Even as students of mechanical engineering at Hyderabad’s VNR VJIET college, Kausthub Kaundinya, Sreekanth Kommula and Anand Kumar had the itch to create something beyond college projects that would matter in the “real world”. The trio was constantly on the lookout for a problem they could solve, and finally found one when they visited a Tata OEM factory in 2015, during their seventh semester. “We saw that whenever the production manager comes in, all workers wear helmets. As soon as he leaves, all the helmets are put back on the floor, primarily because helmets are so uncomfortable to wear in the heat,” says Kaundinya, CEO. This, he says, was something that is common in most factories. “Uncomfortable people don’t work efficiently and productivity declines,” adds Kumar, VP-production.
These observations led to the creation of Jarsh Innovations in 2016, which manufactures India’s first air-conditioned helmets for workers. “Creating Jarsh or Just A Rather Safe Helmet required us to first create an air-conditioning system that was small enough to be fixed inside a helmet,” says Kommula, CTO. It then had to be fixed inside the helmet in an efficient, cost-effective manner.
In March 2017, the first prototype was sent for testing to the Indian Navy and companies like Tata Motors and Kriti Industries. After incorporating their feedback, the trio set up a factory in Hyderabad to manufacture the helmets. The helmets come in two variants: One runs for 2 hours on a single charge and is meant for executives, the second runs for 8 hours on a single charge and is meant for workers. These are priced at Rs.7.200 and Rs.7,500 respectively.
The start-up operates on a B2B model and has invested about Rs.1 crore until now. “The funds were bootstrapped by us along with the help of some angel investors,” says Kumar. They have also been incubated by the government of Telangana and have orders lined up for the next six months with distributors.
But the trio is by no means sitting on their laurels. “Innovations is the key word in our company name. So we will keep solving Indian problems with Indian solutions,” signs off Kaundinya.