Rachna Dave | MicroGo
On a mission to create a hygiene conscious society, Rachna Dave, founder of Chennai based MicroGo, is spearheading groundbreaking initiatives on micro-level cleanliness. Her company’s IoT-enabled hand hygiene device, GOassure has been in high demand due to its effectiveness during COVID-19
Persistence is the word that defines Rachna Dave, the young founder of MicroGo, a Chennai based startup that is making headlines in the hygiene industry. The company’s innovative technologies have created a notable impact in the midst of COVID-19.
“Most of us talk about prevention but still ignore preventive measures. We don’t mind getting infected with cholera but spending on resources to disinfect the water is an expense for us,” says Rachna about the usual thought process in our society that has also lead her to think how her startup could make prevention a bonus. She believes that any MicroGO product should also increase the cash flow of its users.
Born and brought up in Kolkata, Rachna spent her master's and a part of doctoral studies in Gujarat and New York University in the United States of America. She returned back to India in 2008 and joined Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai to work as a Staff Scientist. She continues to work at BARC for the next 8 years before founding her startup, MicroGO.
Resigning from BARC was a major turning point in her professional life. On the last day of her job at the renowned institution, she was showcasing her innovation to the late President Pranab Mukherjee. Since Rachna realized that no company was dedicatedly working on cleanliness at the micro-level, she took it up as a challenge.
“The fear of building something equally achievable all by myself was hugely daunting. I guess I took up that as a challenge and that motive was changed my journey,” she says.
Rachna’s plunge into entrepreneurship coincided with the Startup India initiative. Due to the unique innovative ideas, the company attracted investments from angel investors, Mithun Sacheti of Caratlane and Manoj Ajmera of Ajmera Group, and grants from BIRAC, the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, Grand Challenges India from BIRAC and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ICO fund from IKP, and the ACT grant.
Stellar work to build a formidable startup
All MicroGO products focus not just on hygiene but also on sustainability. Its products are developed to keep lives safe and save essential resources in the process. Building on this approach, MicroGO has developed IoT-enabled hygiene devices that allow real-time monitoring to ensure all Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are met. Apart from GOassure, which is in heavy demand during COVID-19, it also manufactures devices like GOsteri, which can be used for sterilization of surgical instruments and requires no water and electricity. It has also developed GOclean which is a disinfectant spray for surface disinfection and GOpure, for disinfection of domestic and sewage water.
The startup also has its patented technology platform, Tubelet, which uses chlorine dioxide without contaminating the treated water with any chemical residues. Since its launch in 2016, MicroGO has filed seven patents and eight trademarks. The hard work has paid off in terms of financial returns as well as the company has also racked in revenue of close to Rs 70 lakh.
As per Rachna, the products at MicroGo follow SSD model, i.e. Safe – Keeping life safe; Save - Save valuable resources; and Digital- Digital hygiene. Her company employs a big team of people, including material scientists, engineers, chemists, biotechnologists, microbiologists, mechanical engineers, computational flow dynamics experts, and more to build solutions for cellular and microlevel hygiene. Next high on her agenda is to take the device, GOfresh to more farmers, aggregators, and mandis come next year. She is also working on regulatory access for GOsteri to take it to the market soon
Advice to young startup aspirants: Stay determined “I am a big believer of “the harder your work, the luckier your get,” says Rachna who has been completely devoted to her startup for the last five years.
Rachna believes that for young entrepreneurs,, it important to have clarity about their venture and the goals. “Entrepreneurship is about compounding- so keep walking.” Her message to the wider readership, especially startups through the Voice of Healthcare platform is to keep stay determined on their goals.
“Persistence is something that would help you to stay on the right path. Even if you are funded- in the initial stages, the biotech entrepreneurs should aim for some monthly revenue to fulfill at least one salary or rent. This helps us bring the entrepreneurship mindset,” she says in her concluding words.
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