Innovation leading to Business Transformation

Although entrepreneurship is the fundamental requisite of an enterprise, the hallmark of entrepreneurship is the burning desire to create something. Mr. Rajendra Mehendale quit his job at Kinetic Company at the age of twenty-two and started his own business in the field of chemical engineering. In 1986, he started a designing and painting business in Bhosari for small scale industries supplying spare parts to the then Advani Oblicon, Telco, Bajaj Auto, etc. But after a devastating fire in the premises, he had to close the business. Thereafter, he started Futura company in 1989. With the advent of the novel Zinc-Cobalt Electroplating technique, export of small parts to various foreign companies grew by leaps and bounds. Due to the good quality of work, this small scale industry was the only one in India to supply parts to Rockwell (USA), a foreign company. The return rate of goods was the lowest. He also received a special certificate for this. But gradually these parts started being supplied at even lower rates from China and the demand for his products contracted. They were also hit by the industrial recession in India in the year 2000. The loans taken for the business were not fully repaid. Without losing hope, he started a chrome plating business called ‘Radiant’ after studying the electroplating technique on plastic which was newly introduced at that time.

Slowly, he established the presence of the company in the Gulf countries and repaid the loans. However, competition in this business also started to increase. Eventually it had to be closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. His passion, however, did not allow him to stop. He started studying the 3-D printing technique. This technology has revolutionised the manufacturing process by producing the best quality product in the least amount of time. The said manufacturing technique is also beneficial to the environment as it eliminates the issue of harmful chemicals left over from the mould making process. Since, precisely designed objects are made directly by 3-D printing technique, there is no question of emission. This technique is also used to produce chemical plastics, silicone products, etc. In the field of dentistry, it is used to make high-quality artificial teeth. Mr. Mehendale recently started a nano business called ‘Denyu Printing’ which makes items based on this 3-D printing technology. They design and manufacture home decor items, travel items, toys and more using this technology. The joy of creation while working in the field of interest is enough for such an entrepreneur. The industrial sector in the country has undergone numerous transitions. In this process, many entrepreneurs along with their enterprises could not sustain in the long run. However, there were many who did not put a stop to their entrepreneurial streak. They rejoiced in their innovation instead of just focusing on money and success. Many such small and micro entrepreneurs are still kindling their inner fire of innovation through different policies, market competition and rapid changes in production technology.

This article by Dr. Lalitagauri Kulkarni was originally published in Marathi in Sakal Newspaper on October 24, 2023.