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The super forge master Innovators all! And in such diverse fields! Textiles to pharma, real estate, financial services… The container pioneer
Innovators all! And in such diverse fields!
Unlike the past, this time there is a dominance of the services sector. The awardees have made killing use of technology and management skills.

In his earlier tenure as the Chairman of the Tamil Nadu State, CII, B Santhanam revved up the activities to new heights. I remember his presenting star entrepreneurs of the state like R G Chandramogan, Managing Director, Hatsun Agro Product Ltd and G B Sundararajan, Managing Director, Suguna Foods Limited.  

    Santhanam functioned as Chairman, CII (SR) during 2013-14. Besides his other stellar contributions, he has spotted and awarded young entrepreneurs who had made unique contributions. Samir Agrawal, Principal, The Boston Consulting Group (India), collected data on 220 enterprises in the southern states.

    A committee under the chairmanship of Gopal Srinivasan selected eight emerging entrepreneurs who have made a mark with their innovations. Interestingly, unlike past experience of such awards concentrated among manufacturing units, this time there is a dominance of the services sector. The awardees have made great use of technology and management skills. Look at the profile of these eight:


Muhammed Kunju,

CEO, Crust ‘n’ Crumb Food Ingredients Pvt. Ltd

A global player in the baking and confectionary industry, the company specialises in developing, manufacturing and marketing creative and innovative baking solutions to industrial bakers, commercial and craft bakers, food service companies, confectionery manufacturers and flour millers. The company reported a turnover of Rs 30 crore; its products are sold in two-dozen countries, mainly in the Gulf region. “We constantly innovate and have an in-house R&D lab,” said the CEO.


Saumil Majmudar

Co-founder and CEO, EduSports

This IT professional quit the job and focused on physical fitness and sports. Two lakh children in 80 plus cities have been involved. The company now has about 350 schools under its belt and expects to widen the reach to about 1000 schools and a million children!

EduSports’ business model is to coach students in a structured way, with workbooks and a regular curriculum. A report card is given on how the child is faring.


C K Kumaravel

CEO, Groom India Salon & Spa and Co-Founder, Naturals   

Along with his wife Veena, Kumaravel pioneered a new era in the beauty care industry by channelising knowledge of the international beauty industry. Their vision was to build a successful world-class beauty salon brand in India. The realisation of this dream saw the birth of Naturals, now a 350-salon chain. It has presence in Sri Lanka and is exploring more markets overseas. Their focus is on creating women entrepreneurs. There are 180 women entrepreneurs in the franchise, which has generated over 6500 jobs. In 2013-14, the Naturals brand generated Rs.250 crore in revenue.


U S Mahendar

Promoter, Hatti Kaapi, Bangalore

The conventional filter coffee store came into being with a vision to provide excellent, qualitative and authentic filter coffee at affordable prices to coffee drinkers of Bengaluru.  The company sells about 70,000 cups of conventional filter coffee every day. “It all began in 2009, in a 30 sq ft space with an initial investment of Rs. 1 lakh,” said Mahendar. The company has clocked Rs.2 crore in revenues. Hatti Kaapi sells filter coffee at 25 outlets and employs about 120 people. It plans to open five more outlets shortly. The vision is to promote South India’s traditional filter coffee and make Hatti Kaapi an established brand.


Karunakara M Reddy

CMD - Smaat Aqua Technologies Pvt Ltd

The company has annual sales of Rs 120 crore with about 900 employees and a factory that produces 300 water purifying units a month. Its aim is to provide safe and affordable drinking water to rural India, says Reddy. It costs just Re 1 per family per day! The company also sells water solutions to 33 countries, covering 18 innovative technologies developed in-house. These include reverse osmosis, ozone filtration, solar ozone evaporation and de-mineralisation.

Nithin Kamat

Founder and CEO- Zerodha

This online stock trading company aims to herald a new form of broking and make trading more accessible. It has around 27,000 customers and handles an average of Rs 5000 crore of transactions every day. Customers are not burdened with any broking charges on trades and transactions and are charged a flat fee of Rs.20 per trade, irrespective of the size of the trade. This model, called discount brokerage, first caught on in developed markets.


C A Anzar

Managing Director, Olive Life Sciences Pvt., Ltd

The company manufactures products for international companies that make health supplements. This involves tying up with farmers for herbs. The active molecules that go into the making of a herbal tablet or pill are extracted from the herbs. The company has a turnover of around Rs.150 crore and has some big US companies as clients. It employs 150 to extract active ingredients from herbal plants and make the final products in compliance with regulatory requirements. It has partnered with around 8000 farmers in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and has around 20,000 acres under cultivation.


S Srinivasan

Managing Director, Orange Sorting Machines (India) Pvt Ltd

His journey as an entrepreneur took off when he started a company that would make machines to sort and remove defective foodgrains. The idea for this venture came from a small-scale industries exhibition he attended in Coimbatore over a decade ago. This business is now worth Rs 75 crore a year. In 2012-13, he sold 350 sorting machines. This fiscal, he expects to sell about 410 machines. The company’s turnover increased from Rs.17 crore in 2008-09 to Rs. 53 crore last year and is expected to touch anywhere between Rs. 70 crore to Rs 100 crore this year. It has exported the machines to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.

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