Rohit Sinha, chief technology officer of SmartPM Technologies, leads a team in developing new technology that is transforming the construction industry. Since the SmartPM software as a service (SaaS) product was launched in mid-2019, the Atlanta startup has seen rapid growth, from $0 to over $1.5 million in annual revenue.
Rohit wrote code at age 9 “for fun,” and started a business where he built desktop and web applications for clients at age 12. By age 25, Rohit was managing the delivery and architecture of a $20 million project for one of the world’s largest fund managers.
He went on to develop the architecture of enterprise solutions for multiple organizations, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, and founded several technology and software consulting companies.
Rohit holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and computer science from Georgia Tech.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- About SmartPM Technologies
- Technology for the construction industry
- How SmartPM Technologies is making a difference in the industry (both in commercial construction and insurance)
- Some key partnerships of SmartPM in the construction and insurance industry
- Involvement of SmartPM in Atlanta’s Tech industry
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This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:04] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for Atlanta Business Radio brought to you by on pay Atlanta’s new standard in payroll. Now here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:24] Lee Kantor here, another episode of Atlanta Business Radio, and this is going to be a good one, but before we get started supporting to recognize our sponsor on pay without them, we couldn’t be sharing these important stories. Today on the Land of Business Radio, we have Rohit’s Senhor with smart PM Technologies Welcome.
Rohit Sinha: [00:00:44] Hey, how are you doing today?
Lee Kantor: [00:00:45] I am doing great, I’m excited to learn what you’re up to. Tell us about smart technologies. How are you serving, folks?
Rohit Sinha: [00:00:51] Yeah, so smart cam technologies. We were founded in 2016. We are a construction project, controls and analytics platform. We analyzed the construction project schedule to really get all of the different stakeholders on the same page and really understanding the data. It’s a fairly large and complex dataset that confuses most people, and we we demystify and give you clarity into what your data is telling you.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:21] So what’s an example of some of the insights that your software helps them kind of glean?
Rohit Sinha: [00:01:28] Yeah. So on a large construction project, you could have thousands and thousands of different activities. So we help you understand how you perform. Right? So at a certain point in time, how much of the project should you have completed and what are some of the risks associated with it? In terms of, do you have a lot more work piling up than you had originally planned for and helping you make sure that you have the resources in mind to really understand that? And then also, if the schedule has changed many, many times throughout the process of the project, we’ll help you understand what are those changes and evaluate the criticality of those changes, whether they were actually impacting what’s driving the completion of the job or not.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:17] Now, is it telling me stuff after the fact where I’m kind of doing like an autopsy of my project to see where the problems were? Or is it helping me in real time to kind of manage some of the delays that are happening all through the construction industry, you know, regarding supply chain or employee talent and things like that.
Rohit Sinha: [00:02:36] So it can actually do both, right? I mean, you can always ask for the fact load in all your schedules and really get an understanding of how your project went. But our goal is to get you to to really do it more real time where as your project is progressing, you’re updating smart PAM with your latest progress information and it’s telling you how you’re progressing. The whole idea is to get get ahead of the claim, right? So you don’t get into that situation where you’re so far delayed that you have to go through a claims situation. You can avoid that and actually everybody get on the same page and work together. So everybody is successful.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:17] Now. Is it was it built because of the challenges that are happening now or the challenges that are happening now, kind of just a perfect storm for you to help in this regard?
Rohit Sinha: [00:03:32] Yeah, so it’s very unfortunate what’s happening now, but the fact is we were built before before the current situation and the construction industry has been facing delays forever, right? I mean, there have been studies done where seven out of 10 or nine out of 10 commercial construction projects end up overbudget or over time. And so this is actually a systemic problem that existed long before our current situation and current environment, and we were really built to help address those issues.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:09] So now is it helping the person that’s managing the project kind of reprioritize things as they get kind of new information?
Rohit Sinha: [00:04:21] I’m sure it can be used for that. There’s a lot of different uses of smart. You can use it to get a better understanding of how you are progressing. You can get a better understanding of if you are delayed. What are some of the different techniques you can use to to recover some time? Like, for example, you can use the product to test out if we were to get a certain crew in six days a week instead of five watts. What impact is going to is that going to have to my overall job? You can also use it to track to an individual milestone or a phase of the project. For example, if you’ve got multiple buildings and you really would need to get one building done, you can isolate everything in the schedule that’s driving to that completion of that building and say, OK, what are some of the things I can do to optimize here? Right? We are going to be venturing into more A.I. and looking at some of your past projects, as well as automating a lot of the potential recovery situations, evaluating them for some ideal and making some propositions. But today the system enables you to test out some different theories you have.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:37] And I would imagine that this is elevated to a must have in today’s environment, especially because it sounds like in construction especially, it’s like three dimensional chess. And then if one thing has an issue, it has a domino effect for like five other things. And then everything is kind of at a standstill until you kind of overcome that whatever obstacle is. So having all this data and really the ability to analyze it and and make kind of. Better decisions, I would imagine that the industry is hungry for this kind of information.
Rohit Sinha: [00:06:15] Oh, yeah, for sure, and and the domino effect is interesting way to look at it, because that is what should happen. Right? And if you have a high enough quality schedule, you’ll understand that that’s going to happen. Looking at the schedule and as the delay is mounting right, you’ll see an activity pushing out because it’s not progressing as planned and then you’ll see the rest of that activities automatically get pushed out. Now, in a lot of cases, what happens is the quality is missing. Some some of that key information to tie those different subsequent activities together, and things will just not get impacted in the way that they should. And those delays would then cause some other side effects where some, if somebody is managing just by looking at the schedule, they won’t realize that a certain crew isn’t ready to be on site yet. And those delays could could cause other impacts. But one of the other things that our product does is it evaluates your schedule for quality and helps you determine whether it’s structurally a good schedule to manage the job. If there are some structural issues, then you could run into issues that aren’t even necessarily visible in the schedule, but could have easily, easily been prevented with the high quality schedule.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:37] Now, when you’re implementing something like this, is there a pushback from the folks that are the boots on the ground? Because this is another thing I have to input data on, this is now another thing that I have to that’s take me away from, you know, my superpower and the thing I should be doing every day.
Rohit Sinha: [00:07:54] Yeah. So part of the the beauty of what we’ve done is we actually consume your native schedule. So part of the construction contract is some form of schedule CPM schedule that has to be built and maintained and CPM critical pass method. And so what we’re trying to do is not require the boots on the ground to create or maintain another system right there using their existing schedule. And we’re just taking that data and processing it through the system. Now there are some downsides to that. It’s monthly snapshots or in some cases, some of our customers are doing weekly snapshots, which the more granular the data, the better. But we will do based on the data that we get right and we’ll still give you fairly accurate results. And you can always go into smart cam and correct the data so you can get more accurate analytics. But we want to be as hands off and as. Low input as needed, right, so that’s why we want to consume those existing files that you already have.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:07] Now, can you share any examples of how somebody implemented smart PM and they were able to save some money or speed up the project?
Rohit Sinha: [00:09:18] Yeah, so we have a customer of ours. They were looking at actually hiring somebody and building out a full project controls team to really oversee their jobs. They felt like they were struggling in this department. They decided to give it a try, and in the end, their existing staff was actually able to to manage these jobs better. And this was a general contractor as well. We also have some consultant customers that are looking at expanding their business without hiring additional people because the analysis that before would take them days or weeks or months, especially with a very skilled individual that’s now taking them minutes. So they’re actually looking at taking their existing staff and scaling up with them just by making them themselves more efficient. So we have. No. Consultants that are able to do more more work for more clients, we have general contractors who are more efficient at finding jobs and learning more about their their jobs, and a lot of these guys are actually rolling it out across all of their projects. Once they’re saying really the insights and information that they’re getting out
Lee Kantor: [00:10:41] Now, is it better suited? I mean, it seems obviously suited, obviously for commercial construction. But within commercial construction, is it better suited for a certain type of construction or is it kind of industry agnostic when it comes to how it’s deployed in this specific situation?
Rohit Sinha: [00:11:02] Oh, so we have all sorts of different projects. You’re typically in commercial construction, if you have a small project like a tenant set out or something like that, you’re not really going to find a whole lot of use for smart p.m. just because they tend to be smaller weeks or months long project. But really, any larger scale 10 20 million dollar plus job you can use smart for. We have multifamily, we’ve got office buildings, infrastructure, which is roadways and airports, some bus terminals. So we’ve got a fairly large variety of projects in our industrial and chemical plants and things like that. So it’s used across the board on many, many with many different types of projects.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:50] But typically the driver is the commercial construction that firm or the insurance company that is working with it or both and both.
Rohit Sinha: [00:12:02] We have a lot of we have some new partnerships with insurance companies. A couple of them, XXL and Hudson Insurance are the two main ones that we’re working with, where they’re actually pushing their customers to use their introduce, giving us the introduction in some cases, even helping them with a trial of smart pen. Just because the risk is these risks a little bit right? The projects that they’re insuring have a higher chance of being on time and on budget with smart versus without. And then, of course, there’s the commercial construction. Both the general contractors as well as the owners that want to do a better job of managing their jobs are overseeing the job that they’re paying. So really, all stakeholders have purchased a new start.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:59] Now was it strategic to build this here in Atlanta because of all the development and the kind of the infrastructure when it comes to technology? Or that was a happy accident?
Rohit Sinha: [00:13:13] And I would say it’s a happy accident, right? Both the CEO and myself, we both went to Georgia Tech. We both decided to stay back in Atlanta after college and we love it. So it just so happened that we we met and we started working on this idea together. And we have.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:35] Now, how has the has since you’re from Georgia detected, were you involved with ATC? Was this something that you were able to kind of leverage the infrastructure that’s kind of there for you at Georgia Tech?
Rohit Sinha: [00:13:49] Yeah, so we are a company. We also have been through. Mike and Rich, the co-founders, did go through Flash Point, which is a Georgia Tech accelerator. So and as I mentioned, we are a part of a PDC. We do participate with some of their different events and have leaned on them for a lot of their relationships, and they’re always there for us if we have a question. It’s good and we try to help out and give back as much as we can.
Lee Kantor: [00:14:26] Now how do you see nationally the Atlanta tech reputation when it comes to construction technology?
Rohit Sinha: [00:14:39] I’m. Atlanta has a has a very diverse talent. People are migrating here from all over. It’s got a low cost of living relatively. And it’s got good colleges and good engineers available. So I definitely see more companies coming into Atlanta and founding in Atlanta, especially as a lot of the startup community grows. And I think construction technology is going to be a big part of it. I remember a couple of years ago I went to a CRT tech meetup and there were a lot more people there than I expected. And a lot of people were focused on some really, really neat things, especially using cameras and different types of beacons to really get a better understanding of the progress of the project, as well as things such as how full are my parking lots and what to do with the parking lot. Once self-driving cars become more of a reality. So I definitely do see a fairly or a fast growing talent pool in Atlanta and the construction technology industry, commercial technology and construction technology as an overall is growing very, very rapidly.
Lee Kantor: [00:16:01] Now what do you need more of? Can we help you any more clients? You need more talent, need more funding. What is it? You need to grow?
Rohit Sinha: [00:16:09] Um, all of the above. Actually, we we definitely need more talent. We’ve been very. Rapidly hiring, we’ve grown significantly this year, but we still still need more, more talent. We’re looking for engineers. We’re looking for a customer success marketing. So really all across the board, we’ve been looking for candidates. We’re always looking for more customers. We’ve last year, we tripled our customer or tripled our revenue and two and a half times our customer base and looking to continue that momentum and keep growing this year and doing well. And yeah, in regards to funding, we we do have around that we’re going through right now. We haven’t formalized it yet, but we are going to be continuing to raise to grow faster.
Lee Kantor: [00:17:04] Well, congratulations on all the success. If somebody wants to connect with you or somebody on your team or learn more about the offering, what is the website?
Rohit Sinha: [00:17:13] You can go to, you can visit with us, visit us at WW Smart Contact. We can always give us a call at four four two three two nine three thousand. And if you’d like to reach out to them personally, you can always find them.
Lee Kantor: [00:17:29] Well, thank you again for sharing your story. You’re doing important work and we appreciate you.
Rohit Sinha: [00:17:34] Thank you. Have a good time to do.
Lee Kantor: [00:17:35] All right, this Lee Kantor will scale next time on Atlanta Business Radio.