What The SaaS?!

Machine Learning in Physical Infrastructure With Prateek Joshi, CEO of Plutoshift

Episode Summary

Prateek Joshi is the founder and CEO of Plutoshift, a data platform for industrial sustainability. They help companies achieve their sustainability goals by reducing the carbon footprint of their operations. Prateek has authored 13 books on Machine Learning and his blog has readership in 200+ countries. He has been featured on Forbes, CNBC, TechCrunch, and Bloomberg. You can visit prateekj.com to learn more about him.

Episode Notes

Prateek Joshi is the founder and CEO of Plutoshift, a data platform for industrial sustainability. They help companies achieve their sustainability goals by reducing the carbon footprint of their operations.

Prateek has authored 13 books on Machine Learning and his blog has readership in 200+ countries. He has been featured on Forbes, CNBC, TechCrunch, and Bloomberg. You can visit prateekj.com to learn more about him.

Key takeaways in this episode:

Plutoshift was created with a combination of 2 components:

Growing up in a small town in Southern India, Prateek went through the necessity of storing water due to the scarcity of it. Realizing this was the reality of many towns in India, Prateek developed a social and moral duty to help provide such vital resource once he found out the correlation between lack of water and climate change. 

It was all about customer discovery in the early days.  

One of the first big questions to be answered was: Who would be interested enough in solving this problem and how well they are doing it today?. A big portion of the early days was also dedicated to understanding more how water facilities were managed in America to then provide a solution where machine learning could play an important role. 

During this period of research, Prateek and his team discovered something very insightful: For compliance purposes, these water infrastructures had to collect very specific data such as Temperature, Pressure and fluid rates. It turned out that this information was perfect to create a solution from a machine learning standpoint.

Outbound as a main approach to  take the product to the market in the early days.

Prateek kept it very simple at the beginning: An excel sheet filled with potential clients, a phone ready to dial and an email. These 3 tools along with persistence and a hard working mentality were enough to make him understand that people are willing to talk to you if you are willing to share a solution to their problems. With no previous experience in outbound sales, Prateek admits that once this skill is developed, it can be very useful for other aspects of business like fundraising. 

How Plutoshift evolved over the years. 

One of the keys to Plutoshift’s success was to continuously work on developing a reliable software that could be easily  integrated to existing infrastructures with a high level of quality to reduce the carbon footprint in the operations. This allowed them to have now Fortune 500 customers and multi-years contracts. Any solution provided to this matter is extremely noticeable since 83% of the companies publicly declare their sustainability goals and only 2% end up meeting them. A gap that Plutoshift is committed to reduce.

Challenges faced:

It is challenging for companies to meet their sustainability goals and make financial sense at the same time. Tracking ROI is notoriously difficult since it is hard to determine how much is returned for every dollar spent in sustainability. And even if the companies are willing to calculate this number, it is hard to come to a consensus when there are so many departments involved and each of them with a different perspective about it. 

Advice to founders who want to sell to 500 Fortune Companies: 

Start the outreach with the means you have at hand. Fortune 500 companies always have a division or department in charge of innovation. Generally they identify new products by giving 2-3 companies a chance every year. If the product turns out to be useful then a yearly or multiyear contract is signed. Your product cannot be considered if you don’t have any type of outbound outreach in place. Start with what you have and as you grow your channels will also be enhanced over time.

Prateek’s long term vision:

From the SaaS perspective, Prateek is very bullish on the entire market in spite of the downturn we are currently going through. Machine learning, AI and the cloud are now being infused into SaaS products and SaaS products are being infused into physical infrastructure. This rapid growth in applications promises a big boom in the entire technology landscape. 

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Connect with Prateek:

Prateek Joshi on LinkedIn

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