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NOVEMBER 15, 2014


PUNE CONNECTS WITH INNOVATION & ENTERPRISE Ecozen’s solar-powered cold storage could revolutionise Indian agriculture

SEAP’s PuneConnect 2014 was a fabulous, day-long interaction with the growing start-up community in Pune. Team TGS on Saturday brings you an overview

The start-up shootout segment at PuneConnect2014 was won by Ecozen Solutions for their solar-powered micro cold storage technology for Indian agriculture. The Four finalists competed for the top prize in a game show like format of this session were Ecozen Solutions, The Green Raddiwala, Framebench and Scandid. All four demonstrated their products and were subjected to a question-answer round, judged by Renu Electronics founder Ajay Bhagwat, BMC Pune director Tarun Sharma and Seedfund managing partner Mahesh Murthy. Ecozen Solutions was established in 2009 by IIT Kharagpur graduates Devendra Gupta, Prateek Singal and Vivek Pandey with an aim to eradicate ‘poor energy management’. Their recent technological yield, the micro cold storage, works on thermal energy encapsulated by the means of solar panels. The storage caters to crops which have specific preservation requirements in terms of temperature, humidity and air composition. It was primarily designed to cater to rural area which has scarce electricity supply. “Some rural areas are not supplied with

electricity for more than eight hours. It directly impacts farming,” said Gupta. The team plans to go mobile to cater to these remote locations. “We will meet the sarpanch first and convey him the utility of the concept. Then we will ask

Their product innovation includes an Internetbased service request alert

the 12-hour window will spoil the crop, Gupta said that the thermal storage back-up will ensure that the crop stays intact until the service provider reaches the location. Ecozen aims to deliver 200 units by 2016 and 20,000 units in the country by 2020. They have chalked out a maintenance model to gauge the efficient scaling-up. “Currently, we are funded

T Micro Cold Storage

him to choose the best farmers from his village to whom we will demonstrate the product. If they agree, we will set up the storage for them in two days,” said Gupta. He feels that large-scale commercial farmers will be able to invest in the product. “Indigent farmers will be able to rent the storage until they raise a capital,” he said. The product innovation includes an Internetbased service request alert. “The company website will be alerted in case of a breakdown. We will ensure that out service providers reach the location within 12 hours,” said Gupta. On asking whether

he storage caters to crops which have specific preservation requirements in terms of temperature, humidity and air composition. It was primarily designed to cater to rural area which has scarce electricity supply. Ecozen aims to deliver 200 units by 2016 and 20,000 units in the country by 2020. They have chalked out a maintenance model to gauge the efficient scaling-up.

by Technology Incubation and Entrepreneurship Training Society (TIETS). Gradually we will engage with B-to-B partners and have regional centres who will foster client relations and services in the mapped radius,” said Gupta. Besides the appropriate energy harvest, micro cold storage also brings value proposition. Gupta feels that there will be considerable diesel conservation due to reduction in transportation costs. “The storage is portable, it will not consume electricity and there is no need for transportation,” he said.


Opportunities for innovation are everywhere

ThinkPune report was launched at SEAP’s annual event PuneConnect 2014

BY YASH DAIV @yash009

How do I come up with my business idea if I want to start my venture. Can you guide on the process? - Paresh Panchal

is probably worth noting is that looking for unexpected success isn’t quite as easy as it seems. We often focus on what went wrong and when things go better than expected, we credit it up to luck. An example of this is the huge success of mobile phones and mobile communication in India. Also, the smartphones are getting accepted at a rate not expected earlier. Th is spawns several opportunities for all types of mobile-

Contrary to what many would think, there may be a process to find your business idea. Peter Drucker, in his landmark book ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship’, has suggested seven sources of business ideas. Let us understand this.

need to look for unexpected failure. I can’t think of no better recent example of unexpected failure than the recent failures of submarines and ships belonging to the Indian Navy. Th is catastrophe came out of the blue and even the best entrepreneur could not have anticipated it. However, there is a little question when such expectant failure would have an impact on almost every aspect of our defence procurement and lead the opportunity in many whelms. I know a few entrepreneurs who are working on building technologies to address this problem.



Outside Event


2. Incongruities Economics




3. Process Need 4. Industry/ Market Structure Growth




5. Demographics 6. Changes in Perception LOW RELIABILITY 7. New Knowledge (see image). As an entrepreneur you have to constantly look for the unexpected, because an unexpected means something has changed. And change means an opportunity. UNEXPECTED SUCCESS The fi rst type of the unexpected event you have to look for is unexpected success. Big events are happening which you never saw coming. When you face with an unexpected success you have to lean into it, embrace it, embrace the fact that you found the opportunity for advance innovation. If you don’t capitalise on the success someone else will. What

based applications. As entrepreneurs we have to recognise that unexpected success is a symptom of underlying change and we need action to explore it. The question we need to ask ourselves when we see unexpected success is can we exploit the success and where can it beat us, what do we have to do to convert it into an opportunity, and how do we go about doing it. In other words, how can I turn the success into new enterprise. UNEXPECTED FAILURE What shall we be looking for when we are trying to innovate is that we also

OUTSIDE EVENTS After the unexpected failure, another source of innovation is unexpected outside the event, and they come out of the blue and changes everything. For an entrepreneur, this is a clear source of innovation. An example of this is the training and education industry. Earlier, conducting training would mean that the instructor and students come together at a physical location. However, the advent of telecommunication technologies has changed all this. Today, a lot more training is conducted online which has eliminated the need for physical proximity. Th is opens up whole new sets of opportunities for content delivery. SUMMARY Hopefully you are beginning to see that the opportunities for innovation really are everywhere. You just need to actively look for the change. Because the unexpected is the direct symptom of change, it’s the most reliable source of innovation, and generally the easiest to find. We will review other sources at another time. Vishwas Mahajan, president of TiE Pune Chapter, answers real life questions of entrepreneurs

PuneConnect 2014, gives a detailed account on Pune’s start-up scenario from the IT boom era. Today, with more than 350 corporate innovation centres in the city, Pune is looking forward to stronger technological based start-ups. Bhandari referred to Pune as the New York of India from a technological point of view. The city has been a fertile ground for national activities and set-ups right from the British era, when Pune was the key location for defencerelated activities. Post independence, national level laboratories and education institutes arrived to the city. In 1990, the information technology (IT) and information technology-enabled services (ITeS) sectors grew rapidly. Today, Pune houses the second largest centre of giants like Infosys and IBM. It’s proximity to Mumbai and the presence of foreign banks makes Pune an accommodating space for all kinds of startups. “Twenty-five marquee venture firms have invested in Pune start-ups,” said Bhandari emphasising the current developments on the financial front. The ThinkPune report illustrates a pattern of initial investments that Pune based start-ups have taken up. According to the report, every 44 per cent of the entrepreneurs in Pune started up with their own savings while about 7 per cent borrowed from family and friends. Nearly 11 per cent got angel or strategic


‘Pune can lead nation in software infrastructure building’

BMC Pune director Tarun Sharma, Ecozen Solutions founder Devendra Gupta and Saba Software managing director Gaurav Mehra





@ THE EVENT 1. TiE Nurture programme awardees; 2. Yash Mehta of; 3. Rajkumar Mundel (left) of; 4. A volunteer at Framebench stall; 5. Dashboard stall; 6. Aniruddha Fansalkar (left) at Monjin stall; 7. Ziya Shaikh at the Vegwash stall

Sharad Sharma moved to Pune in 2004 from the US. Part of the wireless ecosystem during that time, he said, “Back then, if somebody had said AT&T is ‘the’ largest voice paid international voice minutes carrier now but it won’t be the same in the coming 10 years, my answer would have been, ‘Are you crazy?’ But in 2009, Skype went on to become the largest paid voice carrier in the world. For me, as a telecom player, I could not have foreseen what we are witnessing today.” So this kind of non-linear change has come upon us, and it is an opportunity that gives the power of ecosystem to fill spaces. So, what does this mean for Pune? “My own hypothesis is that there is a sweet spot for Pune in this opportunity. There are two kinds of businesses: in front of and behind the curtain. The simplest metaphor here is the use of readymade and tailormade shirts. You did not want to shift but the ecosystem has shifted. This is the change taking place in business applications. Buyers no longer want tailormade applications. This is what is happening in some


Chairman and managing director (CMD), Persistent Systems, Anand Deshpande pointed out that the industry should now start looking at challenges and responsibilities while running any organisation, especially start-ups BY ANJALI SHETTY @shetty_anjali


sensitive business applications, for mission critical work they may choose tailor-made but majority still prefers readymade. In this shift a lot new opportunity is opening and the nature is that it is filling wide spaces. People are buying whereas they could not do that earlier. In 25 years, TCS has over 1,100 customers and Infosys 888. Then there are companies like Freshdesk who are adding 1,000 clients per month. In this new model, Indian companies are selling globally and opening a whole new market for Indian start-ups.” Speaking on start-ups and their growth, Sharma said, “Pune has the potential to lead in software infrastructure building. New IT start-ups should concentrate on this emerging section of software development.” He said that rapid changes are taking place in the software and IT industry and startups should understand its dynamic nature while implementing the ideas. He also stressed on knowledge networking point. “In a city like Pune, entrepreneurs should give priority to knowledge networking. Expert entrepreneurs should guide the novice entrepreneur to establish a good start-up. This process should be non-commercial and must follow the ideal format.”

‘Barrier of fear to experiment has gone by and it’s time to act’


investors in addition to their savings and borrowing from family members and friends. About 7 per cent used the funds they raised from selling their previous venture. He also informed the audience of the payment companies that have played a major role in emboldening the Pune ecosystem. “Recently, Mastercard acquired a city-based payment company. With favourable finance, start-ups have better scaling potential in the city,” said Bhandari. He added that most of the start-ups have started generating revenue and address the large global market. The report claims that nearly 51 per cent of the Pune-based start-ups have customers from India, that is, one out of every two start-ups in the city. Close to 22 per cent of them have only global customers, while over 27 per cent have customers from India as well as abroad. Despite being a favourable destination for start-ups, Pune has not got its fair share of recognition. The report was launched with the aim of helping Pune entrepreneurs to understand the kind of support available to them. “Companies like NASSCOM, MCCIA and Pune Coffee Club make Pune a different ground. They work with a single agenda, making Pune a centre of start-ups,” said Bhandari.

Cloud & mobility: Reason to cheer or fear?

Sharad Sharma, co-founder and governing council member of iSPIRT and CEO of BrandSigma, emphasises on the need to focus on first-time and aspiring entrepreneurs BY ANJALI SHETTY @shetty_anjali

Peter Drucker’s Seven Sources of Innovation 1. The Unexpected

country’s start-ups,” said Maneesh Bhandari, director, Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), Pune division, IIM-A. The report that was launched at the

“Pune ranks second in terms of product based start-ups. It makes 21 per cent of the

This feature is a collaboration between The Golden Sparrow on Saturday and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), the world’s largest non-profit network of entrepreneurs. For additional questions about your entrepreneurial challenges, write to

Vishwas Mahajan

ThinkPune, a report released by IIM-Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (Pune) during PuneConnect 2014, promises to give the city better visibility PICS BY RAHUL RAUT

The innovative solar-powered micro cold storage technology developed by Ecozen Solutions for Indian agriculture was chosen as the most promising start-up at PuneConnect 2014 BY YASH DAIV @yash009

IIM-A wants the world to ‘Think Pune’

A three-point agenda was suggested by Anand Deshpande, chairman and managing director (CMD), Persistent Systems, at Software Exporters Association of Pune’s (SEAP) annual event PuneConnect 2014. He said, “We should look at what opportunities we have, what challenges we could face in the future and what are our responsibilities while running any organisation, especially start-ups.” He also mentioned that about 68 crore Indians are under the age of 25, hence it is the responsibility of start-ups to accumulate them in the jobs. Deshpande said that the opportunities in the market show a great rise on the technology roadmap and one needs to look ahead strategically. “India is a viable market for products and technology for entrepreneurs and consumers. With new technology

such as Cloud it takes significantly less (time and people) to do the same work. The barrier of fear to experiment has gone by and it is time to act,” he said. The challenges mentioned by him particularly included the timeframe required to build a product or service. “Automation will soon make jobs redundant. The whole equation for getting the job done in lesser time and with fewer people is causing serious issues. Our middle layer is out of sync with reality and will have difficulty in keeping up. Skill expectation requirements are changing. Just knowing one skill is not useful in the organisational pyramid,” he said. The industry has to leverage technology to get out of the vicious circle of ‘we are a developing country’. “We need a few dozen Alibabas, Amazons and Apples to come from India. We must be able to create jobs for 678,453,958 Indians,” he said.

(From left) K Vishwanathan, vice president operations, Eaton with Suhas Kelkar, chief technology officer, BMC; Ankur Agarwal, CEO, Clarion Technologies and noted independent consultant Nandkumar (Nandu) Kulkarni

BY RITU GOYAL HARISH @gitesh_shelke

“So any citizen can take picture of traffic violations and post it on their Facebook page and the police will have to take action A panel discussion on Cloud and Mobility, on it. Perfect example of Cloud and mobiland whether one needs to cheer or fear the ity! The reason to cheer is that Pune trafgrowth of this phenomenon was held at the fic police had expanded its enforcement by event. The discussion was moderated by K including citizens from the city,” he said. Vishwanathan, vice president operations, When it came to cheering the rise of Eaton with Suhas Kelkar, chief technol- Cloud and mobility, Kulkarni said, “A lot ogy officer, BMC; Ankur Agarwal, CEO, is happening in the mobile banking and Clarion Technologies and noted inde- mobile payments space. There are links pendent consultant Nandkumar (Nandu) in the chain: a typical mobile payment Kulkarni. involves the app, the merchant, payment “We are biased towards ‘cheer’,” said acquirer (bank), Visa or Mastercard and Agarwal as he admitted to this bepayer. There are nine different paring a big opportunity. “Now we ticipants coming into the chain. can do things, create applicaEach link the chain provides tions and businesses with opportunity for innovation, PuneConnect very little infrastructure services etc.” and with a little investment. According to him, the Panel With small teams you can challenge is that the mobile Discussion bring out ideas with global payment space start-ups lack impacts. If you have dreams, in the design aspect of these if you can think of something apps. “We are all techies but new or crazy, there is a huge opwhen it comes to user interface portunity,” he said. and user experience (it) is an area where But he was also cautious and stated we face a big challenge” he pointed out. that people like him who run enterprises Th is point was supported by Agarwal that took significant investment in infra- who said that the biggest challenge for a structure face competition from young Cloud designer was to design with the end engineers who are already exposed to the user in mind. “Most of the efforts start Dropboxes and Angry Birds, apps right with a technology focus and tech focus out of their mobiles and Cloud. If we don’t start-ups can only go so far. And if they change in the next few years, if we don’t are not technology focussed they are feabring our infrastructure and our apps at ture function focussed. Very few start-ups the same level as the new-age apps, people focussed on user experience,” he said. will be dissatisfied. That’s the challenge,” To the panellists it was evident that he said. Pune had a thriving ecosystem and that Coming from an enterprise software many more start-up successes could crop backdrop proffered Kelkar the opportu- up from the city that is currently touted nity to give many examples to both cheer to be number two in India. According to and fear Cloud and mobility. He chose to Agarwal, most of the start-ups came from highlight an initiative by Pune Traffic Po- Silicon Valley, because of its ecosystem. lice that has its own Facebook page where “Like-minded people, like-minded ideas. photos of offences and offenders are posted Pune is well placed that way” he said. not just by the cops but also by the general public.

The Golden Sparrow on Saturday 15/11/2014