Testimonials 2015

1. Chandrasekaran J

Watsan Envirotech Private Limited.

We do a turnover of approx 60 lakhs p.a, starting from a mere zero in 2013.
We have customers mostly B.O.P, rural India, that is PAN India in many states, also few exports to Venice, Tanzania and Rwanda.


I happened to visit many villages in search of dilapidated temples and heritage structures and document them, through the NGO I run, called REACH Foundation (www.conserveheritage.org). Through this journey, I realized that the basic need of rural India, water and sanitation were lacking in almost all the villages, which comprises 77% of our population, yet we talk of Smart cities and modern India. So this triggered me to work on Water and Sanitation Solutions, hence named my company WATSAN. Watsan started making affordable, electricity free, maintenance free, water purifiers which now have at least reached some 1,50,000 households PAN India. In toilets, we developed a pilot model using solid waste and converting them into building up of toilets, without need for cement, water, sand or mason, for which we won a National Award from the ministry of Petrochemicals and Fertilizers.

The Economic Power of Ideas helped me in many ways. Firstly, it made me feel happy that there were too many mavericks, who think out of the box, mostly relevant to social change and ideas which can make India a better country! Secondly, it made me friends with so many other entrepreneurs who are still in touch with each other today, and we cross sell.
The small prize money I won 5 lakhs helped me in building my next set of water purifiers which can remove fluoride, and the product is already launched in the market.
Thirdly, one mentor cum jury, Shri.Anurag Gupta joined our team as advisor!
Last but least, this catapulted us among the few select entrepreneurs to go to London as a Royal Academy of Engineering cohorts, and through which I entered a video competition and earned the place in the podium, only Indian to do so!
Further RAE was in full touch with us all these years and has further made me team up with 2 universities one in India and the other in UK, to work on a new solution for alleviation of textile dye pollution in Indian rivers, through a fellow ship and a grant funding! All this happened because I was in the finals of ET POI!

My advice to future entrepreneurs who plan to start with ET Power of Ideas:
Focus and improvise or fine tune your idea or product, service, raise the bar yourself, sky is not the limit.
When investment comes, think twice if you need that or not, will it suffice to solve the need for the fund, if not do not hesitate to say NO but keep options open

2. Lira Priyadarsani

Maximum Childhood

I am an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad, batch of 1993. I launched Maestro debit card formally in India. Card usage during the promotion went up by 250% indexed vs year ago during that time. From Tech Mahindra I kicked started TechM’s social media activity and managed the crises in social media during the TechM takeover of Satyam.

Maximum Childhood is my second venture, I had already founded a marketing and advertising agency in 2011. Entrepreneurship was an expected path after many years of working. The struggle was between confidence on myself to make it work vs the lack of business experience in my family (all in government jobs, my dad a bureaucrat), an expected standard of living, and the absence of predictability of a job and hence assured money at the end of every month. It has been a roller coaster ride and is still on.

I would like to start talking about Maximum Childhood with a story. As you know parents today struggle to teach their children. Well, I am one of those struggling parents. I will never forget when my 5 yr old daughter came home with two weekly test papers in EVS and English, with 10/30 each. I was devastated. I wondered if it was her failure or mine. Of course it was mine.

The first thing I did was, call her classmate’s mother. She had a similar problem. I then called another friend whose son was in a grade higher than my daughter’s, and a couple of others. And I used a combination of the advice to teach my child. I soon realized that I was not alone in this. Parents, especially mothers echoed these sentiments everywhere.

It is in this space that Maximum Childhood operates. Maximum Childhood mimics what parents are doing today, but in a much larger scale. It is a platform for parents to get and to share learning journeys to teach their child anything – across topics, duration, age, board, etc. Because it is parent to parent it will be more trusted. It saves time, effort and gives new ways for a parent to teach. Mothers get recognition. Normally it is the child’s achievement that gets recognized and the mother gets reflected glory. In Maximum Childhood mothers will get recognition for their effort – their creativity – likes, shares, featured journeys.

ET POI happened out of the blue – I was still a struggling entrepreneur and the journey was eroding my self-confidence. ET Power of Ideas, and our idea being one of the prize winners helped me in regaining confidence in myself, and in my vision. The process helped me create a new purpose to my life and the energy to start a new organization close to my heart

My advice to future entrepreneurs who plan to start with ET Power of Ideas:
Never lose confidence in yourself and your idea, but listen to inputs given to you. Speak with many people. Every person I spoke with while preparing for the competition, and after, helped me fine tune the idea and gave depth in an entirely new facet. Bur keep the focus with yourself. Many people can have the same idea but it is the doing that matters. Start small and own the space before you expand.

3. Prateek Bhargava

Mindler

The motivation to start Mindler was the vision to make scientific career guidance affordable and accessible to millions of students across the country. The entrepreneurial journey has been an amazing experience. The thrill of building from scratch and then nurture it to scale up is very challenging but also extremely satisfying. There were over 10,000 paid customers within one year of operation.

ET POI helped us in connecting with mentors, fine tuning our business model, raising capital and in putting strong governance measures in place. It is an excellent opportunity for any entrepreneur and if you can make it to the select list of entrepreneurs who win the ET POI, it opens a wide set of opportunities for you.

4. Sanket Jasmin Desai

eRMPL

During my professional tenure with Reliance Industries Ltd. (Fuel business) and ICICI Infotech Ltd. (e-Governance business), I was able to spot the cost of inefficiencies and lack of alternative options for Rural consumers & business. They were either over-paying or getting inferior quality product / service despite of affordability comparable to urban consumer market. This found a big & serious problem inspite of developing Infrastructure, highways connectivity and digital initiatives by Govt of India and private players.

Challenge and Opportunity were big enough to quit the role of an employee and work as the employer. Idea was to build the Asset-light model operated by Local resident from the Village facilitating the solution to satisfy needs of every single household. Addressing 4-A challenges of Rural market, I developed model to deliver product, service and consultancy for Agriculture, Finance, House-hold care, Personal-care like Health & Hygiene and Government services needs and that was the beginning of e-Sansar Rural retail outlet which connects Brands with Rural Consumers & business. Pilot rolled-out at 40 Outlets serving 1m population. It was successful and profitable.
Team eRMPL participated in ET-POI by CIIE-A & IIM-A and got shortlisted for final lap in 2015. Further, CIIE-A helped me in getting selected for Fellowship Program – Leader In Innovation by Royal Academy of Engineering, London in March 2016.

ET-POI has been instrumental in shaping my vision and in helping me think long term growth. Here, I not only learned the excellence of scaling-up but also the guts to scale up. It was after POI 2015, we were able to convince Govt of Gujarat to ink a 120Cr MoU during Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2017 with us for rolling-out our Initiative across 14084 Gram-panchayats in the State of Gujarat. The project is a unique PPP model that aims to create sustainability and entrepreneurship at village level and is successfully operational. Today, Gram-Haat is among very few Rural initiatives with Two-Sided Value proposition for Brands and Villagers. We have on-board 19 National Brands as our Associate partners including successful start-ups like eConstructionMart (POI 2010-11), WATSAN (POI 2015) and MyPET (2015).

POI is an excellent platform where you get to meet like-minded crazy innovators. The structured program helps in shaping thoughts on strategy framing; team building and financial planning which is a must do exercise before any entrepreneur thinks of executing their business idea. Networking and extensive mentoring helps an Individual to strengthen the dream.

5. Shradha Sud

Shaico Fashion Pvt. Ltd.

I was practicing as a corporate lawyer and when I was 8 months pregnant I started working on the idea of starting "Mamacouture" when I couldn’t find decent & smart office maternity clothes in India. By the time my baby girl was 2 months old, I had started the venture and set up the company. I started with absolutely no knowledge of the apparel business, but was very confident of the idea as I saw a huge gap to be filled for all the women out there looking to embark the maternity journey and still keep their sense of fashion and individual styles. It has been a steep learning curve for me for the last 2 years but I and the team have only become more confident about the venture each day.

The ET POI platform has encouraged entrepreneurs with new & disruptive ideas. As we got to meet the best minds in the market across all fields, I think I tried to take the true sense of what it’s like to run a "real" business, and what aspects most need the entrepreneurs attention and some lesser. The IIM, visiting faculty and lecturers gave us unparalleled exposure to the real issues. The meetings with field and industry experts & investors were another great exposure to reality to get a sense of your business and yourself as an entrepreneur.

My advice to future entrepreneurs who plan to start with ET Power of Ideas:
Go for it. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for many and should be embraced with open arms and minds and each experience should be savoured. Another best part will be to meet the peers and take from their energy and determination, and be open to self-discovery for the kind of entrepreneur you are.

6. Shrilakshmi Desiraju

M / s Triphase pharmaceutical Pvt.Ltd.

While I was a scientist by my profession, it was a tough and challenging journey to become a business woman- a first generation entrepreneur
It was a sheer desire to carry forward and implement the work done in labs to actual health improvement of a common man and consequently a greater good of our society. While the capability, intent and energy was always there, the gaps between romantism of idea to physical implementation with complex nuances was my greatest apprehension. Perseverance was the only key to go and sail through the ups and downs of the entrepreneurship.

ET POI platform provided me the oxygen when I needed the most...the sheer experience of interacting with the finest minds, the best mentors, a highly professional brand in a reverred place of IIM - A, gave me huge confidence, clearer direction and most importantly an ability to face trying times - chin up...I must confess ET PoI has a massive contribution in enabling me to pursue the venture with perseverance, calmness and business sense leading to 2 B2C products , B2b products for export and a good VC and Strategic partner funding .

My advice to future entrepreneurs who plan to start with ET Power of Ideas:
Business in any sector is an ability to implement ideas into large scale real life applications... by the very nature, it requires boundless energy, passion and confidence to pursue goals against st all odds... To the young entrepreneurs; you already have the right spirit, guts and conviction that you have chosen this journey... An advice from me would be to ' continue with perseverance, regularly evaluate your progress (DIPSTICKS) and work with an ethic of foot soldier set to accompanist his mission .... cause when you look back, you should have the satisfaction of acing big what you set out for ... success & money would only follow .

7. Tanmay Pandya

Brisil Technologies private Limited.

We have developed a technology to use industrial waste to produce advanced products from it. We have filed an Indian and International patent for the technology. We are currently in pre-revenue stage. We would be commercializing our technology by the end of Sept 2017, and will start earning revenues by October 2017.

Coming from a business background, I always wanted to be a businessman. After working on a job, the life started to become a little monotonous. The key motivations to start were the flexibility and control the entrepreneurial experience provides, and the opportunity to create something of very high value and which can have positive impact on the society. One of the biggest apprehensions while starting up was about possibility of failure and possibility of a long phase struggle.

ET Power of Ideas was very helpful. The residence workshop program at IIM A was planned meticulously and it provided the best learning possible at that stage of our start up journey. It helped on various fronts, but most impact areas were - a) streamlining the business strategies and finding solutions of the problems faced by the company after continuous discussion with the mentors during the training phase at IIM Ahmedabad, b) Peer to peer learning from the other start up founders coming from different backgrounds during the program and c) The financial support which we received from the ET POI.

It is a great platform for early stage start ups. It is one of the most rigorous start up training program in India where you can learn & understand about various business functions. It provides a great opportunity to discuss your business plans and strategies, streamline them and execute them. At the same time you get to spend around 10 days with founders of one of the bests start ups in India which can provide opportunities of business association .