#IconsAround Interview: Mandar Tulankar – The College Kid Who Invented Shoe Powered Mobile Charger
I can’t exactly remember how, but one day suddenly I found an article on the internet about a college kid, who invented a mobile shoe charger that can convert the mechanical energy of walking into electrical energy. I got so fascinated. I read that at such young age he is running a company in renewable energy sector, also has been awarded by many respected institutions and organizations. I wanted to connect to this person. I hesitated a bit at first, but when I sent him a message on Facebook, I got real humble & warm reply. Like most successful Entrepreneurs, Mandar is also very much down to earth and open to learning. I feel myself blessed to be connected with him for last 5 months. And I’m so grateful to him that he took his time to share his story for you all. So let’s learn about his story together.
Q. Why did you choose to become an Entrepreneur?
There are quite a few reasons-
- I always wanted to be my own boss .
- Lead things from the front.
- Wanted to be the sole decision maker both for my life and my work.
- Being an entrepreneur is not just a post its more of an identity where you have the chance to bring smile on the faces of millions by giving them creditable share for their talent.
- Nothing is more satisfying than seeing the lights lit in houses of atleast a couple of people, because they are working under the shelter of your idea which is converted into an organization and to which now the people are contributing proactively.
Q. How did you start?
The first memory of business dates back to age of 8 when I sold a street dog to my school senior. From then till now I have done all sort of idiotic shit all the way from selling crackers , Holi colours, even ideas, and got paid off for every work . As the famous joker quote says
“If you are good at something never do it for free.”
Theses things faded off with time until 15th of june 2010 when I got the chance to represent my idea at IIT Kanpur’s golden jubilee alumina convention, the very first public forum of my life. I have presented my idea of the mobile shoe charger there , that was the first official start from dreams to reality. Then on 21st of December 2010 I did officially register my company as Angel’s R&D Pvt. Ltd. (Where Dreams have reality wings ), raised my first seed fund on 16th of January 2013 with new talented minds on board and resolved to change the name as Zero Point Energy Pvt Ltd (Redefining the energy conservation modes ).
Q. Family supported or not?
There was an unshakable support from my loved ones who always rekindled the fire when they saw the flame going low. They helped me restore the faith in me when I saw the efforts were not bearing fruits. They helped me reassuring that things will turn out if not soon but for sure if I just go on even with the hardest hit.
Q. Can you please tell us a bit about your ventures?
Since its founding in Nagpur in 2010, Zero Point Energy Pvt Ltd . is proactive in the field of renewable energy sector. Its main focus is on developing methodologies that would pave a way to bright future conserving maximum resources. Following the tag line “Redefining energy conservation modes ” company has developed a couple of products that could use the routine activities of day-to-day life and extract suitable amount of wasted energy and change it into usable form such as electricity. The company expanded its operations by stepping in the field of smart gadgets development that could consume less power. Company also supports students interested in bringing ideas to practically implementable models with the help of various institutions both educational as well as professional research institutes.
Let me share with you briefly about my Shoe powered mobile charger. In its present form, a person has to link his mobile using a wire to the device house in shoe sole. But we’re planning to convert it into a wireless device. It is a wired device made out of piezo crystals and spring assembly. I will soon be converting the device (already patented) into a wireless one.
How the charger works-Piezo crystals exist in nature in rocks and produce a sound when supplied electricity. They are used as plate in speakers in any sound system. This device essentially reverses the process. When a person walks with the shoes on, enough pressure is created on the crystals which produce the charge which is carried through a wire to mobile handset.
Cost: It is a very cost-effective device. A pair of shoes fitted with a charger costs Rs 700, and if the charger is fitted into your old shoe, the cost is just Rs 200.
Q. What kind of investment and legal formalities needed?
As the one of Bollywood movie says it has been true for me totally “Bade se bada business paise se nahi ek bade idea se bada hota ” (Most of the big businesses aren’t built on money, but on ideas). It was word by word applicable to me in my venture , till date I haven’t yet pulled single money from my pocket, it has always flown to me whenever I needed and shall continue to do so. You don’t need to bother about investment just be sure you have the right mindset to make people fund your venture. People are out there ready to give you money if you know how to pitch your idea to them.
Speaking about legal parameter to start, that depends how the company needs to be structured , I always wanted to go for Private Limited company for various reasons . Like I wanted a business card that says FOUNDER DIRECTOR . There are a couple of ways in which the working can be initiated.
- Proprietorship (A single person entity)
- Partnership (A stamp paper that shows the role of persons involved in the operation is sufficient enough to get things done )
- Limited Liability partnership (A form of partnership where in the persons involved have certain specific sets of roles to play)
- Private limited company ( DIN no – Director identity no , board resolution memorandum of understanding )
Q. What are the challenges you faced and overcame?
Challenges or failures are the toll taxes that you pay while running on the high way to success . Highlighting some of the most prominent ones , though there are almost a dozen of idiotic mistakes that I have committed and paid heavily for each one of it . But I always got up and started afresh. I’m mentioning it from the latest and most fresh wound that got healed recently . I made a trip to China where we were supposed to meet 3 companies out of which 2 cheated , they had sent us false samples. The result was that we had to start from scratch. We did it and are way ahead today from where we did start our second innings. There were also times when I could not prioritize things, I made wrong decisions and failed badly and publicly- shattered smashed , cried to my heart’s content. But then again collected every broken pieces back reminding myself – This is not going to end till I win it.
Q. Your advice for someone planning to start their own company ?
Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t. Let me be lethal here- don’t start because you think it’s very cool to live the tag of business man.
Let me tell you it’s burning coal that has to be walked on with thunders on your head striking every next moment. But if you can cross the death valley (the first generation foundation layers for Entrepreneurs) & make it to your destination, the world would be at your feet. This world has real scarcity of leaders so there is a lot of room at top. And when you are back from the top , that feeling is inexpressible! I have seen it, so all I can say – go for it! It’s worth every trouble.
Q. What is your daily routine as an Entrepreneur?
Well it starts listening to motivational songs or speeches as I personally believe that the starting hours of the day makes up the tone for the entire day. Initially I had to attend college & handle company but now , as I have already done with my graduations so there is barely any need to attend my pg classes unless its exams. I start at my office at 9 am, but there is no return time fixed . It depends on the work or tasks to be completed that day. As I return home, I spend some time with my family. Before sleeping I talk to myself & commit to achieve more next day .
Q. What do you think about Social Media?
You are connected to the entire world thorough it. Right use may take you to peak, wrong use may bury you to ground. Sorry to be so sarcastic but social media has brought emotions to public display. We almost know everything about others . There was a saying neki kar dariya mein daal , today its like kuch bhi kar facebook pein dal. I mean there is no need to open up so much of your life in public and when people comment on it, the situation mostly gets worse. I personally believe youth need to understand- its social media not personal media, paparazzi guys are doing it already, you need not add to them . Learn to draw a line to exposure of personal feelings.
Q. How did you manage study and business and personal life?
Its pretty much simple- wherever you are, be both physically and mentally present. I understand that during the formative years when you are striving hard to roll your business things are not easy every time. I refrain from bringing work tension to home, but at times it comes accidentally, its thought after all . I still ensure that my face covers it nicely so that when my mom greets me as I arrive at home I greet her back with smile . I play with my brother or get engaged into something that removes the thoughts . So its simple wherever you are put your 200 % .
Q. Would you encourage youth to go for Entrepreneurship? Why?
We produce 8 lakh engineers every year . On the contrary number of job openings as per the scenario is only 2.5 lakhs , so where will the rest go?
See I personally don’t agree that any career, be it business or politics can be forced upon. It comes from within. I would rather ask the youth to close themselves in a room for one full hour and just ask your heart. It will be scared initially because you have never asked it earlier, but it will answer correctly and make sure that you obey that voice unconditionally . Its quite simple. I have done that always.
The icing over the cake of Entrepreneurship is, you can be on holiday 24 x7. If you go for entrepreneurship you are not answerable to anyone but your own self. This is the only place where one decision can change life of millions , like Steve Jobs did, or can even make you a social visionary like Bill Gates(who is currently doing amazing philanthropic activities).
Q. What is your future vision?
I wish to see the world without any power cut. I wish to lit up atleast one bulb at every house of every village of every city of every country across the globe. I know the woods are dark and deep but I have promises to keep and miles to sweep before I sleep.
Q. Can you please share some of your achievements with our readers?
My achievements till date :
- Winner of Best Innovation of the year 2012 award (GSEA New York International finale)
- Winner of GSEA 2012 .(India finale)
- Winner Of EXIMIUS 2012 IIM Bangalore
- Winner of ENSPIRIT 2012 IIM RAIPUR (Shoe charger concept)
- Winner of Emprassario 2012 IIT Kharagpur ( Global Entrepreneurial summit)
- Winner of TECH FEST IIT Bombay 2012 (Shoe charger concept)
- Winner NMIMS Social Business plan 2011 – (Shoe charger concept)
- Awarded as Author of Change for NSEF class 2011– for the concept of shoe charger
- Awarded as Young Scientist by Chatrapati Shivaji Foundation – Nagpur (Shoe
- Holding a patent for Piezo Spring Motion Charger (Mobile Shoes charger)
- Winner of Unknown Innovators contest – One Billion Minds & IIT Kanpur.
- Won the National level paper presentation at Goa on Business Ethics.
Q. In case anyone want to contact you, can you please share your contact details?
My contact information goes as ;
Ph no : 7620242581
Email [email protected]
Fb page: https://www.facebook.com/Zer0PointEnergy
Such a fascinating guy! Isn’t he? I’d love to mention also that his story has been featured on various media & sites like Times of India, TechAloo, Nagpur Entrepreneurs, Under30CEO, Down To Earth & many more!
And like previous #IconsAround interviews, I’d summarize few take away points for you:
- Challenges or failures are the toll taxes that you pay while running on the high way to success .
- Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.
- Don’t start business just because you think that it’s very cool to live with the tag of Businessman.
- This world has real scarcity of leaders so there is a lot of room at top.
- Any career, be it business or politics can’t be forced upon. It comes from within.
So if you have any idea that can make a difference to the world, just start! I hope you got enough inspiration from Mandar to make your idea a reality. Many more interesting #IconsAround stories are waiting for you. To ensure you don’t miss those, subscribe to this blog’s feed in a feed reader like Feedly or you can subscribe to Live Your Best Life Newsletter.
Please share your thoughts in the comment section. And if you have any inspiring story, why aren’t you telling me?