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4Gid Identity Solutions in Channel World Magazine
By Aritra Sarkhel on Oct 24, 2011

Going off the beaten track definitely requires courage and vision. The reasons for success behind Hyderabad-based 4Gid Solutions, one of the very few players in the biometrics space in the country, are not different. Dr. Sreeni Tripuraneni, the founder of 4Gid who believed in the great potential of biometrics is now on the brink of taking his business worth Rs 60 Crore to an all new level.

The journey of becoming a technology evangelist has been quite remarkable for Tripuraneni. “I was practicing as a vascular surgeon in UK and also took up a course in medical informatics. At that time, I had a chance to create records of patients electronically using Biometric solutions. This led me to a business idea around Biometric identification solutions and I came back to India in 2003 to set up my company,” recalls Tripuraneni. Biometrics as a technology was still at a very nascent stage and had a lot in the offing for the world and for developing economies like India especially.

Hard-earned Success
Every success story has its share of setbacks and 4Gid was no exception. It was not an easy beginning for 4Gid. Unlike other technologies, convincing people about the efficacy of Biometrics solutions in an emerging economy like India was a major hurdle for 4Gid. To make things worse, 4Gid initially had to deal with a lot of Government Solutions-driven projects. “Many politicians thought applications like Iris recognition existed only in James Bond movies,” adds Tripuraneni.

During the initial days, 4Gid identified the opportunity to install electronic records of patients for hospitals in private and the public sectors. But most of the public sector hospitals showed their inhibition to install this technology. This did not deter Tripuraneni and his team and they quickly made some investments to improve their capabilities as an identity solution provider. As very few people were aware of Biometric solutions, 4Gid also had the task of educating its customers as well.

The first deal came to 4Gid without much delay when it bagged a project to install a Biometric identification system in Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s office. 4Gid created a database of all the employees as well as the security personnel in the CM’s office by implementing an iris scan system. The device that was used in this implementation by 4Gid was IrisAccess 3000, which in itself was one of a kind and was used for the first time in India. It was just the beginning and what followed later on only strengthened their position in the Identity solutions space in India.

Today, a collective effort as a part of the growth strategy has ensured that 4Gid has to its credit some of the worlds’ largest biometric projects.

Tripuraneni boasts about the fact that they are the only company that envisioned a scope for such solutions in a developing economy like India. From its very inception till now, 4Gid has always been about end to end identity management solutions. In fact, it would be apt to say that 4Gid has provided India with stronger e-governance solutions based on Biometric concepts.

Prestigious Projects
4Gid has its own strong technical team that specializes in Biometric solutions and helps build and implement various applications for E-governance projects. 4Gid has a strong partnership with NEC, one of the pioneers of the Biometric technology in the world and has executed a fingerprint livescan system for the Karnataka State police. The centralized database was made available to all the 148 police stations across districts.

As one of the pioneers in the field of Identity Management solutions, 4Gid had actualized the world’s largest Iris Based De-duplication project for the Andhra Pradesh Government Solutions. The project involved the creation of a centralized ration card database for 82 million citizens with their iris code data. Moreover to reduce discrepancies, 4Gid made all the efforts to collect 6.26 quadrillion iris matches of the people. “The projects that we have done for the Government Solutions of Andhra Pradesh have eliminated 52% of duplication or bogus things. In fact, the ultimate beneficiary was the Government Solutions of India who made savings up to Rs.1200 crore because of the efficient implementation of De-Duplication project by 4Gid,” claims Tripuraneni.

Eventually, the big break for 4Gid came when they did a project for the Government Solutions of Orrisa which was funded by the United Nations World Food Programme. The project was implemented in the year 2008 and 4Gid used a Multi Modal biometric end-to-end life cycle solution for the first time to effectively utilize the PDS (Public Distribution System). This project included the capture of all the biometric data (10 fingers, 2 eyes & face) of the citizens so that no one could beat the system by producing counterfeit ration cards.

Apart from the Government Solutions sector, 4Gid has also been successful in getting business from the corporate sector. “We have done corporate identity management solutions with Reliance industries,” says Tripuraneni. The refineries of Reliance at Jamnagar and Baroda were facing a big challenge as some contractors used to forge records to show a larger number of workers on site. Invariably, Reliance had to cough up more money than required. The project helped the customer avoid huge losses.

“Earlier there was also no way of tracking dubious laborers who either had a bad track record or had been fired from the refineries,” says Tripuraneni. 4Gid played a major role by creating a centralized employment recruitment data base in the Jamnagar refinery of Reliance. They used the iris scanning technology to create a data base of more than 3.8 lakhs employees and placed the central server at the Jamnagar factory.

The other factories were networked to the servers. Gradually, whenever a new recruitment was made, the data collected in the server notified them whether the corresponding laborer had earlier worked with them or not. “This shows our delivery capacity,” says a proud Tripuraneni.

4Gid is now betting big on the upcoming Unique Identification Number (UID) related projects as well. 4Gid will be a key party in creating a unique data base for the cards to be issued to the citizens. Moreover, they have been commissioned to supply the Government Solutions agencies with Biometric devices and install them in the process.

Impending Glory
4Gid continues to grow at an exponential rate with newer projects in the pipeline. The company is extremely excited about its recent partnership with State Bank of India (SBI). In this project 4Gid is playing a larger role by virtually acting as an extended arm of the bank in rural areas.

Dubbed the Micro ATM, the device that is going to be implemented by 4Gid will allow villagers in various parts of the country to withdraw money. “This portable GPRS-enabled device connected to the state level server will have all the biometric data of the villagers,” adds Tripuraneni.

4Gid also plans to expand its wings in the global arena and replicate its India success story in the growing markets.

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