Young entrepreneurs should start early: Monish Salhotra, co-founder of EBTL
The Indian business environment is really in an exciting stage with a lot of disruptions taking place, especially now, when every bright idea is turning into a business or a concept, big or small, says Monish Salhotra, co-founder of EBTL.
Monish Salhotra, co-founder of EBTL, which is into home, corporate and hospitality automation; in an interview with Zee Business Online, shares his views on various aspects of startup ecosystem and the startup's future plans. Here are Edited Excerpts:
Do you think the startup ecosystem in the country is much better than what was 10 years ago?
The Indian business environment is really in an exciting stage with a lot of disruptions taking place, especially now, when every bright idea is turning into a business or a concept, big or small. This could be the golden era of India’s entrepreneurial journey. In the past decade, the Indian startup ecosystem has really taken off well— driven by factors such as FDI, massive funding, consolidation activities, evolving technology, huge digital penetration and a burgeoning domestic market.
How IoT Solutions can help startups grow? Are these technologies challenge or opportunity?
IoT solutions industry is still in its nascent stage globally. There is a huge potential to be explored in this segment. We are going to experience IoT in almost everything we use since ages, for example, fabrics, homes, cars, home appliances and more. IoT has opened up newer horizons for startups to come up with innovative solutions for end-consumer and B2B market, globally.
How did the idea of starting your own enterprise come? What inspired you?
The idea of establishing EBTL germinated from a simple thought of making shock-proof switches because one of our co-founders was extremely phobic to electric shock. We wanted to build something, which would eradicate all possibilities for getting jarred from electric shocks and that thought lead us to a search for something that could fulfil this need. With some extensive research of this market, we realised that there is a lack of such products and to cater to this need, we decided to set up EBTL in 2013 and commenced operation in 2015.
I have always been passionate about how to meet consumer expectations and fulfil them. I know if consumers’ expectation are met, they will always be loyal towards the brand and after some extensive market research, we realised that there are not many automation products and so we decided to cater to this need.
What is your company’s growth rate now and the road map ahead?
Since the inception of EBTL, we have witnessed a steady growth in terms of revenue as well as demand for its products. During this financial year, revenue is expected to be Rs Rs 20 crore, and but with the growth of 20 per cent annually we are expecting to achieve our Rs 100 crore target by the end of FY2021. Our range of products such as switching, curtain and gate automation, light dimmers and guest room management systems are gaining popularity amongst our key target clients.
With a pragmatic view, and understanding the potential of future demands of the sector; we are the only company which is well-prepared for the future disruption in this market. We want to take our business to a new level where we can create affordable automation products, which would suit every consumer. Our aim is to create automation and shock-proof products that offer ample features to control electricity consumption, control usage, manage safe and secure indoors for seniors and kids, be it at home, incorporates or hotels.
What is your expansion plan? Have you received any funding and if yes, from whom?
We aim to increase our market size for a broader set of consumers, beginning with home and corporates to special products that cater to hospitality and other such businesses across, South East Asia, India, Africa, Middle East and the US. Additionally, we will widen our horizons globally, to reach over 50 countries in the next 2-3 years. We bootstrapped the business.
How young entrepreneurs should start their journey? What is your advice?
My message to young businessmen would be: One, they should start early if they think they have a great idea that has potential to scale, do not wait for disruption in that sector, and create the disruption themselves. Secondly, I would recommend every entrepreneur to prioritize on growth, because scaling up is vital for a business to achieve the potential of the overall business model.