The concept for the Cielo Breez Smart Air Conditioning device was created by accident. Born on a hot day in Waseem Amer’s garage, the Cielo Breez is an innovative tool that allows users to control their home’s heating and cooling. Comfort and convenience is the main reason the Cielo Breez is becoming an important part of the new trend of “smart” homes.
However, it isn’t just the Cielo Breez’s ability to control the heating and cooling of a person’s home, it is the savings potential the product offers that makes it a must buy item. The company boasts it can save users 25% on their energy bills.
Cielo Breez continues to grow and the company has established a number of partnerships that are allowing them to increase sales. The company’s creators Dr. Waseem Amer and Anees A. Jarral sat down with Totalprestige Magazine to tell us about their innovative product and how it is changing the way people heat and cool their homes.
Firstly, can you tell us how the idea for the Cielo Breez came about?
Waseem Amer (WA): They say that necessity is the mother of invention. The idea behind Cielo Breez is the embodiment of this proverb. In the early summer of 2014, I installed a stand-alone AC in my garage, which was also my home office. A week later, me and Anees were sitting in the garage to discuss ideas about launching a product, which can solve a real problem. It was stuffy inside the garage and Anees, asked me to switch on the AC. I tried to find the remote, but could not. In frustration, I shouted that we can have so many controls bundled in our smartphone, but the control of this damn AC is not there. By the time I found the remote from the heap of circuits and test equipment, Anees had googled enough to convince me that smart air-conditioning is the way forward and we should focus on the ductless industry, which is lagging behind as far as smartness is concerned. The rest is history.
How does the Cielo Breez make life easier for those customers who buy the product?
Anees Jarral (AJ): Cielo Breez gives comfort, convenience and savings to its users. Comfort in the form of pre-heating or cooling, location based controls, future scheduling, air filter status monitoring and room conditions monitoring. Convenience in the form of control from anywhere and voice activated actions using Amazon Alexa and Google Home. The combo of intelligent scheduling and location controls translate into savings to the users.
In your opinion, who is the Cielo Breez or the Breezi for, and why should they purchase it?
WA: Cielo Breez is plug and play with an LCD screen and it is intended for retail customers. It is brand independent, which means that it works with any brand air-conditioner or heat pump.
Cielo Breezi is a retrofit version, designed and optimized for air conditioner manufacturers. It is installed at factory floor, and normally, it is specific to the brand. Cielo Breezi has multiple models tailored for our partner appliance manufacturers.
Let us take a step back really quickly. When did the Cielo company begin and what were the early days of the company like?
WA: It all started in the third quarter of 2014. Early days were crazy. We had to do it all by ourselves. Things started to shape up in mid-2015, when we got our seed funding and the office shifted from my garage to a shared commercial space. The team started forming up and the product started taking shape. It was crazy, always time and resources starved, but super exciting. Still the excitement is the same, but we are settled now, much settled.
How long did it take to develop the technology to build the Cielo Breez?
AJ: It is a complete ecosystem of hardware products, mobile apps, web app and the associated AWS IoT Cloud. It took us two years plus to bring our product to the market. Two years comprising of moments of absolute brilliance, multiple days of going nowhere, weeks of sheer frustration and months of relentless hard work.
The Cielo Breez website claims it can save customers up to 25% on their energy bills. That’s a bold claim. How can the product save households that much money on their energy bills?
WA: Yeah. To us it is a muted claim. If a user can manage the scheduling, location controls, and air filter status alerts wisely, the end savings can be even bigger.
The Cielo Breez is available in North America and the Caribbean at the moment. Are there other markets the company is looking to expand to? For example, the Middle East, where homes and businesses run air conditioning units for long periods each day.
WA: Yes, we are expanding into new markets. We have recently made partnerships in the Middle East, Australia and talks are in the offing with some Chinese partners.
The Cielo website has quite a bit of information on your partnerships in various countries. Please tell me about these partnerships and how are they helping Cielo grow?
WA: Our focus is OEMs and large scale distribution networks. Our B2B sales are going as planned and we also plan to aggressively enter the B2C market from the first quarter of 2018.
In August, Cielo Breez announced the product is compatible with Amazon Alexa. has the product’s compatibility with Alexa increased the public’s interest in it?
AJ: Yes, definitely. We have also launched our product compatibility with Google Home. The compatibility with leading platforms have accelerated our B2B sales.
Making products to make a person’s home “smart”, is the mission behind Cielo. What products do you have your eye on next?
WA: The present focus is on existing product optimization. We are also working on new products with partnerships with utility companies for energy saving at a macro scale. The products will be launched in third quarter of 2018.
Waseem, what is the most challenging part of your work?
WA: From idea to the end market, I have to be involved in every process. The most challenging and the best part of my job is to create an environment for my team which gives them a perfect space to unleash their true potentials.
Were you ever influenced by other entrepreneurs?
AJ: Yeah. Always. For me, the best employment is self-employment.
What have you learned about yourself running your businesses?
WA: It is a 24/7 thing and I can do it.
Instinct versus expertise: Which is more important and why?
WA: Instinct, because the instinct is God gifted and expertise can be perfected by any willing person.
What advice would you give to anyone starting a new business?
WA: Just do it.
Anees, what is your greatest achievement so far?
AJ: I have learned to be positive, every single day.
How do you find inspiration?
WA: Books. Books by great authors.
How do you define success?
AJ: Satisfied with the past, well settled in present and super excited about the future.
Can you share one of your favorite quotes with us?
WA: You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
AJ: Wise men speak, because they have something to say; Fools speak, because they have to say something
Which historical figure do you most admire?
WA: Christopher Columbus, who discovered the land of opportunities for you, me and everyone.
For more information on the Cielo Breez Smart Air Conditioning system, please visit www.cielowigle.com.