Jeffery: Good morning Aman, thank you very much for joining us today. We’re very excited to have you here today. First, let’s start by asking you where you’re calling in from.
Amandeep: Hi Jeffrey. Thank you so much for having me here and I’m Aman Srivastava, a serial entrepreneur, and energy investor from India.
Jeffery: Brilliant! We love India. We work with India quite frequently and lots of great entrepreneurs and investors have been springing up over the last five years so we’re very excited to dig in. So, welcome everybody to the Supporters Fund Ask An Angel. I’m your host Jeffery Potvin and let’s welcome our investor today which is Aman Srivastava. The way we like to get started is can you please share a little bit about your background and where you’ve come from. I see that you’re an MBA which is brilliant so you’ve got lots of great backgrounds. I’ll let you start by just sharing a bit of insight about yourself and then one thing about you that nobody would know.
Amandeep: First of all, namaste to all from Indian culture and thank you so much Jeffery for having me here. I’m Aman Srivastava, a serial entrepreneur and engineer investor from India. We have a startup journey from 2016. For 2-3 years, I’ve been an entrepreneur and I’m still an entrepreneur. I consider myself a serial entrepreneur because I have founded more than seven startups and invested in more than seven or eight startups till now and we have a good panel of starter investor teams. We love to invest in those startups that make some social impact. We have started with the vision of healing nature with the help of technology. That is the theme of my first startup. Technology is privately limited. India is considered as the healer of nature with the help of technology. Because we are in the AI and IOT domain, I mostly invest in those startups who have some vision of social impact on the natural resources like water work, groundwater conservation, air quality maintenance and this is all about myself.
Jeffery: Brilliant! And one thing about you nobody would know.
Amandeep: The “nobody would know thing” about myself is I’m quite an introvert. At this time, I’m looking for an extra word but I’m quite an introverted guy. I deal with my problems on my own and this thing of this nature of myself made me a good and successful entrepreneur.
Jeffery: I love it. We carry very similar traits there. so I’m a big fan and I’ve loved all the things you’re doing. It’s pretty interesting and I want to kind of jump into some of that because a lot of the time we get a balance between the investor who is running a business. but you’ve kind of taken this to a whole different level. you’re doing something very extraordinary in the sense that you’re using social impact and building companies inside of this space. What got you started in social impact? and from all the podcasts that I’ve listened to you that you’ve been on and all the interviews I’m just totally impressed by how you’ve taken this approach to solve the world’s problem and helping the world heal and I’d love to learn what got you started in this and why you decided to take this approach.
Amandeep: From the very start when we were in graduation time, we used to have a lot of friends and we used to talk about things like water and air quality. The air quality index is very poor right now. The pollution is very high. People are consuming a lot of groundwater, extracting a lot of groundwater from the ground, and not restoring the same. My first co-founder and I thought that everybody is working for money now. basic 10x evaluation, 100x valuation, and trillions of money but nobody is thinking about this thing. What happens if mother earth will not be there? Will this money be worth it? Then we realized that people, in India or any specific country, have a habit that technology has ruined nature. technology is responsible for ruining nature. they have cut in the trees and all. then we have started with the vision of letting this technology heal nature. With the help of its other segments, we started to work on the first part that we have suffered, which was groundwater. We used to buy water when we were in the final year of our graduation. In the final year of the duration we have a habit to buy water and we have to because there was no source of that. One night, the electricity was cut due to some maintenance problem. The water got stuck and we got water after two days. For those two days, we have paid four or five times more money for the same water and it was a disaster for me. So then we thought that we should do something for this kind of purpose to pursue this kind of vision so that the next generation will remember us for what we have left them in inheritance. In Hindi, there is a word called virasana. the means of inheritance to the next generation. they should remember us for this thing that we have made a world. We have made a good place to live so there will be no need to migrate to the masses.
Jeffery: I agree. I like that. I think when it comes to social impact building and social impact investing, they’re really important and they’re on the forefront of a lot of entrepreneurs, even investors and business people. There’s a lot of talk going around on how we can improve, how we can change the climate and there’s a lot of crises that have been going on in the last little while. In the last couple of years that has been pushed to the forefront and it does take entrepreneurs like yourself to make these changes and get behind them so that others will start to make the same type of impact changes which is again, amazing that you’re doing this. If we go back to some of the first earlier stage companies that you created, did you get a lot of learning from while you’re in school? This type of background that you’re building up did a lot of that go into the first companies that you built and when you were building these companies when did that impact start to flourish? When did you start to look at it and say you know what this makes a big difference, okay I’m making money but maybe we should look at making a difference instead? Was that part of those early-stage companies or is this kind of something more recent? Amandeep: I’ll start with the first startup that I have co-founded actually. It was black eye technologies private limited and the first product was irrigation alert 2.0. That particular starter in that startup made smart devices for quality irrigation in agriculture. With the help of quality technologies, we are saving about 40 to 42 percent of groundwater per year and that is a lot for a typical kind of crop like paddy rice or wheat. So we were developing the POC and we were at the very initial stage of making the proof of concept and MBP, the best products. All we thought at that time was that we will make the POC and then present them to the investor, and we’ll get the funds. This is a myth. This is still a myth. This was a method at that time too. First, you have to make the POC MBP then you have to deploy it. do the paid trials or unpaid trials for you know all for a very long time of time like three months seven months-one year. For us, it has taken one year because it’s what is in the field of agriculture. They need to test it for one year completely for a complete cycle then you have to generate the reports. the very good thing about our government is now we have a very strong government in India that is being led by honorable prime minister Mr. Narendra Modi and the central government in India has helped us to deploy this technology to each village in India so that we can make a cluster of cloud which has the data of water-efficient irrigation. so now this technology is being implemented in pan India in all six lakhs, eight thousand three hundred twenty-three villages in India. It is a complete hardware cost for three years and coming back to changing the POC and changing the MBP, upgrading the product. building your startup, there is an analysis called canon model analysis. Canva analysis helps you to analyze your customer and take input from the customer. We have taken input from the customer that they generally don’t need the data or the information on irrigation. They need data on soil health. Then we develop some other devices with some other technology in the same device so that soil health can be easily predicted. The basic thing comes from the customer. We believe that this is why the massive dynamic angel network is working. this is the thin