Mohammed Mohideen – CEO and Co-Founder, Denvik Technology

The poultry industry often finds itself at a disadvantage due to a lack of digitisation and technological intervention. Open poultry sheds tend to have lower egg output, profitability, and higher bird mortality compared to closed establishments. Monitoring and controlling key parameters is also more difficult in open sheds, and the process is often manual and lacks integration.

Mohammed Mohideen, Santhanaraman Vijaykrishna, and Subramanian Santhanaraman realised that the poultry industry in India, Egypt, and the UAE were facing challenges in terms of digitisation and IoT (Internet of Things) solutions.

In 2007, they founded Denvik Technology, which focused on equipment automation solutions and sustainable solutions for property management. The poultry management solution was launched in 2022.

The Chennai-based startup has developed an IoT solution for poultry farms that collects data, analyses it, and automatically controls the farm environment. It offers equipment automation, smart home and office solutions, and livestock management.

Denvik has expanded its products to various regions, including the Middle East. Currently, Denvik’s OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) products are available in over 35 countries for various industries.

Pivot to poultry

Initially, Denvik developed IoT and controls for air compressors for an Indian company, ELGi. It also provided smart solutions to the Danish cement automation company, FLSmidth, extending product life and improving predictive maintenance.

Denvik launched global products in 2011, but in 2013 the founders conceptualised, piloted and then spun off the idea of IoT-based smart water management—WEGoT Utility Solutions—as a separate entity.

In 2020, when COVID-19 hit, the founders decided to pivot to the agritech industry, specifically focusing on vertical farming and poultry. Denvik’s industrial solutions were adapted to gain early traction with poultry customers.

The products

Denvik offers Ornithon, an IoT-enabled smart solution, which is a web-based and cloud-based application for management reporting and analysis. A gateway is installed at the poultry farm and connected to the cloud, which pushes SMS notifications.

The system sends alarms locally and over phone, SMS, WhatsApp, and email notifications. These alarms are generated over the cloud when the parameters being monitored deviate. For example, if a temperature or ammonia value is out of specification, a warning is issued.

It also helps poultry farmers improve profitability, operational efficiency, and compliance. It allows poultry farmers to convert open sheds to closed ones.

The solution helps farmers increase productivity, improve profitability and reduce bird mortality by providing end-to-end poultry management.

Ornithon monitors vital farm parameters like temperature, humidity, light intensity, ammonia, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. It captures bird weight, prevents suffocation during power failures, and alerts farm owners and workers. Also, it generates daily status reports and helps visualise information for informed decisions.

A case study at Gurubhai poultry farms in Tamil Nadu showed using Ornithon led to an 11% increase in revenues, a 14% increase in egg production, and a 3% reduction in bird mortality rate post-implementation, the company claims.

Middle East focus

During their research in the Middle East, the founders observed that the UAE is experiencing an increase in fresh meat consumption. The consumers are shifting away from Brazilian imports driven by a growing number of farms and a preference for local products.

According toMordor Intelligence, the size of the poultry meat market in the Middle East is estimated to be $30.2 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach $40.6 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 6.08% during the forecast period (2023-2028).

Denvik, with a team of 25 employees, has been indirectly selling products in 2018 in the Middle East through OEMs. However, it had to pause its business due to the pandemic. It began commercial sales in 2023.

“We’ve spent the last two years exploring the market, understanding it, testing, giving a few samples, and seeing what works and what is accepted,” says Mohidee.

In the Middle East, the company currently offers smart office and home automation solutions comprising products like heat recovery, fresh air ventilation systems, utility monitoring, smart coffee machines etc, and Ornithon.

“Countries like the UAE have an increased push towards sustainability. This has led to increased demand for IoT solutions to help offices and homes become more sustainable and energy efficient,” says Mohideen.

For smart office and home automation, it has partnered with UAE-based Green Global Facility Management, a facility management service provider, to offer technology solutions to help homes and offices jointly become more sustainable.

Currently, it has 10 clients in the Middle East. The startup competes with players such as Europe-based Skov, Dutch company Big Dutchman and Fancom, Israeli company AgroLogic, and India’s Guardtech.

Business model

Denvik, a B2B platform focuses on hardware and IoT, including devices, sensors, and automation, rather than cloud subscriptions. The cloud component is integrated into the package, selling it as a device and providing AMC (annual maintenance contracts) subscription or intelligence service support.

It also generates revenue from the sale of control units by designing and installing compressor controls and cement products, which it white-labels for FLSmidth and ELGi. It generates 80% revenue from equipment automation, and the rest comes from smart home/office automation and poultry.

For small farms, Denvik prices its product at around Rs 9,000 per month, while large customers pay 30-40% more due to more sensors and data. The initial investment for automation, temperature control, and environmental control is around Rs 2.5 lakh, or 10,000 dirhams.

While the founders have refused to disclose the recent revenue figures, Denvik has earned a turnover of approximately $14 million since its inception.

In India, it has 20 customers including ELGi Equipment and several startups. “The company has worked with startups to build products to improve sustainability in homes and offices, such as hydroponics systems, smart connected devices for homes and offices, etc,” he adds.

Future plans

To accelerate its global expansion, Denvik Technology raised an undisclosed amount in a strategic investment round led by CI Hub, a growth capital investment firm, in January.

As part of its first phase of expansion, the company has set a target of 700 poultry operations and 100 building automation facilities by 2024. It plans to have 400 poultry operations in the MENA region and 300 in India by 2025. Automated weighing solutions are also being developed for easy data entry and management of bird health and welfare.

“We aim to explore various avenues, including power, air quality, water usage, and waste management,” says Mohideen.

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June 2024