Curiosity often leads to understanding how things work rather than expecting the way things are. Young Sridhar’s curiosity often led him to tinker with ham radios, amplifiers, model airplanes, and electrical wiring. He was a tech enthusiast and wanted to know how things work, besides he also liked inventing new gizmos. This passion for innovation soon grew and shaped his career path. Sridhar completed his bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering and moved to the USA to complete his Master’s from Clemson University. Soon, he was engrossed in the industry working with robotics and marine engines.
Sridhar has always been a seeker of innovation, so when a traditional water heater broke down and flooded his basement, he set out to reinvent the technology. Born of a Busted Water Heater and a Soaked Basement, Intellihot today designs, manufactures, and assembles tankless water heaters for residential, commercial, and commercial purposes industrial applications—the first to do so entirely in the United States. Sridhar Deivasigamani, the co-founder and CEO of Intellihot, is the backbone of the company. His zeal and dedication towards innovation have led the company to become an industry thought leader and develop 60+ awarded and pending patents—with a mission to build a waste-free future in the USA. Including an exclusive license with NASA enables Intellihot to power its current and future products with combustion technology developed by NASA.
If we inspect closely, the water heating industry has been deprived of change for the past few decades and is using the same traditional methodology. Hundreds of gallons of water are stored and kept hot 24/7. In fact, the US holds a quantity equivalent to 1/6th of Lake Tahoe hot, leading to enormous waste and CO2 emissions. Also, the stagnant water promotes legionella bacteria that can cause acute pneumonia. Intellihot addresses the issue with its cutting-edge products. It keeps quality and innovation at the center of all the products that have been developed throughout the years. Besides, Intellihot’s technology not only addresses energy efficiency, but also health and safety concerns.
Since the outbreak of the COVD-19, people have been more conscious of their health and hygiene. The pandemic has highlighted the building’s health and safety. Due to the strict lockdowns, several buildings were closed for long periods and now are gradually opening. The alarming news has been the rise in cases of Legionnaires Disease across the country. Sridhar explains, “In hospitals and nursing homes, especially where germs spread with ease and patients are vulnerable to infection, Legionnaires Disease can be a significant danger.” Detecting the concerns regarding health and safety, the team of Intellihot is committed to combating the rise of Legionella bacteria in buildings by providing information and products to keep occupants safe.
For Intellihot, innovation is always at the center of the products. Alongside, the team is constantly looking for new avenues to bring cost savings, emissions reduction, and improve commercial buildings’ health and safety. In 2021, Intellihot has started offering services that help property and facility managers to alleviate the problems such as sudden water heater failures and large unplanned capital expenditures. The team has developed a state-of-art AI monitoring service that can predict the life of any water heater. This monitor is backed by Hot Water 365—a full-service leasing and hot water management program that transfers all responsibility for hot water replacement, service, and maintenance to Intellihot. Hot Water 365 service frees up customers and facility managers to focus on running their businesses.
Despite the crisis, Sridhar and his team continually worked on innovation and ways to help their consumers. The team is generous in spirit and practices open communication which encourages everyone to contribute. Each member of the team is treated with fairness and given equal space and opportunities to deliver their best work. As the leader, Sridhar always promotes and nurtures great ideas wherever they arise—from the bottom to the top of the company. He adds, “Our code of conduct—Innovation, Integrity, Respect, Team Work, Trust, Commitment—form the basis of how team Intellihot operates.”
Intellihot actively participates in philanthropy and each team member sincerely cares about the people and the planet. Sridhar stresses the point that we have only one Earth and we should together strive to protect it. He is building a culture as unique as the products at Intellihot. The employees are never overworked or executives hid in their offices. Everyone is treated with respect and successes are celebrated mutually. “We give employees time and flexibility to be good parents and good people, not just good workers. We are a diverse group of people who care about the needs of others,” asserts Sridhar.
Sridhar nurtured his passion for energy efficiency and intelligent things and turned it into an everyday job. Prior to Intellihot, he has worked on many start-ups and had an extensive career at Caterpillar leading Power systems and the Marine division honed his leadership skills and innovation at Intellihot. By far the biggest highlight of his career has been being in a unique position of amalgamating technology from robotics, engines, autonomous thinking into an important industry. An industry that has witnessed little to no innovation in the past 150 years, but profoundly affects us every day. Intellihot is a truly innovative leader in the industry and running in a league of its own.
As the leader, Sridhar has played a big part in the success of the company. Throughout his career, Sridhar has been a keen learner and curious. He always asks questions and learns from the mistakes—his or others. Sridhar is always transparent about his opinions and is a great listener. He always thinks that problems are opportunities in disguise. These traits have come along as assets to lead Intellihot. The company is one of the early inventors in its niche and is successful in changing the industry. Despite this, Intellihot does not seek attention, rather the contrary, and acts modestly to share credit for the successes and celebrate the many contributions that brought the team to this point.
Sridhar envisions a future moving towards more sustainable options that further reduce building emissions. The team of Intellihot plans to lead the way by innovating new products and technologies that help its customers meet their sustainability and 2030 Goals while helping improve safety. As a parting message for the aspiring entrepreneurs, Sridhar quotes, “If you fail, you’re not a failure. If you fail twice, that’s not fatal. But if you fail to learn from your failures, that is fatal. If you can learn from what happened and try to do better the next time, then you will succeed.”