The Summers in IIT Kharagpur is always a great time for everyone. Majority of the students go home on a long vacation and the rest go for internships in companies and universities in India and abroad.
In early August of 2008, I was back in college after interning at the University of Bern, Switzerland and i was introduced to Prateek who also returned from his internship in Italy. During our casual conversion, I asked him “What did you do?” to which he replied “I work on carbon capture systems”. It was this conversation that set the tone for the incorporation of Carbon Clean Solutions. Three years later we are present in three major industrial markets across the world and are innovation leaders for carbon (CO2) capture technology.
CCS promoter’s with Dr. William F Milar – Stanford Business School
We spoke about carbon capture, which essentially is a process of capturing/recovering carbon dioxide (CO2) from large scale emitters like power and industrial plants. My next question was “Who’s doing it in India?”, a friend and soon to be business partner Prateek replied “No one”.
Winners at PAN IIT Business Plan Conclave Award, with TATA CEOs
Neither of us spoke about this for few days until we learnt about “IDEAZ’08”, IIT Bombay’ business idea competition. We had an instinctive feeling that we could probably do better in this because of our passion, so we decided to apply. Surprisingly enough our idea to start carbon capture consulting did do better that we thought giving us right opportunity and platform. In next three months we won two major business plan competitions at IIT Kharagpur and PAN IIT Business Plan Conclave. Things were pretty serious by then, an idea that started from dorm room discussion was converted into a full fledged business plan and there were people ready to support us.
Aniruddha, Prof. Martin Haemmig and Prateek
At the PAN IIT conference we met Prof. Martin Haemmig, who raised the first ever “BUT” on our business plan. A genius and well known in global start-up community, he was an Prof. at Stanford University and had lectured at some of the very high profile entrepreneurship events across the globe.
The next day was well spent getting coached on even thinking of a company and the intricacies in building/running an organisation. To be brutally honest, I realised that all the good PR and winning b-plans will not help. Its like an old quote from Albert Einstein ” If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.” We spent the next two months on talking to customer and experts, understanding the challenges and problems with existing technology.
Early February, we got a letter from the prestigious Cleantech forum inviting both of us to San Francisco for attending 2009 year’s summit, a sea of entrepreneurs, VCs, researchers and what’s best all top notch..On the very first day we visited Stanford University, I was completely awed and overwhelmed by the campus beauty. It was an amazing experience to meet, talk and listen to the best researchers from Stanford, of whom we had read about in newspapers.
Post conference, we were anxiously waiting for, the dreamland of entrepreneur “The Silicon Valley”, a metonym of high-tech sector. Driving on the way from Paolo Alto to Sandhill road you cannot miss the giant headquarters of companies like Google, Adobe, Sun, Yahoo, eBay, HP, Intel and many more. Your sheer presence in the area fills you with a thrill and quest for something new and innovative to change the world. In the afternoon thanks for Prof. Martin, we got the chance to meet Mr. Vinod Khosla [co-founder Sun Microsystems], one of the most admired VC in the Valley.
Carbon Clean Solutions promoter’s with Mr. N. R Narayan Murthy
Trip to Silicon Valley was an eye opener, feedbacks from some of the largest power/energy companies and researchers sent us back to drawing board in search of technology product. This was a pivot moment for Carbon Clean Solutions as we were about to change the whole business model from consulting to innovating & offering technology. Following sleepless nights for a few months and hard work complemented by college studies it took us eight months to conceptualise an efficient technology product that would be highly competitive in the market
Carbon Clean Solutions was incorporated on the 12th of October in 2009