Lumos: Bringing Communities Out of the Darkness and into the Light
In this day and age, lighting is a given commodity - but only for part of the world.
In some areas in Africa, however, light is looked upon as almost deity - a still-luxury many cannot afford. To introduce a beam of hope - and light - into every corner of the world, Yash Kotak alongside Tarkeshwar Singh and Pritesh Sankhe launched Lumos - the platform that ensures their light reaches people of all walks of life.
Lumos now is one of the lead providers for high-quality smart solar systems on the market . Its main goal is to provide a stable electrical power solution for both homes and businesses. The system is fully accessible and even more than that - affordable to all! Not just that, all company products are eco-friendly, thus lending a helping hand in preventing pollution.
Proving the light at the end of the tunnel exists, here’s how Yash Kotak and his team brought Lumos out of a dark spot - into the spotlight!
Friends Making an Impact
In a crowded city in India, known as Bangalore, grew two young boys with a shared dream. Ever since their young childhood, Tarkeshwar Singh and Yash Kotak had big visions for what they’d accomplish and wanted to make a true impact on the world. Despite their hopes and dreams, the boys grew in terribly impoverished communities, where electricity as we know it was still a privilege to many.
Although playing in the field was the boys’ escape from the tough reality, they needed a greater exit. After all, their city had been drowning in pollution and hopelessness and someone needed to step up to the plate.
As younglings, Tarkeshwar Singh and Yash Kotak’s environmental awareness grew pretty high as did their drive for putting their lust for science to good use. Their first joint step to success was college. The boys enrolled at the Indian Institute of Technology, and ultimately earned their respective degrees.
Pritesh Sankhe was born under the similar Indian surroundings, only in the city of Ahmedabad. As a child, Pritesh shared the same ambition as the other two boys and wanted to take the extra step in making the world a better place for all.
Bringing electricity to everyone’s home in a smart and eco way was almost unimaginable in India at the time. But, the three boys were set on a path - to take a science fiction concept and turn it into reality, bringing the power of light to every home.
Changing the Future
Yash, Tarkeshwar, and Pritesh initially built their friendship and later, partnership, while attending the Indian Institute of Technology together. Even in their early days, the boys found a joint vision and threefold the will in changing the environment by doing good. Before they were able to do that, they needed to build themselves up professionally. For that, all three boys decided to pursue a career as electrical engineers.
The best ideas come from the toughest moments, where one’s survivability is threatened but their will to fight is unbending. The main factor that played a role in the creation of Lumos was the three boys’ experience in living in an electricity-deprived environment, where even existing antique generators only contributed to the pollution. While the massive problem the Indian community faced was visible, rarely anyone dared tackle the issue prior to the Lumos creators.
Sitting in their dormitory on a hot day, Yash Kotak, Tarkeshwar Singh, and Pritesh Sankhe crafted their idea while basically staring at the sun. When they thought about solar power, and how attainable it was, they wanted to bring it even closer to everyone’s homes.
Before creating Lumos, Yash Kotak was always interested in product management as he had a few internships and co-founded another project, from which he moved on to become a product manager at Google. Tarkeshwar Singh, on the other hand, had a little bit richer experience, taking part in multiple projects - as a marketing intern, a project manager, a project tester, and a developer. As for Pritesh, he used his engineering degree to work on various related projects before he officially joined the other two inventors to launch Lumos in 2014.
Humble Start of a Huge Potential
In order to hit two birds with one stone, the Lumos team thought of creating smart-switch systems to prevent high levels of pollution and bring affordable electricity to every household. Using smart technology, Lumos used internet-connected devices that used machine learning to adjust home appliances based on every user’s daily habits and needs.
This idea came to life under the name of Lumos Switches. Initially, the project seemed to be moving well - technologically and business-wise. However, even with the experience of Tarkeshwar, Yash and Pritesh, the team still had to figure out how to get their project going, especially in terms of developing its hardware. To have something to show before investors, Yash Kotak started working on product management and complete end-to-end product development. At the same time, Tarkeshwar was part of the rising Lumos as a NodeJS developer and handled all business and product decisions together with Pritesh Sankhe.
Lumos started off as an IoT company. It was designed to build switches connected and controlled through the internet. With an AI registering users’ behavior and turning electrical devices on and off such as air conditioners, lights, fans, and others. From there, the company moved into making their products more advanced. As a result, they also developed connected solar panels into their systems - both affordable and attainable to every household.
Company Funding & Challenges
The company had a rough start but in the eyes of Yash Kotak and his team, especially in terms of funding. Ah! Ventures was the first and only company that wanted to make this vision come to life and so, it became the only investor in Yash Kotak’s team. The funds raised remained undisclosed, but even with the financial empowerment, the company still struggled to bring their concept to life.
There were several main problems the Lumos team dealt with since its creation. For one, the three inventors had very little knowledge in hardware and were therefore unable to put their products to proper work. Also, as per potential investors, the company was deemed too immature to actually attempt to make a difference in the world of solar energy. The second major problem they faced was the lack of expertise in putting a price to their product. To make profits, the company needed to sell their offer at a five times higher cost than intended. Unfortunately, this meant that either their product wouldn’t be as affordable as announced - or that it would be more affordable but far less profitable to the company.
A Better Modern World Without Pollution on the Horizon
Though Lumos promised greatness in the world of solar energy and smart technology, the team’s lack of experience and marketing led the company to a standstill. One year after its launch, in 2015, Lumos had to be put on hold due to insufficient knowledge and resources to keep the platform going.
In its essence, Lumos wanted to ensure that every home has access to an affordable smart electricity system. To ensure their platform’s longevity on the market, the team even consulted businessmen in various different areas, to adopt their tactics and get their business on a row. However, despite their efforts, the company is currently dormant looking forward to the next great business push. This way, it can once again, pursue its majestic mission of delivering affordable and advanced electricity to homes worldwide!