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Innovate2Transform: Why PlugO Is The Phone Charging Solution We Need Today

PlugO is India’s first smart and fully automated power bank rental service. In a short span of time, cofounder Nawal Lodha has taken his revolutionary device to various markets. PlugO devices have been installed in over 100 locations already, and is poised to reach more. Find out how Nawal and his team are developing a network of internet-connected vending terminals to dispense power banks.

Nawal Lodha, Cofounder, PlugO

Tell us about Plugo & why you built this product?
Plugo is India’s first smart power bank rental & sharing service. We are seeing that there is a surge in consumption of media through mobile devices, & we always need a backup power source like power banks to keep the devices charged all day long. But carrying & maintaining a power bank comes with its own hassles. It’s always convenient to rent, use & return things rather than owning one.

Why is Plugo different from other power banks in the market?
Plugo’s power banks are 5000 mAH capacity with inbuilt cables. There are 3 different types of cables built in it which can charge USB Type B, Type C & all iOS devices. The power banks are sturdy enough to handle extreme usage & conditions and are BIS-certified.

Can you elaborate on the technology solutions enabling /supporting Plugo and its suite of services?
Plugo is primarily a tech company. We have built an Internet of Things (IoT) based, API driven platform to integrate use cases in the shared economy space. Our firmware and hardware modules support long-lasting, future-proof applications with the highest uptime. Plugo leverages a multi-level security architecture encompassing  network Encryption over TLS and x.509 certificates, application level data encryption and ICC level authentication, etc. The experience is served through mobile and progressive web apps. We have done many distinctive innovations for the Indian market. The design and the security features are patent-pending.

Plugo devices installed at Bangalore’s Manipal Hospital ICU & Emergency Wards

How popular is this model? What do you think is the main reason for its popularity?
Plugo has been greatly appreciated by its users. To have an understanding of its popularity the below statistics can be helpful. Plugo has delivered 3 million minutes of charging, has more than 3000+ users & more than 40% are repeat users. The main reason for its popularity is that it’s a kind of solution which has no other simpler alternative & that for people their devices are a necessity & has to be powered on for the entire day. Usually they need backup power in form of power banks to keep their devices on & carrying a power bank has its own hassles for instance, you need to carry charging cables along with it & also charge the power bank before you leave your house. And, of course we have the first movers advantage.

How many units of Plugo have been actively installed and where?
Plugo has been installed at around 100+ locations including hospitals, restaurants, pubs, co-working spaces, etc. To name a few locations Plugo is present at Nasscom 10k Warehouse, Manipal Hospital, The HSR Club, Hang Over Lounges, Swiggy Kitchens, Deloitte, etc

Can you explain the primary challenge you are trying to solve through your company?
The Primary challenge that we are trying to solve through Plugo is the fact that India has more than 100 million power banks with less than 1% utilization. Plugo aims to reduce the planet’s Lithium foot-print by removing the need for people to own power banks & replace it with a shared economy of power banks where they can rent it.

What lies ahead for Plugo?
Our immediate focus is to make Plugo services available across multiple cities in India and 2 international destinations within the next 6 months. Our mission is to make Plugo synonymous for anything shared. With the shared power bank use case, we would be able to connect thousands of offline stores with lakhs of users and shall drive a consumer-behaviour change. We’d like to leverage the same for many similar use cases like an EV battery-swapping.

Tell us your experience being incubated out of NASSCOM CoE
It was a great decision and fortune to be associated with Nasscom CoE. We have consistently been given the opportunity to seek mentorship from diverse professionals, investors, corporates, educationists and more. We got access to the infrastructure for the experiments we have been doing. It became easy for us to be part of various events being organized by Nasscom. It has all given us a lot of exposure and has shaped our path more firmly.

This is part of our ongoing series Innovate2Transform, where we bring to you the leaders of the industry talk about the latest in innovation, technology and trends in their industry sectors. 

If you want to contribute, write to sindhuja@nasscom.in. 

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