Abstract : The case describes the journey of Mr Shani Pandya, a Chemical Engineering graduate who chose to quit post-graduation in favour of his pet project on the campus of his Alma Mater, Pandit Deendayal Energy University (PDEU). A chance visit by Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendrabhai Modi, who was then the Chief Minister of the state, during Shani’s graduation days stirred him to the ‘pet project’. Modi Sir’s exhortation to the youth and academics about taking projects from “lab to land” sparked a thought in Shani and a few like-minded batchmates about setting up a facility on campus that could go beyond producing research projects and articles and provide scope for the graduates in engineering and other disciplines on campus to try out commercialization potential of their ideas. Persistent efforts led to the setting up of an Innovation and Incubation Centre (IIC) under the aegis of PDEU. From the initial group of students, only Shani continued with the Centre as the others chose to move on for further studies abroad or professional careers.
A word of encouragement from one of the mentors associated with IIC spurred Shani to try out entrepreneurship and he took charge of a solar power tree project that was begun by one of the group members in 2014. This development happened in January 2018 and he registered the entity as Imagine Powertree Pvt Ltd in April 2018. The case traces the journey of Shani Pandya from his childhood, highlighting inspirational characters who impacted him at various stages. With active support of his Alma Mater as well as the IIC, Shani has a few government and public sector clients on his portfolio and filed for sixteen patents of which six have been granted by December 2020. The case also showcases the roles played by significant stakeholders in Powertree’s growth as well as the challenges of growth faced by techno-entrepreneurs. It ends with Shani’s dilemma over growth options and its implications for him.
1. To explain the process of entrepreneurial action.
2. To introduce effectuation as a way expert entrepreneur sometimes think.
3. To understand the startup ecosystem in India, and how it supports the growth of entrepreneurship activity.
4. To understand how differences in entrepreneurs’ intentions and abilities impact firm growth.
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