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Saturday, December 27, 2008

2008 Year of Unknown innovators Part 1

As the year ends, it is time to reflect on the contributions made by independent innovators-most of them unknown yet their contributions are not insignificant. First in this series is story of Dr PT Ajit kumar, incubated at Technopark and supported under TePP.

I am a Ph. D holder in holography with international reputation in technology development and have more than 20 years of R&D experience in advanced areas of holographic imaging. I have conceived, designed and developed commercial holographic systems leading to production of holograms. I was a Senior Research Fellow of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Head of the Holography Team of Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-DIT), a Government autonomous Research and Production Centre. I have published many international level research papers and widely invited for paper presentation in Holography by international bodies.

My first entrepreneurial bug bit me when I was a research student in the Cochin University of science and Technology. I designed and optimized a set of tuned Yagi antennae for fringe and super fringe area television reception. An SSI Unit named Pic- Sharp was started under the financial support of my father S. Thankappan. The product was a big success in remote area TV reception. This was in 1986. Later in 2001, I designed several high gain dish antennae for satellite TV reception and initiated fabrication. This lead to the starting of a new SSI Unit named Webs Electronics, in Trivandrum and this unit manufactured the biggest satellite dish ever manufactured in the State of Kerala, as part of a project funded by the Lakshadweep Administration, Government of India.

It took about three years to start the company from the idea level to the practical realization. Motivation of the colleagues and friends of C-DIT was a great reason and fuelled the starting of the company. Requirement of huge financial commitment as capital investment was a real challenge for the scientist turned entrepreneur like me. In 2007 Light Logics was practically initiated under the financial support from family and a set of NRI friends. Both the Directors are the close relatives of me and my continuous interaction convinced them of the immense potential in this field and the inevitability to have a techno-intensive company that functions in advanced areas of holographic imaging, rather than only in the security label production.

Several times I envied on Chinese and Russian friends for the excellent Governmental support they receive through the Innovation Centers and Incubation Centers. It was a pleasant surprise and a great help for all of us when we came to know about the Technopark Technology Business Incubation programme. The support from Technopark TBI helped the company in having a better positioning for international marketing of our products and services. As a company initiated by a Techno-prenure, our biggest hurdle was the marketing. We get excellent guidance from the Technopark for this and the guidelines that the Technopark strictly adhere to helped us to remold the company in its marketing, leading to result. Our presence in the TBI helped us to know about the TePP Scheme of DSIR, Govt of India and lead to the financial support from TePP scheme. This fuelled our initiative to have the first Holography Studio of the country. Our presence in the Technopark gives us an international reputation and the official and administrative help from the Technopark plays a vital role in our success and our whole functioning.

The Company plans to grow as the most techno-intensive holography company of the globe with a spectrum of unique higher end products. The first phase of growth is planned for three years and during this, the company is planning to accommodate about five Ph.Ds , 12 engineers and fifteen technicians, apart from the marketing and sales team. The company targets a turn over of 75 million USD by the end of the first phase.

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