Interview with AIREI Sdn Bhd
Surendran is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AIREI Sdn. Bhd. He hails from a family associated with the palm oil industry, representing the third generation involved in both upstream and downstream aspects of the business. His forefathers were brought in by the British to work in the palm oil plantations.
Over the years, both his parents served under reputable palm oil organizations. Having been born in a palm oil estate himself, Surendran inherited the plantation knowledge and furthered his studies at Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) and graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering majoring in Mechanical Engineering and subsequently his Masters in Chemical Engineering at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
His main goal was to pursue his passion in the palm oil industry, particularly the processing facilities. He currently runs a palm oil mill as well as a plantation. He is a certified Grade 1 Steam Engineer under the Department of Safety and Health (DOSH) Malaysia since 2012 and has more than 13 years of working experience in the field of palm oil milling. He is a qualified member of the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM), Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM), ASEAN Engineering Register (AER), and Institution of Mechanical Engineers UK (IMechE).
Surendran had always envisioned the Malaysian Palm Oil industry to grow at par with any other industry in
terms of technology adoption. His active involvement in information technology back in university days and inborn passion for the industry resulted in the inception of AIREI Sdn Bhd which focuses on Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics.
1. As a dynamic multinational company based in Malaysia and India, AIREI has established itself as a trusted partner in the palm oil sector. Tell us about AIREI’s background and achievements.
AIREI was founded in 2018 with a unique vision to revolutionize the palm oil sector through digitalization and automation. Our core competencies include Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Supply Chain Traceability using secure software platforms, and the utilization of Blockchain technology. Additionally, we specialize in Customized Robotics Development. Our clientele extends to both government and private sectors, and we take pride in tailoring innovative solutions to meet the distinctive demands of the palm oil and commodity industries.
What sets us apart from other IT companies is our leadership team, exclusively comprised of industry experts with diverse backgrounds in palm oil, spanning plantation and milling operations. Our journey has been marked by significant milestones, underscoring our commitment to innovation and excellence.
In recognition of our relentless efforts and dedication, we are pleased to share that AIREI has recently been bestowed with the SME100 Fast Moving Companies Award 2023. This accolade holds profound significance for us, serving as a testament to the collective hard work and unwavering commitment exhibited by our team. It reinforces our position as a dynamic, forward thinking multinational company that continues to make substantial contributions to the palm oil sector.
2. How did AIREI decide to venture into an AI cloud-based software platform for the palm oil industry? And how does MyPalm, the culmination of this venture, contribute to the industry’s transformation?
AIREI’s decision to embark on the development of an AI cloud-based software platform stemmed from a deep-seated recognition of the palm oil industry’s substantial contributions to the economy. Despite its significance, the industry persisted with conventional operational methods. AIREI identified glaring inefficiencies within operation, production, and maintenance processes, recognizing a unique opportunity to address these challenges through cutting-edge technologies.
The culmination of this venture is MyPalm, AIREI’s flagship solution, a comprehensive AI-based web and mobile application designed to revolutionize the palm oil industry and enhance operational efficiency. MyPalm was conceived to unravel complexities hidden from plain view, acknowledging that traditional methods were inadequate. MyPalm stands as a testament to AIREI’s commitment to the industry’s digital transformation, reflecting a strategic alignment of potential, the identification of inefficiencies, and a forward-thinking approach to data utilization. It represents innovative solutions to bridge longstanding gaps and foster sustainable growth in the palm oil industry.
3. Can you elaborate on how MyPalm addresses specific needs in the palm oil industry?
MyPalm comprises multiple categories, each equipped with specific modules and features tailored to optimize operations and enhance efficiency at various stages of the palm oil industry supply chain. These categories include MyPalm Oil Palm Nursery, MyPalm Oil Palm Plantation, MyPalm Dealer, MyPalm Palm Oil Mill, MyPalm Refinery, and MyPalm Kernel Crushing Plant.
Each category encompasses essential modules, such as operational, maintenance, production, human resources, finance, and supply chain management. These modules collectively empower users with tools to optimize their operations comprehensively. MyPalm is also embedded with AI capabilities and acts as a potent business intelligence tool, analyzing data to provide actionable insights and predictions. This strategic integration enhances decision-making, augments operational efficiency, and contributes to the digital transformation of the palm oil sector.
4. How does MyPalm Palm Oil Mill address the dual challenge of mitigating oil losses and minimizing frequent machinery and mill breakdowns, both of which can significantly impact mill revenue and overall efficiency in the palm oil milling process?
MyPalm Palm Oil Mill addresses these two challenges in the milling process through its production and maintenance module. In the Production Module, our approach is all about predictive insights. MyPalm, armed with advanced AI algorithms, analyze key parameters like FFB Quality, Sterilization, and Pressing data in real time. This provides us with the foresight to anticipate challenges and potential oil losses in mesocarp fibre during the production process. But we don’t stop at predictions.
MyPalm goes a step further by offering actionable solutions based on identified factors. This means our mill operators can take immediate, informed actions to prevent the losses from happening and at the same time will be able to optimize the Oil Extraction Rate (OER), making the production process more
To keep everyone in the loop, MyPalm sends instant notifications. Whether you’re part of the management team or working on the floor, you get real-time updates on what’s happening, facilitating swift decision-making. The Maintenance Module within MyPalm functions as a guiding force propelling palm oil mills toward operational excellence. This module optimizes maintenance efficiency through advanced features, including Corrective Maintenance for prompt reporting of breakdowns, Routine Preventive Maintenance with flexible inspection schedules, and Replacement Preventive Maintenance incorporating automatic tracking of machine running hours.
MyPalm adopts a proactive strategy with the integration of predictive maintenance algorithms, allowing us to foresee potential equipment issues before they escalate into downtime or operational disruptions. Continuous monitoring of equipment health is crucial, and MyPalm ensures that preventive measures are taken to maintain optimal performance and minimize unexpected breakdowns.
In addition, communication within the maintenance team is streamlined through MyPalm. It ensures that everyone has the information they need about equipment status, maintenance schedules, and required actions, enhancing coordination and response times. In essence, MyPalm is our way of making production and maintenance smarter, more efficient, and seamlessly connected in the dynamic landscape of the palm oil industry.
5. What potential challenges do you foresee with this product? How does AIREI plan to mitigate
risks or obstacles?
Like any other ambitious product, we acknowledge the presence of potential challenges, and at AIREI, we believe in a proactive approach to mitigate risks and overcome obstacles. One potential challenge could be the integration of MyPalm into existing systems across various user environments. To address this, we’ve developed a meticulous implementation plan that involves close collaboration with our clients. This ensures a seamless integration process, and our dedicated support team will be readily available to assist with any issues or concerns that may arise during this transition.
Another challenge may involve adapting to diverse operational environments. To mitigate this risk, we’ve designed MyPalm to be flexible and customizable, allowing it to align with the specific needs and nuances of each user. Our team at AIREI is committed to providing tailored solutions and ongoing support to ensure a smooth and successful implementation.
Furthermore, potential technical glitches or unforeseen issues might occur during the initial stages. AIREI has implemented a robust quality assurance and testing process to identify and address any such issues before they impact the functionality of MyPalm. Additionally, we have a responsive technical support team in place to provide immediate assistance and resolutions.
In summary, while challenges are inherent in any product, AIREI is well-prepared to navigate them. Our proactive measures, collaborative approach, flexibility in implementation, and dedicated support structure underscore our commitment to ensuring the success of the product and the satisfaction of our clients.
6. Are there any contingency plans in place? Will AIREI require additional support or expertise?
At AIREI, we prioritize meticulous planning and foresight, including the development of contingency plans to ensure the success of MyPalm implementation for our clients. We acknowledge that unforeseen challenges may arise, and we are well-prepared to address them. Our contingency plans cover various scenarios that could potentially impact the product implementation timeline, deliverables, and overall product efficiency. These plans are designed to be flexible, allowing us to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. Regular risk assessments are also implemented to identify any emerging issues and adjust our plans accordingly.
Regarding additional support or expertise, AIREI is committed to leveraging our internal resources effectively. We boast a skilled and experienced team well-versed in addressing a wide range of challenges. However, should the need arise for specialized expertise beyond our current capabilities, we are open to collaborating with external partners or consultants who bring the necessary skills to the table.
Our primary focus is on ensuring the seamless implementation of MyPalm for our clients and we remain agile and responsive to any evolving requirements. By maintaining a proactive stance and fostering a culture of adaptability, we aim to navigate challenges effectively and deliver successful outcomes for our clients.