Five Hyderabad companies and their founders have made it to Forbes ’30 Under 30 Asia’ for the year 2020, out of the 69 from India and 300 from across Asia.
Forbes has listed 300 young entrepreneurs and change-makers from across Asia who are equipped to adapt to whatever the future may hold. Selected from 3,500 nominations, these individuals are set to disrupt industries and tackle major global issues.
The Hyderabad companies that made a cut to the list include Marut Dronetech, UrbanKisaan, Skyroot Aerospace, ThickShake Factory, AdOnMo. Telangana IT & Industries Minister KT Rama Rao congratulated them for their success.
Marut Dronetech — Bringing disruption through drones
Prem Kumar Vislawath (29), Suraj Peddi (28) and Sai Kumar Chinthala (28) co-founded Marut Drones, India’s first drone technology used to eradicate mosquito larvae and water hyacinths in lakes. The company uses AI to predict mosquito density and larvae count, creates mosquito maps by location, offers real-time reports to identify high- and low-risk areas using predictive analytics for diseases. It can cover 6.7 hectares in less than a day, and the company has already covered more than 4,230 hectares of lakes in Hyderabad. Company CEO Prem Kumar Vislawath said, “We are excited and humbled to have received this honour. What started as a means to find a solution for a problem in our backyards is now solving social problems.”
UrbanKisaan — Creating a green revolution
In 2017, Vihari Kanukollu (26) co-founded UrbanKisaan, which builds indoor vertical farms to grow pesticide-free produce that is sold on subscription and walk-in basis.
The plants are grown in a vertical hydroponic environment without soil and with the use of mineral nutrient solutions in water. With the use of 95 per cent less water, the crop yield is 30 times more as compared to traditional farming. It has revenues of $1 million and has raised $5,50,000.
Vihari Kanukollu told ‘Telangana Today’, “It has been my childhood dream to be on Forbes. As a startup, we hear a lot of ‘Nos’, but this kind of recognition will push me towards the goal of making our planet sustainable. We give an upgrade to farming and disrupt the agriculture sector. We have 15 farms in Hyderabad, and we also create tie-up with farmers so that their productivity and income increases. Even though our farms are of 3,000 sq ft space, they give produce equivalent to the produce from two acres.”
Skyroot Aerospace — Making rockets that will put satellites into space
Pawan Kumar Chandana (29) leads Skyroot Aerospace that builds space rockets, a first for a privately held company in India. The company plans to launch its first rocket in 2021 to put commercial satellites into space. Pawan Kumar, who worked as a systems engineer in the ISRO, co-founded Skyroot with former ISRO colleagues and is the company’s CEO. The firm has raised $6 million.
Pawan Kumar said: “This recognition will motivate us to further excel in what we are doing. We are developing rockets that will put commercial satellites into space, which is a multi-billion opportunity. In the next 12-18 months, we will be testing our sub-systems. Once this is done, by the end of 2021, we expect the commercial launch of the rockets. Half of our work happens in Telangana and the other in Maharashtra.” Currently, the company is getting the production done at our vendor sites and will soon have an assembly facility near Hyderabad.
ThickShake Factory — A speciality milk retailer
Ashwin Mocherla (29) co-founded the ThickShake Factory, a speciality milk retailer to introduce the beverage at an affordable price. Since its launch in 2013, the company has served more than seven million customers across its 125 outlets in India. This year, it was named the Most Admired Chain of the Year: Cafes & Juice Bars by the PepsiCo IMAGES Foodservice Awards. Last year, the ThickShake Factory was awarded QSR (quick service restaurants) of the Year by Retailers Association of India and Most Talented Food Industry Leader by Asia Food Congress & Awards.
AdOnMo — New-age advertising
Sandeep Bommireddi (27) co-founded AdOnMo, an adtech startup that helps advertisers target their audience outdoors through its ‘car-toppers,’ a network of digital screens mounted atop taxis that display ads based on time and location. The company recently raised $3 million in a Pre-Series A round from Ant Financial’s BAce Capital, Astarc Ventures and Mumbai Angels Network.