to create smart utility, smart operations, and smart operators using technology and AI. They build that faith by making sure they are empowering people with tools that help achieve O&M efficiencies, provide asset intelligence, retain knowledge, manage risks, and in capital planning.
The Inspiration behind the Beginning
Life is a series of dots you never know how and when they connect. Mr Lunani’s career has been a series of such dots that he didn’t plan but in hindsight, they all appear to be linked. From a young age involved in selling water pumps to his first job performing data modelling to a shift to management consulting and finally building a corporate venture group. They have all been instrumental in shaping him and Aquasight.
The Innovative Team & Corporate Ethos
The Aquasight team is made up of those from outside the water sector but excellent problem solvers and those that have decades of water management experience. You cannot innovate when everyone thinks the same way. Regarding their ethos, the company has Aquasight Way. This is a set of 10 principles by which the organization is operated. For example, one of them is “make your work inheritable”. That means one can only grow if the work you are doing and the innovation you create are easily executable by another person in the organization. Perhaps this is counterintuitive but that is exactly the kind of mindset we require at Aquasight.
Hiccups & Helping Hand in the Journey
The primary challenge has always been building infrastructure that is scalable and features that add true value to our customers. This requires intuition, gut feel, and a proper feedback loop from customers so we can continuously improvise. Fortunately, Mahesh and his team never had to pivot, they kept expanding their solution set from the foundational infrastructure they built.
“We are very grateful to a number of people. Our team, Our advisors, and Our customers all have accepted our vision and tried our solution during the early years. We built on successes but also every time we failed; we became introspective. I am also incredibly thankful to my wife and the family. Personally, I learned a lot in every facet and I am trying to be a better leader, innovator, and difference-maker to everyone I touch every day. No one is perfect but we can all strive to be better,” apprised Mr Lunani while talking about those people whose support has led him to reach where he is today.
Creating a more Balanced and Equal Industry
You can do well by doing good. There is a lot of wastage in this world, and all organizations can contribute in a very positive way if they look through their products and business models and understand how they can minimize the burden we are placing on our planet’s resources.
A Day in Mahesh Lunani’s Life
Mr Lunani confessed that he had a bad routine in his 20s and 30s. He learned over time and perhaps the hard way that one can only achieve higher levels of performance if you have a routine that is consistent and predictable (which may sound boring). Presently, he wakes up at 6:00 A.M and sleeps at 10:00 PM. Everything in between is more or less predictable – product meetings, customer meetings, and sales meetings. He involves in many 1-on-1 meetings to understand the progress his teams are making and the challenges they are facing. As per hobbies, the leader loves playing tennis, reading up on inspiring stories or meeting inspiring people, and exploring other cultures by touring various parts of the world.
When asked about future plans, Mr Lunani shared, We just got started. I believe our future is all about growth, product, customer, and regional. In addition, we are taking our technology to other vertical markets such as manufacturing, O&G, and telematics.”
A Piece of Advice for Emerging Business Leaders
Try to find the problem you want to solve first and if you can couple that with perseverance and ingenuity then the sky’s the limit.