Business Ideas, Innovation, News

India’s energy entrepreneurs

Make the Future India

India’s energy entrepreneurs

Shell launched its E4 programme in India to help start-ups accelerate the transition into a lower-carbon future. Four participants tell Inside Energy about their ideas and the pressing energy challenge they hope to solve.

By Soh Chin Ong on Jul 12, 2019

Raj Saxena

The spaceman
Ashtesh Kumar, 25
Co-founder, Manastu Space

Manastu Space wants to develop safe and sustainable propulsion systems for rockets and satellites.

“As a child I would watch space flights from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on TV. I remember being in complete awe of Kalpana Chawla, who was India’s first female astronaut.

Later, while studying mechanical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, I met Tushar Jadhav, a senior student who was leading a team to launch a satellite. I joined this project which was being funded by the university as well as the ISRO.

Tushar and I worked well together. We shared a dream to democratise space and make it accessible to all. Many of earth’s problems can be solved from space.

For example, satellites can be used to provide Internet access for the 3 billion people who currently don’t have it. Satellites can also be used as early warning systems for natural disasters like tsunamis or cyclones.

We formed Manastu Space to fulfil our vision. Our first task is to develop a satellite engine powered by a fuel that will make launching affordable, energy-efficient and safe. In time, we hope to scale the engine up to fit a rocket.

Most rocket fuel is currently made up of highly toxic and carcinogenic substances like hydrazine.Our fuel is made with hydrogen peroxide and alcohol – chemicals safe enough to be found in the house.

This fuel is 25% more energy efficient. It can also be broken down to release water, oxygen and heat – essential to sustain life.

This means it could be used in future to land people on Mars. Not necessarily to live there, but to discover solutions for earth.

Our dreams may be in space. But we are grounded by our desire to solve earth’s many problems.

I might not get to become an astronaut. But I can certainly help develop the ecosystem for the astronauts of the future.”

Raj Saxena

The changemaker
Suruchi Rao, 33
Co-founder, Ossus Biorenewables

Ossus Biorenewables attempts to harness energy from industrial waste water, sewage and contaminated water.

“I decided to start my company after a chance encounter in Mumbai with a civil servant.

He told me about a sugarcane farmer whose family had been making alcohol from sugarcane molasses for generations. That was until the authorities shut down his distillery and fined him heavily for dumping contaminated wastewater into an open stream.

The farmer had no idea why he had been fined or where the waste water had gone. He had been paying a man periodically to get rid of it.

That story made me realise people do not understand the value in waste water.

Less than 0.3% of the world’s water is returned to its source. We rely heavily on rain, assuming our water supply will be refilled constantly. When there is a drought, we never ask if there is a way to use water in a sustainable manner.

I had just completed my PhD in bioprocess technology at the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai where I worked on a project converting crop waste to biofuel.

I was inspired, therefore, to develop a technology focused on waste water.

In this technology, microorganisms consume the organic matter and generate electrons, producing reconstituted clean water and biohydrogen, as a source of power. Metals are also extracted from the waste water.

Communities and industries end up with clean water, as well as metals and biohydrogen – a sustainable, carbon-negative and high-density energy carrier – which they can sell.

Things have been moving fast in the last two years since I started. My parents have been very supportive.

My mother, who is a lawyer, is co-founder of the company. She takes care of the business, while I take care of the tech. It’s been a winning formula so far.”

Raj Saxena

The digital connector
Raj Saxena, 39
Founder, LogisticsNow

LogisticsNow provides digital data that helps businesses transport their goods more cheaply and efficiently. 

“I was born in Delhi. My father was a senior executive at Indian Railways and we lived in eight different states in India. My childhood memories are of trains and trucks and cargo.

I also spent seven years in the USA, first at university, and then working for an American IT company helping clients manage technology and supply chain matters.

During that time, while visiting India, I saw that the logistics ecosystem was completely different from that in the USA.

Companies lack access to accurate data that helps them decide how and when to move goods, through data such as weather patterns and traffic conditions.

I saw problems but also opportunities. So I moved back home.

I travelled from Punjab in the north to Kerala in the south. I talked to truck drivers, factory owners and logistics companies.

In many places, I saw fruit and vegetables strewn on both sides of the road. But, a few hours away, I would see trucks parked up idle. The drivers would have been sitting around for days with nothing to do, not earning any money.

This happens because the farmers and drivers have to rely on middlemen when they do not have access to real-time accurate information.

That made me realise, in some cases, poverty isn’t necessarily caused by people not having food or work. It happens because systems are not fair and equitable.

Across most sectors, companies face similar issues. They lack useful information to make good business decisions. These experiences eventually inspired me to start my company.

Logistics should be something people take for granted, the way you assume flicking on a switch will give you electricity and turning on a tap will give you running water.

I know we can make a difference, not only in India, but around the world.”

Raj Saxena

The problem solver
Daniel Raj David, 24
Co-founder, Detect Technologies

Detect Technologies develops drones and sensors to monitor leaks and corrosion in pipes and other large infrastructure.

“When I was a kid, physics was my favourite subject. I loved Newton’s Three Laws of Motion, which says each action has an equal and opposite reaction. I could see those rules being applied in everyday cause-and-effect situations.

I find meaning in solving real problems. Sure, I want to make the world a better place. But there is no point in having a dream or vision if it doesn’t address a real market problem.

That is how Detect Technologies was formed. My three co-founders and I were studying at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras.

We realised the country’s oil and gas industry had no safe and cost-effective technology to monitor pipe leaks.

Damage assessment is mainly be done manually by humans and it normally takes three to four days just to assemble scaffolding for the workers. After the work is done, the scaffolding is dismantled and thrown away.

We wanted to fix this. With the help of our professor and a team of some 20 students, we started work on a sensor that could operate at high temperatures.

That work would eventually lead to our first innovation, a Guided Ultrasonic Monitoring Pipeline System, or GUMPS. We launched it in 2013 and since then, some around 80% of the energy companies in India have signed up with us, as have many others in the steel, chemical and fertiliser industries.

We are only three years old, but we already have around 100 employees in our offices in Chennai, Mumbai and Gujarat. In the last three years, I have travelled across India, as well as to Europe, Canada and Malaysia exploring new business opportunities and markets.

We are achieving only 10% of what we are ultimately capable of. And it takes a long time to build a legacy.”

 

https://www.shell.com/inside-energy/india-energy-entrepreneurs-e4-bangalore.html

Innovation, News

Imagine Cup – Dream it, Build it, Live it!

 

Applications for the 2020 #ImagineCup are now open! Microsoft’s #ImagineCup empowers the next generation of #compsci students to team up and use their creativity, passion, and knowledge.

Select teams will travel across the globe to compete in regional finals in Singapore, Amsterdam, and Mexico City to pitch their projects live, courtesy of Microsoft! Use your passion for coding to make a difference through creativity, collaboration, and competition– and win some awesome prizes along the way! Learn more and apply: https://bit.ly/2A1hGXf

Business Ideas, Innovation

Innovation for TATA employees

Tata InnoVista is a unique ‘One Tata’ platform for recognizing and celebrating innovations of the companies at the group level. Participating in the group-wide initiative encourages and motivates the teams and promotes a culture of collaborative innovation, learning and sharing. Tata InnoVista demonstrates the ability of our teams to solve real business problems with innovative solutions, their focus on creating visible impact and the intrapreneur culture. Over the years, Tata InnoVista has evolved into a central enabler for nurturing the enthusiasm of our teams towards innovation and building a sustainable innovation culture.

Awards have been instituted under the following categories:

  1. Implemented Innovations
  2. Dare to Try
  3. Piloted Technologies
  4. Design Honour
  5. Most Innovative Partner

For more information – Click Here

Business Ideas, Innovation, Startups

The hunt for the next big startup in India begins

Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, in collaboration with CampusStory – a YourStory initiative, brings to you BITS Pilani Entrepreneurship Conclave. Here’s an opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative products and services. North India’s largest summit of its kind, the conclave will take place on March 30, 2019, as a part of APOGEE, the annual technical festival of BITS Pilani, on Pilani Campus.

BITS PILANI-BPLAN competition

BITS Pilani Entrepreneurship Conclave, powered by ABInBev Innovation Brewery, aims to redefine entrepreneurship and product innovation, and build conversation on the new frontiers of startups.

Additionally, the conclave serves to provide next-gen founders with an opportunity to showcase their budding ventures at a national platform to top mentors and investors. With exciting prizes and rewards for the winners, Pillani Entrepreneurship Conclave is the ideal platform for all ambitious entrepreneurs to showcase their vision and business acumen.

Save the date

March 30, 2019

Venue: BITS Pilani, Pilani, Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan – 333031

The conclave is set to have three flagship events, including a B-Plan Competition, keynote talks by the who’s who of the Indian startup ecosystem, and workshops to help participants develop the necessary skills to thrive in the ecosystem.

In addition to being a part of this platform, you will have a chance to:

  1. Present your startup at the BITS Pilani Entrepreneurship Conclave in front of India’s top investors and founders.
  2. Have a go at Speed Dating – Investor Networking: A platform to build associations and connections with some of the top professionals of the country.
  3. Network with other startup founders extensively.
  4. Win exciting prizes and goodies worth Rs 1,00,000

Click Here for more details –  https://yourstory.com/2019/02/bits-pilani-entrepreneurship-conclave/

Innovation, Motivations, People / Stories

Freelancers will represent 40% of the US workforce by 2020

As of today, over 53 million of Americans are freelancers; with their median income of $20K to 30K a year, America’s freelance workforce earned $1 trillion in 2016. Therefore, it’s not a surprise that almost 70% of current freelancers plan to keep freelancing for at least the next 10 years.

 

Freelancing is the new Millennials’ favorite career choice… and not only that, big companies and start up are hiring more freelancer than ever before. The secret is that freelancing brings benefits to both parts. For freelancers, the freedom of making their own schedule and having the flexibility to work from literally anywhere is priceless. Also, it is important to highlight that freelancing is growing so fast that freelancers are hiring more freelancers to handle big project. On the other hand, companies save a lot of time on money by hiring freelancers since they don’t have to manage them directly, and technically, freelancer are not employees, which means that employees won’t have to cover their expenses other that their salary. It’s pretty much like ordering a product.

 

Companies don’t work around employees and schedules anymore. Now, they are based on freelancers, tasks and deadlines. Web design, search engine optimization, coding, customer service, digital marketing, app development and blog management are the most in-demand freelancers skills in 2017. It’s estimated that by outsourcing tasks, employers save 30% every time they hire a freelancer, even when the salary is the same than full-time employees.

 

Upwork, Freelancer.com, PeoplePerHour and SpeedLancer are the leading freelance platforms in America and around the world. It a good time for them as well, with over 20million users and daily commision charged, this platforms are generating big bucks.

 

In this infographic Digperformance.com presents 29 Facts Every Freelancer Needs to Know About, a very nice way to show very interesting and awesome stats and facts about freelancing. Valuable information for both freelancers and business owners.