EXCLUSIVE INSIGHTS WITH GANGADHAR RAO, MANAGING DIRECTOR, RSI SOFTECH INDIA PVT LTD.
Aviation Update|November 2020
IN CONVERSATION WITH KARTIKEYA, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, AVIATION UPDATE.

How did RSI Softech India get started? Can you brief your professional journey and how you got associated with RSI Softech?

Remote Sensing Instruments (RSI) is the first GIS company of India started by Mr T Sesha Rao (an ex-scientist of NRSC, ISRO, Department of Space) in the field of Remote Sensing and GIS way back in 1985. RSI started as an opto-mechanical manufacturing unit manufacturing instruments required for satellite image processing. RSI supplied these opto-mechanical instruments across India helped the users of India in the usage of IRS satellite imagery. RSI was instrumental in propagating the Remote Sensing Technology across India and few countries overseas. RSI moved on to the digital technology after the advent of computer technology and partnered with ERDAS Inc., for supplying ERDAS Image processing software. RSI upgraded all its users from Opto-mechanical to computer-based ERDAS Image processing software.

I have completed my Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science and moved to Australia to pursue Master of Engg. Sc. majoring in Remote Sensing and GIS at University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Computer Science was booming at that time and probably I was the first person in 1994 to move from Computer Science to Remote Sensing as I was planning to join back my family business. After my masters in 1996 I have returned and joined RSI and started working on ERDAS software promotion in India. Initially I started as a trainer and solutions provider for the users of India and abroad. I have become one of the 10 world Authorized Instructors of ERDAS and trained more than 1000 ERDAS users officially.

Later in the year 2000 we started a joint venture company ERDAS INDIA Pvt Ltd. to provide digital image processing solutions for surveying and mapping user of India and southeast Asia. During this period, I was instrumental in deploying state-of-the-art solutions like PMO-BSS (Battle Surveillance System) to MoD, GDPS and ALIAS Solutions (a massive deployment of our IRS satellite data receiving station and a complete end-to-end system right from data storing to processing to final map-making solution) to INCT, Algeria, Deploying 450 licenses of Digital Photogrammetry & more than 200 mobile mapping systems to Survey of India, and many more. After ERDAS got acquired by Leica/Hexagon we have acquired the remaining shares in ERDAS India company and then renamed the company from ERDAS India to RSI SOFTECH INDIA Pvt Ltd in the year 2008. We had a good client base of approx. 5000 users in India and abroad. During 2000’s we have noticed the market dynamics change as the standard Image Processing Software requirement was reducing and custom solution requirements was growing.

Providing the solutions is like a writing poetry, it depends on the poet and not the pen which poet uses for writing. RSI SOFTECH continued providing the state-of-the-art digital geomatic solutions to the users across the world. RSI SOFTECH has deployed the 3D part of Indian Equivalent of Google Earth known as Bhuvan to ISRO, Dept of Space, first to deploy BSF-GIS solution to battalion level in Border Security Force, created a massive database and a DSS for tsunami vulnerable of Indian Coast for INCOIS, first to deploy enterprise-wide 3D GIS technology in CRPF, first to fly drones over an Indian Metro city Chennai and create 3D city model, deployed India’s first Geospatial Cloud for Min. of Science and Technology, currently deploying the Indian National Data Registry portal for NSDI, India.

RSI SOFTECH currently is specialized in providing Enterprise Geospatial Solutions to the geospatial community of the world. It has expertise in medium and large-scale application development involving the latest web technology in the areas of Web GIS, Utility Mapping (AM/FM), BIM Technology, Geospatial Data Mining Applications and providing Data Registry and Spatial Database Infrastructure Portal Applications and Services, flying drones, LIDAR Survey and 3D mapping cities and various other projects.

What are the difficulties that you have faced while managing at RSI Softech? How did you overcome them?

As mentioned in the earlier point the market dynamics are ever-changing, this happening due the maturity level of the users getting higher and higher in the mapping technology, the standard sales declining and solution sales increasing. RSI SOFTECH transitioned to a total solution provider in the field of Geomatics. When RSI SOFTECH started providing solutions it faced issues of qualifications in the tendering processes and slowly during early part of this decade built good credentials & qualifications and is now able meet any qualification criteria set by the tenderers. Having an own GIS product is better so that we can develop, customize as per the users need. RSI SOFTECH took more than two years and developed a software known as OPS GIS and made it OGC certified and has deployed in many locations. Software development is a difficult task in GIS as the developers should have both development skills and GIS domain skills without which it is difficult for the development of a GIS product. RSI Softech solved this by employing normal developers and teaching them GIS and deploying them on the projects, this is a time-consuming task. For efficient development RSI SOFTECH followed the CMMI standards and got CMMI L3 apprised.

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