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Deep end of Deep Tech:Next frontier for Indian Startup Eco-system?

I met Tuhin back in 2016 at the sprawling and beautiful campus at CCAMP in Bangalore. He talked about his vision of 3D printing a human liver in the lab. I could not imagine it could ever be done. But he showed me building blocks of the same in the lab. Fast forward 3 years, he has cracked an even more pertinent problem…human corneas. They are in short supply all over the world. Ever wondered whether one could create them in the lab? Well, Tuhin and his team @ Pandorum Technologies have done this right here in Bangalore!

 

For my day to day work, I drive an electric car from an Indian company. On a single charge it takes me around 100 kms on a normal day (without AC). Akshay Singhal, founder of Log 9 Materials, took me around in Bangalore in his refitted model of the same car with a range of 1000 kms on a single charge! What was more astonishing is that his invention does not need even electricity to recharge the battery! Yes, they have created a rechargeable battery which runs only on metal, air and water. This has been made possible by their pioneering nano technology work in graphene. Again right here in Bangalore!

 

I have always been fascinated by Space. How do rockets take massive weights against gravity vertically up for 100s of kms? Srinath, founder of Agnikul, comes to my office one day and talks about a rocket engine they have invented which can be completely 3D printed! That really got me excited and our team decided to take a trip to their labs in IIT Chennai. What we saw there blew our minds off! It was a medley of engineering, research and commercial thinking all coming together in a symphony. They are building custom rockets to launch as small payloads as 30 kgs up in the sky, on demand, at the tap of a button! Again right here in India.

 

I can keep going on and on. The three companies above are among many others in India who are innovating to solve global problems right from our own motherland. I can not believe how lucky I am to be able to dream of partnering with some of these amazing entrepreneurs! My career started way back in 1992 and in those days, I helped build a GPS for Indian army. In early 2000s, I was lucky to be part of the initial team @ Ittiam Systems where we created world class IPs for global product companies. Then went on to help build Slingbox few years later which became a unique product. In those days, everyone doubted us whether we can build something world class from IndIa. But we did! Reflecting back, feel that when an awesome team comes together with the right vision, they can easily transcend their own limitations to achieve something beyond the ordinary.

 

My tryst with innovation and science never stopped. I have always believed that India has the potential and the talent to create world beating IPs and products right from here not just in digital domain but also in the beyond digital domain! If done right, there is no doubt in my mind that India can be the leader in innovation on global platform. This is what I think will define India’s next story — we have seen the transition from a IT service nation to a product nation. What would it take to catapult us from product nation to a deep tech nation. We can stand on the side and watch it happen or do our bit to make it happen! Choice is entirely ours!

 

Cheers

Manish Singhal

 

PS: We are hiring too :)

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