03:51 AM

Safety For All


Detect Technologies harnesses intelligent technology to transform industrial safety, productivity and operational excellence

The potential of artificial intelligence (AI) has been talked about for decades. In the past few years, the rise of models such as GPT4 have started to show how AI can be harnessed in our daily lives. But AI has the ability to do far more than write term-papers or create derivative art – it can potentially change whole industries.

Take the worlds of industrial manufacturing and construction. These professions include hugely complex operations with risks everywhere. These risks can range from small fires to loss of life, and mitigating danger is a huge challenge. In 2016, according to the World Health Organization, occupational injuries were the cause of more than 1,000 deaths per day.  Of this number, 80% are the result of workplace safety problems. The issues driving these numbers are surprisingly consistent whether the plant is located in Mumbai, Milwaukee or Munich. This means the use of artificial intelligence to reduce risk in industrial facilities has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives globally per year. This is why Detect Technologies exists. 

Founded by Daniel Raj David, Harikrishnan Arangali, Karthik Rajasekaran, and Tarun Mishra, Detect Technologies provides industrial organizations actionable intelligence to mitigate operational risks, reduce non-compliance, and boost productivity.


Daniel David grew up in Chennai, spending all his formative years there. With the backing of his parents he decided to embark on a well-trodden path to success in India – one that runs through the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology. Traveling on that path, however, takes a huge commitment. Four years of study, dawn to dusk from the age of 14 to get the credentials to be accepted - in Daniel’s case, to IIT Madras to study engineering. 

However, during his first year at IIT, Daniel began to wrestle with the feeling that he wanted to forge a different path. “I really started to grapple with finding a larger purpose for my studies. I wanted to apply research being done on campus directly into the field of technology,” Daniel says. He wanted to do something that would impact the world in a positive way regardless of how much money there was to be made. Fortunately, fate would intervene to show Daniel a new path, and an unexpected new journey would soon begin.

While at IIT, Daniel met a professor who understood his yearning for real impact. That professor introduced him to a recent graduate, Tarun Mishra, who was working on cutting-edge sensors for process industries. 

The timing was serendipitous. Tarun had recently returned to his alma mater after a stint at an industrial facility. While on site, he observed that the challenges at plants went far beyond a need for new sensors. Even the most tech-savvy businesses had little to no tech support for the last mile. On-field services and operations were conducted manually, and Tarun saw this as a gap waiting to be fulfilled. Back at the labs, he laid out his vision to drive real-world impact in terms of performance and worker safety. Soon he was joined by Daniel, Harikrishnan and Karthik, all of whom felt strongly about the problem and were keen to build a solution. With that, Detect Technologies was founded.

“Our vision is to provide actionable intelligence to help industries mitigate their risks while achieving their business objectives sustainably.”

Says Daniel


Detect has built a fast-growing business that helps some of the world’s largest companies increase safety and facility uptime by identifying and reducing potentially dangerous activities before they result in injury or death and associated business interruptions. The company has done this with a powerful AI system that analyses visual data from cameras positioned around a facility and other data feeds, to identify abnormal activity.

Of course it didn’t start out that way. In its early days, Detect employed a range of tactics to find solutions for industrial safety, starting with ultrasound inspections of equipment using Tarun’s sensor technology, and expanding to visual inspections using drones. The pivotal shift was building visual AI systems to enable faster, more scalable analysis of the data from those drone cameras. 

That move then led to an expansion of the AI systems analysis capability to solve problems that are bigger and more impactful than simple inspections – with a big focus on increasing on-site safety. Along the way, the young founders had to also focus on making the right connections across business and government. Looking backwards, that path to success could almost feel predestined. As with almost every startup business, however, it hasn’t all been plain sailing.


In 2019, Detect started to expand its operations outside of India. The company set up an office in Singapore and expanded its presence to Dubai and North America. Then, a familiar story. The COVID-19 pandemic shut everyone inside, and industries across the board ceased operations instantaneously. As Daniel tells it, the founding team faced an existential moment, “For the first time in a few years, we knew money would be a serious concern. Other companies were cutting people and salaries. We had to decide what to do,” Daniel shared. Instead of layoffs, the leadership team decided to cut their own salaries to minimize impact across the business. Beyond the financial challenges Covid was also the cause of one of the most consequential changes for the company on their journey.

Unable to send staff on-site to customers due to the strictures of global Covid travel policies, Detect had to pivot away from using its own sensors to utilizing customer-installed equipment. Adapting to the shifting landscape, the company diligently expanded its analytical suite. Simultaneously, a strategic pivot was made. Products were re-engineered to be hardware agnostic, ensuring flexibility and compatibility across myriad platforms. In doing so, the company shed its hardware business to become a pure AI company. The effect was transformative. Customer acquisition and onboarding was simplified. Scaling of engagements was no longer limited by time-consuming hardware installations. The shift from proprietary hardware to leveraging client-installed systems wasn't just a response to external constraints; it was a deliberate strategy that transformed Detect from a patented-hardware-reliant entity to a nimble, agile, AI-centric powerhouse.

The change allowed Detect to not only stay afloat in 2020 but to thrive. With easier expansion into other countries, and more investment in the company, what had the potential to be the worst year ever turned into Detect’s best year so far. 

The results speak for themselves. The system is now implemented at some of the biggest companies in the world across a range of industries including gas, oil, and pharma. Further, since the implementation of Detect’s systems in their facilities, those customers have seen up to a 90% decrease in workplace risk violations at some sites. 


Looking ahead, despite the success Detect has already achieved, Daniel feels the company has barely scratched the surface of what is possible. It is clear that the future will hold continued geographic expansion. The challenges faced running large production facilities are consistent worldwide, but with India accounting for only 3% of the global market, the opportunities in markets like North America – with 27% share, the world’s largest – are huge. 

The other key vector is an expansion of the role that Detect’s AI platform can play for its customers. The company’s deep industry knowledge and powerful AI models mean that Detect has the ability to provide added value across its customer’s businesses beyond safety. Delivering expert guidance in areas like inventory and efficiency, effectively acting as an AI-enabled ERP system, will enable customers to drive transformative change across their businesses – and take Detect to the next level. 

The key to Detect’s future is the guiding purpose the team has had from the start of their journey – to effect industry-defining change in the real world. Given how the company has used that purpose to help navigate its complex path to this point, a bet on continued success seems pretty safe.