Move over IMD and Skymet, the weather business has a new player in the country. And the might of this player and its technology prowess will make weather forecasting a big business. The Weather Company, an IBM Business, has launched its weather business in India. The Weather Company offers hyper local weather advisory to help its customers take proactive decisions based on actionable weather data. It also goes beyond advisory and correlates business data with weather data to offer insights. IBM had acquired The Weather Company globally around a year and a half ago. It has now brought this weather business to India where it sees weather having a major impact. “The company has started operations in India and in the last few months is working on scaling up the business,” Himanshu Goyal, India sales and alliances leader, IBM India said. The focus in India will be on the B2B space with IBM targeting verticals such as insurance, agriculture, aviation, oil and gas, food processors, agro based companies to retailers, e-tailers and start-ups, Goyal said. There are business challenges around weather and their kind of solution will help them plan better, explains Goyal. “We are seeing good progress in the market. People value what we offer. With data predictability, they understand the benefits Many businesses get affected by weather and could benefit from accurate weather forecasting”, says Goyal. There is significant value proposition for business which is looking for this kind of advisory as businesses are getting disrupted everyday, says Goyal.
Take for example the direct link between heat and demand for water/soft drink or the weather and its link to vector diseases and expected surge in demand for diagnostic kits and how to prepare the doctors and supply chain for it. For farmers it would not just be weather but how to grow, what to grow,when to sow and what the market is, says Goyal. “We are doing pilots here. We give customers time to assess data and get knowledge out of it, “ he said. They have been approaching clients such as beverage makers, healthcare chains, energy companies, insurance and agriculture companies. This is a new age product from IBM and it is positioned as a decision platform beyond weather advisory.
IBM would be the primary source of data. IBM’s weather solution specialises in hyper local advisory 500 sqmt every 15 minutes. Data comes in from mobile phones, local weather stations, hobbyists, weather underground and the Weather Company’s own network and all this data is accumulated, taken through proprietary modeling and predictions and advisory made. This is further combined with IBM’s expertise in artificial intelligence, machine learning , cloud data, IoT and data analytics to integrate weather data with other data sets. It puts an overlay of weather data on business data, agriculture data, public health data and derive value for their customers and offering insight in real time. IBM’s weather company would be looking at changing the way enterprise in India make their decisions with weather as an important dimension to reduce their risk and make them efficient.