Startup Sunday Season 3 Episode 10 (ATTENTIVE AI)

Artificial Intelligence is the hot topic everyone is talking about today. But what is Artificial Intelligence? Artificial Intelligence is a part of computer science that aims to create intelligent machines. But there is much more to it than meets the eye.

“A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe in God.” —Alan Perlis

Attentive AI is one such entrepreneurial venture which using their own AI aim to meet the needs of the remote sensing industry to generate actionable insights on a daily basis. Getting confused, let’s simplify it. Remote sensing is the science of obtaining information about object or areas using aircraft or satellite-based sensor technologies. So according to the people at Attentive AI there are trillions of pixels of raw data that exists out there waiting to be processed. Even if the population of the entire planet was to analyze this data it would take an eternity. But processing this data and extracting insights from it requires a human-like accuracy. Attentive AI was founded on this premise developing Artificial Intelligence Systems that made it possible to analyze petabytes of remote sensing data, converting it into accurate insights with minimal human effort. They create geospatial data which is data that gives information about a physical object in the form of numerical values on a geographic coordinate system like roadmaps for their clients.

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Recently Entrepreneurship cell of IMI New Delhi had the privilege to interact with the man behind Attentive AI.

Mr. Shiva Dhawan along with his IIT Delhi friends started Attentive AI in 2016. Attentive AI won the GeoInnovation Challenge among 200 global geospatial startups at the ESRI India User conference 2017. Also, GAIL selected Attentive AI as a core technology and innovation partner.


Business Model of Attentive AI

Attentive AI works on a Software as a Service model (SaaS) which is basically ‘on demand software’ or giving the prospective customers access to their software over the internet. They use AI and satellite imagery to build geospatial data/monitoring systems at scale for law enforcement agencies, telecom companies, and energy companies.

The Eureka Moment

Shiva says,” Eureka moment was the day we realized there is no such thing as ‘Eureka idea’. Don’t look for ideas – look for problems and solve them using technology. Good businesses are built by solving complex problems for rich customers.”


 Clients & Partners and Value Proposition of Attentive AI     

Telecom companies, energy companies, and law enforcement agencies use their geospatial data and monitoring solutions for network planning, asset monitoring, and asset intelligence. Some of their clients are Jio, GAIL, and DLF.

They use deep remote sensing (a combination of both deep learning and remote sensing) to create geospatial big data. Clients get more accurate data and save 50% on data extraction costs and 70% on turnaround time when they use their platform vis a vis competition.

Some Works of Attentive AI

They automate the manually intensive process of digitization through their AI Mapping products and solutions.

Building Footprints – They extract highly accurate building polygons on a national scale.


Roads – They have algorithms which can accurately map the road centreline for multiple landscapes and extract road features on a national scale.


Land Cover – They have land base maps which provide high accuracy and universally required contextual information of features visible in geospatial imagery.


Suggestions for the Young and Budding Entrepreneurs

Shiva had some suggestions for the budding entrepreneurs: –

  • Finding good people to be a part of your team is critical to succeeding in a start-up. Build a strong work culture so that employees enjoy work and invest in recruiting good talent.
  • Look out for hard problems to solve, do not go looking for ideas.
  • Don’t marry yourself to a problem statement, test it out well before you decide to scale
  • Look at a competition to understand status quo, don’t look at them for ideas

He adds to this by saying,” We often ask ourselves — Are we a fast growing business? A start-up is designed to be a fast-growing company. Once you get the basic ingredients correct the startup should focus on growth. We ourselves shifted from CCTV surveillance systems to geospatial analytics when we realized we are not growing fast enough. Being brutally honest about everything helps a start-up grow fast.” A mantra he shared with us “Ego is like your underwear. It is important to have it, not necessary to show it.”


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