Hyderabad: Five Hyderabadis have made it to this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia, a list of 300 young and aspiring entrepreneurs from the continent. In fact, 69 of the 300 are Indians. Incidentally, India also had the highest number of people on the list among the other 22 countries.
The five entrepreneurs from Hyderabad who made it to the list are Prem Kumar of Marut Dronetech, Ashwin Mocherla of ThickShake Factory, Vihari Kanukollu of Urban Kisaan, Sandeep Bommireddi of AdonMo, and Pawan Chandana of Skyroot Aerospace.
Every year, Forbes selects 30 people from 10 categories like Arts, enterprise technology, finance and venture capital, industry, manufacturing and energy, media marketing and advertising, retail and e-commerce, consumer technology, entertainment and sports, healthcare and science, and social entrepreneurs.
Marut Dronetech is a start-up founded by Prem Kumar Vialawath (29), Suraj Peddi (28), and Sai Kumar Chinthala (28) and is India’s first drone technology which is used to eradicate mosquito larvae and water hyacinths in lakes. It uses AI to predict mosquito density and larvae count, creates mosquito maps by location, gender, species, and sub-species, and also offers real-time reports to identify high- and low-risk areas using predictive analysis for diseases like malaria, dengue, and chikungunya. With its technology, it can cover 6.7 hectares in one day, down from 300 man-days. It has also covered more than 4,230 hectares of lakes in Hyderabad.
Another company on the list is Urban Kisaan. Vihari Kanukollu (26) co-founded the company in 2017 which builds indoor vertical farms to grow pesticide-free produce that is later sold to retail consumers on a 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. Urban Kisaan produce uses 95 per cent less water while its crops get 30 times more yield when compared to traditional farming. It has a revenue of $1 million and raises $550,000.
Adonmo, co-founded by Sandeep Bommireddi (27), is an ad tech start-up that helps advertisers target their audience outdoors through its ‘car-toppers’, a network of digital screens mounted on top of taxis that display ads based on time and location (for example, a nearby restaurant promoting a luncheon special at noon). In 2020, Adonmo raised $3 million in a pre-series A round from Ant Financial’s ventures and Mumbai Angels Network.
Skyroot Aerospace, co-founded by Pawan Chandana (29), is building space rockets, a first by a private company in India. It plans to launch its first rocket in 2021 to put commercial satellites into space. Mr Chandana, who had earlier worked as a systems engineer at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), co-founded Skyroot Aerospace with his ISRO colleagues and is the CEO of the company. The firm has raised $6 million, including from Myntra founder Mukesh Bansal and Defence equipment manufacturer Solar Industries.
Ashwin Mocherla (29) along with his brother co-founded the ThickShake Factory, a speciality milkshake retailer, with the aim to introduce the beverage to ordinary Indians at an affordable price. Since its launch in 2013, The Thickshake Factory has served more than 7 million customers across its 125 outlets in India.
This year, it was also named the ‘most admired chain of the year: cafes and juice bars’ by the PepsiCo IMAGES Foodservice Awards. Last year, the Thickshake Factory was also awarded QSR (Quick service restaurants) of the year by the retailers association of India and the most talented food industry leader by the Asia Food Congress.