33-year-old Amrit Acharya and Srinath Ramakkrushnan are co-founders of unicorn Zetwerk
Amrit Acharya and Srinath Ramakkrushnan, co-founders of Zetwerk, were both very clear about pursuing their interests in manufacturing from very early days. Acharya, also the CEO of the company, knew the A-Z of the demand-side of the industry and Ramakkrushnan, also the COO, hails from a family that is into manufacturing business and always had a great understanding of the supply-side. That is why, when both of them came together to launch Zetwerk in 2018, along with Vishal Chaudhary, Rahul Sharma, the other two co-founders, it was bound to be a success.
Since 2018, Zetwerk's year-on-year revenue has increased multifold. Its revenue increased from INR 16.45 crore in 2018-19 to INR 360 crore in 2019-20. In FY21, the company continued its accelerated growth trajectory to triple its revenue and clocked INR 949 crore. In August 2021, the B2B marketplace, which offers manufacturing solutions across a diverse range of products, raised $150 million from D1Capital Partners and others, taking its valuation to $1.33 billion. And, after another round of funding of $210 Mn from Greenoaks Capital and others in December end, the total valuation became $2.7 Bn. It today serves 1000+ enterprises globally through a network of 10000+ manufacturing partners and 800+ employees across India and North America.
Interestingly, Acharya and Ramakkrushnan have many things in common, besides their passion for entrepreneurship. They both are 33 years old, graduates of IIT Madras and both believe in working with the most talented product designers across industrial and consumer companies to bring their digital designs into life as physical products that one can touch and feel. "Our focus is on manufacturing - the best way to get a product manufactured with an emphasis on speed, quality, and cost. We do this by leveraging the depth of the manufacturing ecosystem in India and Southeast Asia to connect the best manufacturing capacities with demand from enterprises and offer various other business solutions across logistics, credit, procurement. Our goal with Zetwerk is to bring together the fragmented manufacturing ecosystem in the country under a single, unified process for maximum visibility, compatibility, capacity, and quality," says Acharya.
Furthermore, as a young company that has spent a significant portion of its journey amidst a global pandemic, the founders were determined to use the resources available to them to assist authorities in the fight against COVID-19. In this effort, Zetwerk aided in the installation of 30 PSA plants across 5+ OEMs to generate oxygen for medical use in a way that's safe and sustainable. These installations were executed in partnership with ACT Grants, with each plant having the capacity to cover up to 70% of a hospital's oxygen requirements.
"Another cause Zetwerk holds close to its heart is aiding hardware startups in efficiently bringing their products to market. In a sector that traditionally finds it difficult to raise private capital, Zetwerk has created a unique program for early-stage companies to deliver their products to market at significant discount rates, helping drive innovation in a smooth and time-efficient way," says Ramakkrushnan .
Ramakkrushnan and Acharya believe that Zetwerk is not only a company that's changing the way manufacturing is done, it is also a company which propagates a high ownership culture. "As the company grows, our employees also grow, whether it is financially through ESOPs or through managing larger opportunities. Growth is evident through transparency, decentralized leadership, and collaboration. At Zetwerk, it is not the founders who set direction. Instead, in a short span of three years, the company has groomed 50 business leaders who set examples daily," says Acharya.
When asked about their vision for the company, Acharya and Ramakkrushnan, tell us that along with their co-founders, they want to make manufacturing as easy as the click of a button. "Behind the scenes, we run complex software that integrates the entire manufacturing system to process a digital design and transform it into a physical product. Our vision is to partner with the most innovative companies and designers globally and bring the world's craziest and most complex ideas to life! Whether it is a new wireless Bluetooth headphone or a new automobile or a rocket to explore space. And we want to do it in a way that is easy and gets things done with speed, quality, and at the best price. By leveraging existing underutilized manufacturing capacities, we also help optimize manufacturing's global environmental footprint and help bring a brighter world for the generations to come," says Acharya.