Satish BHAVANKAR: Avas Digitech

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  • Tell us something about yourself, your background:

I hold a Doctoral degree in Management, am a movie enthusiast, a Mentor and a Perpetual learner and founded one Start-up previously..

With a total of 21+ years of experience, I have headed a vast number of projects in diverse fields and brings to the table hands-on experience in Experience Design, Business Management and Open Innovation.

Presently I am busy revolutionizing the world of Open innovation and digital products with AVAS research, innovation and strategy team.

  • Tell us about your  venture with a brief explanation:          

Avas Digitech International Private Limited is a Design, Innovation and Technology Startup with a registered office in Bangalore, India. Avas Digitech’s “Sparkinov” is an innovation platform that Supports Non-Profit Organisations, Accelerators, Incubators, Venture Capitals, Research institutes, Universities, Government and Large Corporates to bring forth Business, Technology, Scientific and Social challenges for innovators to design actionable solutions in a workspace.                      The platform envisions addressing issues ranging from Home Science to Rocket Science, through a Design thinking approach which would involve launching challenges, programs and With the Extended Ecosystem: Innovation competency training for Corporate to Rural entrepreneurs, Tech scouting, Startup Scouting, Commercializing and Licencing of products. We have a new level of innovation management capabilities. The combined solution creates a unique end to the end innovation flavours. we currently have a presence in India also making our presence felt globally too is being discussed with the right channels.

  • Why did you start as an entrepreneur? What set you off?

It was an accidental entry to be into an entrepreneur, way back in 2016 I was working in an outstation, my father had a health issue, he wanted me to be beside him to take care of him. I quit my job and as per his wish, I was beside him till his last breath in January 2017. I did not have the mind to work instead wanted to try the entrepreneur journey. I started networking with people to understand the start-up ecosystem for a couple of months. The rest is history.

  • Tell us about your ventures – how you got to where you are:

Setting up my previous venture Aasalabs have not been possible without patience and support from co-founders by my side, NUMA, NSRCEL-IIM Bangalore and Sandbox Startups, Hubli .I highly doubt I would have been able to make it this far with a roller coaster ride and a lot of emotional situations. I still remember the day 26th February 2017, I was about to call  Raghavendra KS to discuss working on the product idea and to my surprise, before I called him, I received a call from Raghavendra K.S and he asked me  “Can we work on an idea?” and he continued saying even Joshi is interested to join. Wow!  We both decided we will start work together from 1st March 2017 on the idea Joshi will Join in. With no hesitation for even a second, all jumped on board on the crazy journey (Eureka !!).

We had experiences in developing software products and platforms for international clients for multiple sectors. initially, the plan/idea was to develop a platform for retail or human capital. We did discover after research that the market was too competitive and saturated. Next one month we brainstormed with all crazy kinds of stuff there was no alignment within the founding team. It was almost two months nothing materialized.

We were disappointed with the progress we made, accidentally the idea was discovered.  One early morning in April, there were loud voices around my residence, I was glancing out the window with a hot cup of filter coffee, volunteers cleaning road beside my residence (Eureka Moment !!). I stumbled upon an idea!! Volunteer and Open innovation.

All three founding team members met while working together at Qwinix Technologies, Mysore in the summer of 2015.  We have worked together on numerous projects between 2015 and 2016. I quit Qwinix due to personal reasons in 2016.

In continuation with the eureka moment!  Way back in Qwinix Technologies, we (my self and Raghavendra KS) had worked on Volunteer Management (VM) system, this project is very close to me since this project got a lot of appreciation and I wanted to build a volunteer management system that is customised to India with Open Innovation (OI) to address the social challenges in India.  It took some time to come to the same page. Until I first pitched in NUMA, I was guided to narrow down and concentrate on open innovation which is a very interesting space. I did research on India and International Competitors and SWOT. The idea was very close to our hearts … But still required key stamping. At the time of the discovery phase, pitched in NSRCEL-IIMB what I wanted to do to help others looking for the solution and Mentor Dileep Mehta was so happy he told   India requires such a platform Just do it! (Eureka!) and he offered would you like to be part of the Launchpad cohort. Immediately from the IIMB campus I called  Raghavendra and Joshi that’s where we discussed and aligned to continue with the idea in the next 15 months we had Problem – solution and product  -Market fit. Post-market fit I pitched in  Sandbox startups, out of 176 startups around 8 were selected we were among 8 startups to be part of their launchpad program post programme we got incubated at Sandbox. We had our first client Bayercrop science with whom we had a  Strategic partnership for new innovation sourcing and development of a solution. Bayer Crop Science had been wrestling with the challenge to control the spread of Fall Armyworm for about 1+ year. We got around 126 response, Post final round of pitching no startups were selected due to the cost factor of solutions. Post that challenge we were thinking about the next move the pandemic attacked, we planned to wind up the aasalabs and applied for the winding of the startup. In  2020, Through Linkedin got connected with Anand after 12 long years. It started all with casual talk to explore the opportunity for me for an open position. Landed discussing the Open innovation platform. then I and Anand kicked off innovation platform Sparkinov (to be launched soon) under AVAS DIGITECH

--End of Interview--
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