Siddharth Shastri, Founder, PhiTesla Advanced Technologies Pvt.Ltd

“Nature on this planet is driven by purpose, and so is evolution. Our company too is driven by purpose – more explicitly purpose driven technology.”

This is the confident assertion of Siddharth Shastri, the man behind PhiTesla Advanced Technologies Pvt. Ltd. PhiTesla is a burgeoning OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) of automotive products and accessories, driven by a motley group of motivated professionals and headed by Siddharth Shastri A Mechanical Engineer with an MS in Hybrid Vehicles and Powertrains (yes, such degrees exist!), Shastri founded PhiTesla in 2008 with a vision to someday become a prominent OEM automotive ancillary manufacturer and a leading name in the applied technology domain.

“PhiTesla engages in developing practical solutions that blend several forms of technology and create products that add value. Since our technology has direct applications in automobiles, it has the spread to benefit every person that uses them.” In other words, it is the average consumer – the automobile user – who stands to gain the most from Shastri’s innovations.

His business model involves economies of scale and centers upon building an efficient and versatile supplier network. He aims to scale up his business by introducing a whole new range of products, increasing production capacity with a corresponding growth in manpower. Most importantly, Shastri’s vision for expansion includes augmenting the quality of his product. “To ensure quality we will also put certain regulatory standards in place, some of these being ISO standards for quality and efficiency.”

But for this winner of Chimera – a national level competition in Automotive Design – the road has had its share of potholes. PhiTesla was started with a meager funding of 6-8 lakhs, pooled by Shastri and some of his friends. His product is yet to see first light, and his manpower comprises all of 6 employees. But Shastri remains undaunted and upbeat. He knows his approach is different, and will catapult PhiTesla to the top: “We believe in investing in technology, as this is the most valuable resource in a highly competitive environment. Constant evolution and innovation forms the core of our strategy, as stagnation is the first sign of degradation. This can be achieved if we invest in the right people who hold quality as the necessary virtue for growth.”

Growth is the primary objective for Shastri - and his bugbear, too. Qualitative growth requires a comprehensive understanding of the market. And Shastri's the first to admit that not fully understanding market requirements was an initial stumbling block. But starting your own business would hardly be as rewarding without opportunities to learn! As Shastri says, “Entrepreneurship is certainly a challenging ride. However it is this challenge that keeps you awake through out the journey and teaches you a lesson or two about several aspects of life and the value of true effort.” His own greatest hurdle has been adhering to deadlines. “I am still trying to overcome this barrier,” he confesses. “But I have progressed considerably in this regard by adopting good planning and a structured task schedule.”

PhiTesla is the result of one man’s quest to go beyond himself and make a difference. In 2010, he sees PhiTesla as the foremost automotive accessory innovator and producer, and a popular provider of applied technology. He leaves us with his mantra for budding entrepreneurs: “Don’t be scared to make mistakes, just learn from them and move on. Don’t forget, an expert is a person who’s made all the mistakes!”


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