9 Oct 2018, 09:56 — 5 min read
Enterprise: SPA Technical Advisor
Founder: Shrikant Athavale
Year it was founded: 2010
Industry: Business services & consultancy
Based out of: Pune
At a time when most children are preoccupied with homework, play and friends, Shrikant Athavale had already developed a fascination for the rubber industry, thereby establishing the foundation for his entrepreneurial journey. Shrikant’s maternal uncle was a rubber technologist in a rubber manufacturing company in Panvel (Mumbai) and introduced him to this field. In college, Shrikant pursued this interest and did his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the Karnataka University. During his vacations he would visit his Uncle and work as an apprentice in his firm. Consequently, after graduation, when he joined the firm as a Production Supervisor he had a head start in terms of on-ground experience and knowledge. Thereafter, Shrikant went on to do a postgraduate diploma in Rubber Technology and worked in several rubber enterprises in India and UAE. During these years, he presented several technical research papers in USA, Germany, Italy and Thailand, filed 3 product development patents and published 5 technical books. With his vast knowledge and experience, it was a natural progression for him to establish his own consultancy in 2010. His firm, SPA Technical Advisor, provides complete technical know-how for the manufacture of adhesive tapes and rubber products.
In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Shrikant Athavale (SA) shares his business journey.
GL: Tell us about your business and how it came into being.
SA: I started my career way back in 1973. I joined a rubber manufacturing company at Panvel, Navi Mumbai as a Production Supervisor. It was through my maternal uncle who was a rubber technologist, that I developed an avid interest in the rubber industry. I would in fact work with him during my college vacations.
Thereafter, I completed my postgraduate diploma in rubber technology in 1976, from Plastics & Rubber Institute in London, UK. I worked in the rubber industry for about 11 years. May 1984 was a turning point in my career, that’s when I was hired in J&J Permacel, Industrial Tapes Division, Mumbai, after a rigorous interview process. I went on to work at several adhesive tape manufacturing companies in India and UAE.
Over the years, I have presented several technical research papers in USA, Germany, Italy and Thailand. I have filed 3 product development patents and have published 5 technical books recently, through Notion Press USA. In 2010, I started my own technical consultancy firm where I provide complete technical know-how for the manufacturing of adhesive tapes and rubber products.
I am also appointed as Technical Advisor for HML (Harrison Malayalam Ltd) Cochin, Kerala, India - the largest rubber and latex manufactures in India, and EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) in London, UK.
GL: What is the USP of your business?
SA: We provide total transfer of technology on turn-key basis, including product development, improvement, training etc.
GL: What are the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?
SA: I have had to face many challenges in my career, especially after starting my own consultancy firm. Just to list a few, while consulting there is no scope for mistakes, retakes, trial and error. One has to be right every time. Commitments are critical as an entrepreneur and you have to fulfil them.
GL: How do you believe GlobalLinker can benefit business owners?
SA: GlobalLinker brings together leading SMEs and decision-makers. Members can establish meaningful business connections and hence business synergies can be discussed and finalised faster.
GL: What is your big business dream?
SA: My biggest dream is to be a mentor and guide to the young generation. I want to train them and assist them in placements in rubber, adhesives tapes, printing and packaging industry. We see a lot of unemployment and at the same time there is an acute shortage of trained and skilled manpower in our industry. I want to contribute to the best of my ability to bridge this gap.
GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?
SA: My message is simple. An entrepreneur must have a plan to operate, consider all business aspects, anticipate difficulties, keep a solution ready and also have an alternate plan of action. Aim at zero deficit, see how you can be competitive, provide excellent after-sales service and put in 100% sincere efforts.
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Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
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