August 2016

Torch-Bearers giving Push to Energy Efficient ATM Industry

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R_Narayana_Kumar

R Narayana Kumar,
Chief Development Officer, Vortex Engineering

Vortex believes that its energy-efficient and solar-powered ATMs are perfect example of Make in India initiative envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Vortex also boasts of India designed dispenser technology and software systems that have earned nine global patents, elaborates R Narayana Kumar, Chief Development Officer, Vortex Engineering, in an interview with Elets News Network (ENN)

Kindly give an overview on Vortex Engineering Private Ltd? What qualities set you apart from your competitors?

Vortex has been pioneering products and solutions in the self-service areas of banking like Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). Vortex products have focussed on technology innovations to enable financial inclusion in the emerging markets. Our R&D efforts have been further enhanced by close partnership with IIT Chennai which has led to the development of world class ATM technology – Ecoteller™ – world’s lowest power ATM. Vortex has emerged as an undisputed leader in encouraging Operational efficiency and Environmental Sustainability in the ATM industry globally, be it ATM’s that demand low power consumption (~60 W), function without air-conditioners and solar power. Some of the largest solar ATM deployments in India have been carried out by Vortex.

Vortex is a leading provider of ATMs. Kindly throw some light on your strategy to further consolidate ATM-oriented business. Also tell us about number of ATMs being provided to the commercial banks by you.

atmVortex counts marquee Indian banks and financial institutions as its clients and has an installed base of around 3000 ATMs. In order to further its objective of enabling financial inclusion through innovation, Vortex has now developed ‘Ecoteller Desktop Mini’ which is installable on counter-tops or can be wall mounted (~50kg). It is designed for installations within ultra-small banking branches, ‘shopin- shop’ installations and also deployments in rural service centres, hospitals, railway stations, post-offices, airports and retail stores among others. The mini ATM is completing pilots at two of the largest banks in India and designed to enable servicing of the accounts opened under the PMJDY programme. The pilot testing for this revolutionary product has been successfully completed by banks such as SBI, Union Bank, United Bank, Dena Bank. Market has appreciated the EcoTeller Mini very well and the product has been gaining traction.

What kind of offerings do you have for the BFSI sector? Do you see huge opportunities in the banking and financial services sector?

We believe the key value proposition we are offering the Indian market, viz. ATM type Self-service products are most suitable for financial inclusion, lowest power consumption and least operating cost are also eminently suitable and offer great value for the emerging markets in Asia, Africa & Latin America, which we are contemplating to target.

What kind of services you render for ATM management?

Vortex does not focus directly on the ATM management business, but manage Vortex ATMs for some of our customers. We also offer Management software platform solution for 3rd party ATM management business. This software platform is a multi-vendor solution – which involves live monitoring, and remote management of ATMs.

What is your view on the ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives of Government of India to encourage private players to invest in the country and create more jobs?

Our completely India designed dispenser technology and software systems have also earned nine global patents which we consider is a rare feat. Our products have also commenced exports to emerging markets. We are an excellent example of ‘Make in India’.

For Vortex, ‘Make in India’ is not just about manufacturing in India but also about innovating for the country. This in-turn, addresses regional challenges of emerging markets essentially then ‘Make for the world’.

Vortex has also focussed on building software components on the ATM based on open source technology which is also in line with current Government of India policy for public sector enterprises and with the ‘Digital India’ initiatives. Open source technology also provides banks a greater degree of security and lower running cost.

 Ecoteller Mini’s Salient Features
  •  Ultra low power consumption compared to competitive ATMs, which also translates reduced battery backup
  • Unique ATM that can even work in non-A/C environment
  • Works on only single solar panel, where solar backup is required
  • It does not require operating system software upgrades and antivirus software
  • Truly mobile – works with dongle, card-less and biometric solutions

 

What is the USP of Vortex’s products that gives them an edge over others? The focus of Vortex has always been centred on Operational efficiency and Environmental Sustainability. This is greatly achieved by in-house developed world’s most energy efficient ATMs (~60 W) and non-dependent on air-conditioners.

Some of the regional usability innovations to further this objective are below:

  • Enabling ATMs to work on card-less cash withdrawal/ small cash deposits with complete Aadhaar enablement. Pilot projects have been completed. It is likely to be of high interest to the Small Finance Banks. This solution also has the option to provide for integration with the operations of the Business Correspondents
  • Enabling ATMs to work on card-less cash withdrawal/ small cash deposits with complete Mobile phone integration which may be of high interest to the Payment Banks

For Vortex, ‘Make in India’ is not just about manufacturing in India but also about innovating for the country. This, in-turn, addresses regional challenges of emerging markets

Are you facing any challenges in expanding your business in India?

Vortex though being a MSME has invested heavily on R&D activities which has resulted in world class product/ solution. We would like to request for a special support in policy and financial areas. Public sector banks have been a source of strength to technology providers, however their procurement policies related to business eligibility criteria/ technical specifications have turned out to be a constraint for domestic MSME companies like Vortex. We seek support in this regard.

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