When you have passion, nothing comes in your way!

A career in Engineering

The son of primary school teachers, from the small town of Lonavala, near Pune, Rishikesh was always full of ideas and viewed ordinary things in a different way. He scored an A grade in his drawing exams, both at the Elementary and Intermediate levels and was interested in creative art. When it was decision time,he found that career choices available were mostly limited and a career in commercial art or design was not highly encouraged.Going with the conventional approach he decided to pursue engineering not knowing that the tables would soon turn and bring him closer to his passion.

Rishikesh graduated as an Engineer and soon began his work with an organization. In a short while, his innovative ideas and problem solving skills caught the eye of his seniors. It was also around this time, that he came to the decision that he must explore his potential for creative design. Following the advice of his professor and mentor, Rishikesh took his first step towards converting his pipe dream to reality. He completed a Master’s Programme in Industrial Design from the Loughborough University in U.K. In addition to doing well, he left his mark when he participated in an International Design Competition.

Success by design

With some enriching job experience under his belt, Rishikesh came back to India, but continued doing assignments for his employer in England. However, the young designer was brimming with ideas, had a burning desire to set up his own design studio and in 2012, he established his own company. Most of his business was based on pure designing. It was becoming difficult to get the appropriate clientele who were looking for innovative product designs . Bagging a project from the Karnataka Government, proved to be the turning point for Rishikesh –It involved conceptualizing and designing a large metal signage at the Alamatti dam (Bijapur) which has now been renamed as Lal bahadur shastri sagar dam. This project not only catapulted him to a whole new level, but it got him a mention in the Limca Book of Records, for designing the biggest metal signage of India.

His next dream was to design and produce a product under his own banner. This would require larger premises and infrastructure, not to mention a qualified team. It was while he was contemplating how to go about getting all this in place, that he heard about deAsra and decided to approach them for help.

The deAsra factor

He had heard Dr. Anand Deshpande’s speech in college and was inspired by his thoughts on entrepreneurship. Needless to say, he was delighted to discover that deAsra was an initiative of Dr. Anand Deshpande. The deAsra team helped him not only in preparing a viable Project Report and procuring the required finance but also helped him with the legal aspects of his business. deAsra’s presence made Rishikesh’s leap into business expansion much easier. In his own words – “Expanding is a challenging task which involves a lot of risks. To reduce this risk , deAsra has been like a safe landing pad!.”

The future is definitely bright

Eventually, Rishikesh moved his designing business to a bigger premise in Pune which was more suited for studio prototyping and innovation. Due to his undying love for all the activities present when designing, he has managed to create unique designs by exploring various physical textures and different materials. His products are coveted by connoisseurs as well as organizational clients like hotels and offices.

Decoding the rules of business

In a little flat in Pune’s prime residential area, sit a group of people poring over their computer screens and writing code that would make machines ‘think’, ‘judge’ and ‘act’. Welcome to Emprotek Software Solution Pvt. Ltd., an emerging technology startup that develops customised embedded software solutions. Simply put, these are software solutions that help a washing machine figure out how much water would be required for a given load of clothes or help a furnace understand at what temperature it must heat a particular metal.

The brain behind the enterprise is Shriram Kulkarni, who has a rich experience in embedded systems. After completing his Bachelor’s degree in  Instrumentation & Control Engineering from Pune University, Shriram did a Post Graduate Diploma in Embedded System Design from C-DAC ACTS, Bangalore. He then worked with various renowned software companies. During this period, he also got an opportunity to work in USA, UK and France.

Identifying the niche

Shriram observed that there was a large segment of businesses that would benefit from embedded systems solutions, but they were unfortunately not being catered to. Having identified this niche, he took cautious steps towards setting up his own enterprise.

By the time Shriram returned from the UK in 2013, he had a concrete plan ready. He first worked towards reducing his home loan and other liabilities. He had already started taking up small assignments to test the waters and to understand the market. Soon after, he resigned from his well paying job and set up his business in a small flat in the building where he lived. Initially he wore many hats – he was the software developer, marketing executive, accountant as well as the finance manager of the company.

However, he soon felt a strong need to have somebody by his side to guide him on various aspects of running and managing a business. It was around this time that he learned about deAsra.

Intelligent hand-holding

He was delighted to find out that the deAsra team could guide him on managing his finances, recruitment, marketing and other issues. He voiced his plans as well as his concerns unhesitatingly and the team at deAsra advised him on the best course of action.

In the early days of his business, Shriram struggled with pricing his services since there was no tangible formula to evaluate the intellectual prowess that went into his solutions. Gradually, experience taught him to put a price to his efforts and negotiate with the client.

Today, Shriram has a team of five working with him and a portfolio that includes clients from the automobile and petroleum sectors. He focuses on meeting clients, understanding their needs and designing a customised solution for them. His developers and engineers enjoy the challenging assignments he brings in.

Yesterday’s decisions have forged a brighter tomorrow

Shriram has plans of moving into a larger space and widening his client base, all in good time. He is assured of deAsra’s support in his journey. Today, Emprotek is an established player in the market and enjoys a steady stream of business. Looking back on the road travelled so far, Shriram humbly claims that he still has a long way to go but that he is enjoying every milestone and challenge en route.