Continuing with our In conversation… series, this time we decided to sit down with someone we all know as an ocean of knowledge when it comes to the product development of smart vending machines at Vendekin Technologies.
We got talking to the Vice President of Product, Mr. Ajit Nair, an expert in product management and network security, about his vision of making the retail vending experience a truly touchless and cashless experience that works seamlessly across a user’s multiple devices. We also spoke about his philosophy of innovation, product development and the future of vending and Vendekin!
How did it all start for you?
As a child, I was interested in building and repairing things at home. That’s where the builder mindset kicked in for me. Over the years that builder mindset shifted to building products for
- Telecommunication grade Signalling stacks to Billing and Charging stacks, handling millions of calls and billing data daily
- Network Security stacks
- Telecom Virtualization products and finally
- Consumer Applications and SaaS Enterprise software
Subconsciously this builder mindset then shifted to a common thread, i.e every piece of work that was done did make a difference to those around me.
The difference could be in the form of helping people connect with their loved ones, creating systems where people could share their private information to access services without worrying about their data’s security, or even ensuring that a late hunger or craving could be fulfilled late in the night without having to rummage for cash through cashless and touchless smart vending machines.
The shift in mindset has also made me realise how to strategize about a product for the future and make decisions according to what a consumer would look for as a natural progression for the service. This forward-looking mindset has helped my love for building products grow alongside the intention of building a sustainable business. With Vendekin Technologies, the learning has not just been quick but also helped me grow as an individual. To be agile and resist making decisions based on gut, instead relying more on data received from the product and its users.
What technologies do you work with and what products have you developed so far?
The products I have developed so far include SS7 stacks (Signalling System for PSTN), telecommunications mediation product for billing and charging, network security stacks like SSL, IPSEC, EAP, IKE, PKI – Certificate Management, securing a popular gaming console, secure policy management (MAM, MDM) for mobile phones and consumer mobile applications and SaaS Enterprise software for unmanned retail.
What is your philosophy of innovation in product? Enhancing user experience or making operators’ lives easier?
As a smart vending machine company in India, end-users and their aspirations are the central theme at Vendekin Technologies when it comes to creating products. This is a philosophy that emanates from Aroon Khatter (Founder and CEO), right down to the teams like product, marketing and sales.
To explain this philosophy further, let me give an example. We have around 30 million cabs in the world today providing services of moving people to move from one location to another. There are at least 10 major platforms bridging the gap between these commuters and cab service providers, such as OLA, UBER, GRAB, LYFT etc. Now imagine, there are around 100 million unattended retail kiosks but no one platform to connect consumers to these machines. That is the problem that the Vendekin’s product team is focused on solving. That of creating smart vending machines. The opportunity is immense with layers of complexity in solving it.