Borrowed from SAMPADA old editions – for the 10th Anniversary Special Issue – Interviews section. This one is of Bhaktha Keshavachar, 1989 ECE.
Bhaktha Keshavachar is currently the Founder and CTO of Ezetap, a startup that delivers mobile payment solutions. He has over 18 years of experience with patents in micro-processors, wireless systems & security protocols. Prior to Ezetap, he started Antargata Technologies in 2009, a company that focused on hardware level security. He has worked at Intel Corp as Engineering Manager for Product Group.
Team Sampada: What inspired you to start your own business? Tell us more about your company and the major challenges you faced?
Bhaktha: There are several reasons people start their own business, apart from the usual reasons of being rich and famous. There has to be a deeper reason to sail you thru the tough journey of entrepreneurship. For me personally these were the three reasons:
Product companies are rare in India, India is generally know for their services delivery strength especially in the IT sector. I had and still have a burning and an irrational desire to put “Made in India” on a product conceived, architected, designed, manufactured and deployed in India and elsewhere. That’s we did exactly in Ezetap. We have built this India’s first and only POS system designed and manufactured in India and deployed more than a quarter million instances and now in a couple of countries outside India too. Yes, with “Made in India” embossed proudly on it.
Giving back to the society by creating employment opportunities and a platform to learn to build, deploy and support a complex product. A few hundred people have been employees of Ezetap and they have inculcated the same vision and drive the we had at the beginning. We hope that some of them will do the same thing what we did in Ezetap, we see that already happening.
I strongly believe this century will be the Asian century with India rightfully earning its status in the league of nations. In some sense to borrow a phrase, India is the land of opportunities now. Wanted to ride the wave and strengthen the trend in my own little way.
Team Sampada: What role did UVCE play in your life and in your entrepreneurial journey? What would your suggestion be for the alumni community for UVCE to reclaim its legacy?
Bhaktha: When one builds a product and a business around it, everything from engineering, to product development to sales has to be done using first principles. There is nobody above or below you to pass the buck. One needs strong fundamentals, desire/ability to learn, scrappiness to do a lot with a few resources and discipline. The time I studied in UVCE there were a few great lecturers who taught us the fundamentals well. UVCE was the topmost college at that time, the best and the brightest from our state would end up in college, I still remember there were a few single digit CET rank holders in our class, learnt a lot from them too. Also in a somewhat bizarre way, because out lab infra was not upto to the mark, we learnt to do a lot with little. Most importantly our distinguished alumni in good positions always helped us. The name and prestige of UVCE was always an ice-breaker in important meetings.
We all have to pitch in and bring back the glory days of UVCE and make it a world class institution. In my opinion we have to make UVCE an independent entity have a powerful board of influential alumni and rebuild the college.
Team Sampada: There are many young alumni and students who want to venture into their own startups. What is your piece of advice to them?
Bhaktha: Entrepreneurship is a wonderful journey that youngsters should undertake. It is an opportunity for self discovery, winning the accolades of peers, a great way to give back to the society and truly be a part of nation building activity. I strongly encourage everyone to try this once at the least, but please do remember the ride is rough and the probability of success is abysmally low but the rewards once you made it are immense. For more gyan on this please do watch my TedX talk at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jd75KxnsLXw
– Bhaktha Keshavachar, Sampada-112