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FIVE ENTREPRENEURS OFFERING INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS IN

RURAL INDIA

1. EVOMO Research & Advancement - Abhinav Kumar CEO, EVOMO


Based in: Ahmedabad
USP: Aims to replace non-licensed local transport vehicles
Funding: Rs 5 lakh from NID
What it does: Designs and makes lowcost rural utility vehicle
As a young automobile engineer Abhinav Kumar dreamt of joining a professional racing
team. But a casual visit to rural Uttar Pradesh, where he saw a range of locally
manufactured vehicles being used to ferry people and goods, changed the 27-year-old's
career ambitions.
He realised there was consumer demand for a transport vehicle that was both affordable
and reliable. Soon he quit his job at auto-parts maker, Sona Koyo Steering Systems to set
up his own venture, Evomo, in 2010.
Evomo's rural utility vehicle costs Rs 1.5 lakh, which is less than the price of a Tata
Nano, dubbed the world's cheapest car. Kumar said he manages to keep costs low by
using locally sourced material and drawing from global design ideas that are past the
patent-protection stage. His target is to sell at least one vehicle in each of India's 6.5 lakh
villages in the next five years.
2. Ampere Vehicles
Based in: Coimbatore
What it does: Makes electric bikes
USP: These bikes are used for local distribution by small entrepreneurs
Target Revenue: Rs 100 crore in the next four years
Funding: Rs 20 cr from Forum Synergies and Spain's Axon Capital
In Coimbatore, electric-bike maker Ampere Vehicles is selling thousands of bikes being
used by retailers to distribute water and milk in villages. Founded in 2008 by Hemalatha

Annamalai, 45, a computer engineer, the company is expected to reach revenue of Rs 100
crore within the next four years.
3. iKure Techsoft
Based in: Kolkata
What it does: Sets up rural health centres
Target Revenue: Rs 1 crore this year
Funding: Rs 45 lakhs from Intellecap Impact and Calcutta Angels, Rs 70 Lakh from
WEBEL
Kolkata-based iKure Techsoft has built a network of rural health centres where doctors
are available through the week and pharmacists dispense only accredited medicines. In
addition the company has built a back-end software platform on which all health records
are stored. This is used to centrally monitor key metrics such as doctors' attendance,
treatment prescribed and pharmacy stock management.
Sujay Santra, iKure's founder said the idea for the business came to him when he realised
that his relatives and friends in a West Bengal village could not relate to his work at a US
technology firm. "I was not doing anything which would impact them directly," said
Santra, 36, who left Oracle to launch his healthcare venture.
4. Aakar Innovations
Based in: New Delhi
What it does: Builds low-cost machines that produce sanitary napkins
USP: The napkins are biodegradable
Target revenue: Rs 60 lakh this year
Funding: Rs 6.15 lakh loan from the NIF; Rs 3.6 lakh Mahindra 'Spark the Rise' grant

5. nanoPix
Based in: Hubli
What it does: Image and video processing products for agriculture, healthcare
USP: Machine vision-based blood smear analysis and automated cashew sorting

Revenues: Rs 2.2 crore fiscal 2014


Funding: Rs 80 lakh from friends, family; Rs 15 lakh loan from Deshpande Foundation
Thirty-six-year-old Sasisekar Krish makes image and video processing products for
agriculture and healthcare at his company nanoPix based in Karnataka's Hubli district.
Farmers use his product to sort agriculture products like cashew by shape, size, colour
and quality. The same technology also helps analyse blood smears to detect infectious
diseases.
nanoPix has already tied up with a few hospitals in rural Karnataka to use the product. To
keep costs low, Krish, a former engineer at Wipro, has done away with expensive highresolution cameras used in imaging technology.
Instead he combines images from several low- cost cameras and uses a software
algorithm to create three dimensional models of the objects to be analysed.