If you can dream it, you can build it...

Innovation Love Story: Deekshith Vara Prasad

My Innovation Story is Driven by One Constant Push - Addressing Real Needs and Adding Comfort

Meet Deekshith Vara Prasad – as young and fresh a mind as it can be and an extremely humble mind. Talking to him activated the Refresh button for us, at InvenTrust. When you read his story, you won’t miss the simplicity that drives him. Needless to say, his innovation is one that addresses one of the most basic problems. Don’t miss this one!

The Story...

The Start 

I joined as a project associate in IITM, for my allowances (and building a team, in parallel). This is where I got exposure on the value of air we breathe. What we think we are breathing is different from actually is happening. Back in time, I was reading industry reports that said quite opposite. But I could see that my country was polluted. There is an invisible killer that was seeping into our bodies. It was like slow poisoning.

This made me think even more seriously and I started developing thoughts to address this solution. I started research on available controlling technologies. During this phase, I realized that not much significant developments happened over the past five decades. There is an acute need to create awareness on the importance of monitoring technology.

 

The Challenges

IITM Incubation was my first choice since I belong to IIT and I approached with my basic idea on paper with clear explanations. In two meetings, I convinced them on my basic B-plan. I was supported with initial funding and the paper work. The next challenge was getting people. Luckily, I found 2 partners.

The next problem was how to start? We had three most important factors to consider:

  1. Cash flow – The initial funding brought us basics. I needed the minimum assurance that I can run for six months so that I could concentrate on building team and product. I worked on clients who need air quality monitoring and approached them. My target was to get one client per month. And it worked.
  1. Team – I see not the lack of intelligent people but the lack of seriously committed people. The hunger for doing something worthy and the capacity to wait until things get done is a major missing area today. I am lucky enough to get good people in a short time who didn’t bother me for wages. They even handled their pressure points for the sake of the mission.
  1. Timing – Time plays a crucial role, and we need to be ready at any point in time to showcase ourselves. And need to adapt ourselves according to situations.
  1. Targets – Calculating our strengths and fixing a target. And, of course, following up. So how to start is nothing but creating a timeline based on the above parameters and following up every minute carefully.

 

And finally, Success:

Our efforts led to a product called Vistar air purifier, which cleans the environment. It is the First of its kind in the country. accredited by NABL laboratory. Our USP is that with a single filter, this product can clean 13 parameters, including bacterial and fungus. You can check it out at http://airoktech.com/

 

Have you had those ‘crazy idea’ moments? What do you when you get them?

A lot. I always share my crazy thoughts with the team and laugh. The craziest moment in our journey was during the demonization phase in our country. It was happening and we had no cash. Our first prototype was under fabrication and it was due for a presentation for the next level of funding approval. It is a make or break situation. We negotiated hard but it didn’t work out as we expected. That evening, we went to an ATM and noticed a dustbin that looked very similar to our model. Imagine our situation that we actually started to consider stealing it! We had probably reached a breaking point in that situation. Anyhow, we took the right course and managed to gather some cash by next day morning and got our model. This incident led to a very popular joke in the team – “It’s not just money that needs to protection in ATM, there’s also the Dustbin”. We have a good laugh when we think of it, even today.

My innovation story is driven by one constant push – addressing real needs and adding comfort.