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Discover the Inspiring Journey of ZETWERK’s Founders and Their Bold Mission to Redefine India’s Industrial Landscape

By Zetwerk Editorial Team

Summit Blogs

23 May 2024

The Game-Changers Behind India’s Manufacturing Revolution!

In India, two IIT graduates disrupted manufacturing with innovation. Amrit Acharya and Srinath Ramakkrushnan, the co-founders of ZETWERK, embarked on a mission to propel India amongst the global manufacturing elite. In an exclusive dialogue with Shereen Bhan, CNBC TV-18’s Managing Editor, Srinath, and Amrit reveal the genesis of their venture and what propelled them forward. 

Breaking Norms and Challenging Conventions

ZETWERK’s seeds were planted almost six years ago focusing on revolutionizing the capital equipment sector. Srinath explains, “We honed in on a singular sector… addressing the challenge of predictability or reliability for the customer.” This single-minded approach bore fruit, laying a sturdy groundwork for their subsequent expansion into diverse industrial domains.

Reflecting on their decision to depart from cushy corporate roles in the United States, Amrit explains the driving force behind their resolve. “We are deeply passionate about the problem statement. How do we transform India into a manufacturing superpower?” he said, highlighting their dedication to this endeavor.

The Journey of Resilience

The journey from niche specialization to expansive diversification wasn’t without challenges. However, fueled by the pursuit of excellence and an understanding of market dynamics, ZETWERK surged ahead. Amrit emphasizes that the COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for the paradigm shift in global supply chains. “COVID exposed two critical vulnerabilities: the fragility of supply chains and overreliance on a single source, predominantly China,” he reflects.

Beyond financial metrics, ZETWERK’s ascent reflects a broader narrative of India’s manufacturing resurgence. As the nation embraces import substitution and incentivizes domestic production, entrepreneurs like Srinath and Amrit lead the charge in this transformative journey. With a burgeoning domestic demand and a vast talent pool, India has emerged as a formidable contender on the global manufacturing stage.

From Niche Specialization to Global Dominance

As ZETWERK’s reach extends across over twenty sectors, including the pivotal U.S. market, the magnitude of its achievements becomes evident. From a “zero” U.S. presence to a formidable 25% contribution to revenues, their trajectory is plotted by seizing opportunities and held on course by resilience and adaptability. Srinath attributes this meteoric rise to strategic foresight and a commitment to excellence.

Amrit articulates a compelling vision of India’s potential, where innovation and collaboration yield exponential outcomes. “We possess the talent, fostering density… how can we create a scenario where 1 + 1 equals 10?” he posits, encapsulating the essence of ZETWERK’s ethos.

Growth, Profitability, and Investment 

ZETWERK is marching on an ambitious course towards the Rs. 20,000 crore revenue milestone, and their saga is the stuff of the indomitable spirit of Indian entrepreneurship and the boundless possibilities awaiting those who dare to dream. ZETWERK embodies the spirit of an India that will redraw the contours of global manufacturing in the 21st century.

ZETWERK has emerged as a beacon of innovation and resilience, reshaping the manufacturing landscape with boldness and foresight. With revenues poised to touch the 18,000 crore mark this year, ZETWERK’s trajectory reflects the sheer magnitude of growth and the nuanced evolution towards diversification and sustainability. “We are cultivating a mindset of compounding for the long term,” affirms Srinath, underscoring the company’s commitment to enduring success.

For Amrit, profitability has been a cornerstone since ZETWERK’s inception. Yet, as the company embarks on a new phase of CapEx investments, transitioning from an asset-light model to tangible asset creation, new challenges and opportunities present themselves regularly. “We see a lot of opportunities to invest,” Amrit says, signaling a strategic departure towards backward integration and ecosystem creation. Amidst the influx of capital and marquee investments, ZETWERK is staying on course, leveraging profitability as a springboard for sustained growth and impact. With a long runway ahead and a bold vision for the future, they are challenging conventions and redefining paradigms.

Blueprint for Success: Future Gazing

As India and the world see increased consumption of consumer electronics, ZETWERK’s foray into manufacturing for that sector symbolizes an inevitable shift toward self-sufficiency and innovation. As the government champions the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, ZETWERK is positioning itself at the vanguard of this narrative to catalyze India’s emergence as a global manufacturing hub. Reflecting on the company’s evolution, Srinath acknowledges the complexities of transitioning from horizontal diversification to focused growth. Yet, with all the trials and tribulations, ZETWERK has armed itself with invaluable insights and a sense of purpose.

ZETWERK’s strategic imperatives are zeroing in on agility and strategic foresight. “We decided that we would need to taper down our focus across a whole bunch of different sectors and on specific engines of growth,” acknowledges Amrit, emphasizing the company’s pivot towards high-growth sectors such as aerospace and electronics. With a keen eye for adjacencies and untapped potential, ZETWERK transcends conventional boundaries, redefining the market and unlocking new avenues for growth.

For Amrit and Srinath, the solar opportunity looms large on the horizon, propelled by ambitious government schemes and policy interventions. “India has decided fairly early that we’re betting our future on solar,” affirms Amrit, underscoring ZETWERK’s role in helping India’s transition towards renewable energy. Committed to innovation and efficiency, ZETWERK is taking the lead to propel India toward a 40 GW solar market.

Yet, amidst the winds of change and burgeoning opportunities, challenges abound. Srinath highlights the critical need for policy interventions to address the credit gap plaguing MSMEs, stressing the role of access to working capital in fueling exponential growth. “Exports are the next wave of growth that the government should focus on,” asserts Amrit, advocating for robust policy frameworks to harness India’s manufacturing prowess and unlock prosperity. 

Empowering India’s Hinterland, Driving Inclusive Growth and Prosperity

ZETWERK is committed to sustainability and social responsibility. “We’re doing our best to be an ESG (environmental, social, and governance) company,” asserts Srinath, highlighting ZETWERK’s efforts to minimize environmental footprint and promote ethical business practices across the value chain. From prioritizing renewable energy sources to championing employee welfare and community development initiatives, ZETWERK takes a holistic approach to corporate citizenship, setting a precedent for responsible business conduct in the manufacturing sector.

Srinath and Amrit envision a future where ZETWERK catalyzes socio-economic transformation, driving inclusive growth and prosperity across India. “We’re looking at how we can enable jobs in rural India,” shares Srinath, outlining ZETWERK’s plans to leverage technology and skill development initiatives to create meaningful employment opportunities in underserved communities. With empowerment and inclusivity, ZETWERK seeks to pave the way for an equitable and sustainable future.