Tell us about yourself?
President and CEO Sanjay Poojary uses his experience and expertise in IoT technology to solve unyielding issues around basic life needs. His prior experience and knowledge in the sector and his will to make a difference in the world has been a essential to the founding of Saya Life.
Sanjay’s Multi-Function Role Aiding in Company Development Before establishing Saya Life, Sanjay worked in large corporations such as Cisco Systems, and Mindspeed, before landing at a startup called Greenwave System, as a Director for Platform Project Management.
As the CEO of his own startup, Sanjay has to fulfill numerous roles and manage all the aspect of the business. Under his leadership, Saya Life has rapidly expanded its service area and reached several different customer segments.
Sanjay’s ability to evolve and develop his company led to recognition. Saya was named one of the top 10 smart water management providers in 2018 , and his smart meter was certified in the sub metering device category.
Saya also joined the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, which is rated amongst the top 3 clean-tech incubators in the world. Saya’s partnership with Upward Labs in Hartford, CT has opened doors to the top insurance providers in the U.S.
Sanjay has spearheaded the efforts to deliver value to these insurance partners with high quality analytics data from the platform.
In upcoming years, Saya Life looks to expand the company significantly while keeping an eye on diversity, inclusion and community impact. CEO’s Efforts in Bringing Smart Water Management Sanjay Poojary started his career by working in the software industry.
During this time, he accumulated lots of experience and eventually became a senior technology leader. He has 20+ years of experience in directing, managing and executing product and solutions release through product development.
Additionally, he has deep knowledge of the IOT space, making him an expert in the industry. Sanjay strongly believes in using cutting-edge technology to solve real-world problems.
Metering has been archaic for over 100 years and that is changing now. IoT, big data, and machine learning bring a new way to capture, manage and predict relevant events and risks. His goal is to build a solution for all the elements in nature, starting with Saya Life.
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
One of the biggest misconception we have seen is ” You cannot make money unless your raise a lot of money and get big”. It is balancing between monetization and scaling for growth.
We found that building every stage of our platform and validating it with monetization has helped fuel our growth without having to raise too much money in the early stages.
What lessons has being an entrepreneur taught you?
The biggest lesson we have learnt is ABL, ABC and AEF. Always be learning, Always be closing and Always expect failure.
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
No one will trust you if you don’t. Trust yourself and your guts feelings, because, for the most part, they are right. Be true to yourself, even when it seems impossible.
A lot of entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. How have you found that?
As an entrepreneur it is hard to have a work-life balance. As the saying goes “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t” It is a sacrifice and needs passion but as a founder it is important to make a conscious effort to maintain a balance.
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
Water entering a large multi-unit residential or commercial property causes liability and loss for Insurance companies with leaks, Utility companies for water savings, Property managers for billing and risk management and tenants for water cost and damage loss.
Saya provides the knowledge of water for all these stakeholders whose business economies are ties to water and water loss.
What do you think is your magic sauce? What sets you apart from the competitors?
Saya is the only platform that is certified both as a water sub-metering device ( used for billing tenants for water use) and also certified as a risk management platform with built in sensors to predict, detect and prevent damages caused by low flowing catastrophic leaks.
How have you found sales so far? Do you have any lessons you could pass on to other founders in the same market as you just starting out?
Yes we have worked hard to create a significant product-market fit with our platform to enable sales. My advice to ne startups is to focus on significant benefits your product/ platform can provide and create a clear product-market fit to gain early market entry.
What do you consider are the main strengths of operating your business in California over other states in the US?
Senate Bill 7 requires all new construction to implement submetering and leak detection/ mitigation within 21 days for all new properties.
Saya is the only platform that can do both effectively in a single vertically integrated platform. Retrofit properties can get a $100 rebate from the utility for implementing Saya platform for sub-metering. This is a huge benefit for Saya in California.
What (if any) are the weaknesses of operating your business within California?
We are very happy to have started our company in California and specially at LACI which is an incubator funded by the Los Angeles Department of water and power.
We are currently suffering through a cost of living crisis. With California already being one of the most expensive states to live in, how has this impacted your business?
With cost of living and cost of construction going up it is imperative to implement technology that can prevents loss. We are in the sweet spot of this crisis to provide relief to property management looking to save money and get peace of mind by prevent water related damages in their properties.
It is no secret that California is the birthplace of innovation. But that also makes it incredibly competitive. How have you found the competitive environment of California?
The space we are in is crowded with service providers but their use case is specific. It is either only billing or only risk management and the technology does not implement advanced monitoring and machine learning.
There is no vertically integrated solution that can do both on a single platform because to certify a water meter for billing with an integrated valve is difficult. Saya has done it.
Have you considered moving your company to another state? If so, which state and why?
We have no reason to move our headquarters from California at the moment.
Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?
In 5 years we want to be one stop platform in North America when it comes to water management with a significant market share.
And finally, if people want to get involved and learn more about your business, how should they do that?
People want to learn more can go to https://saya.life and can request a demo. If you are a multi-tenant property owner looking to implement our platform or just learn more you can reach out to me [email protected]