Variety

The duo who made the power-saving ‘superfan’

R Yegya Narayanan | Updated on January 24, 2018

Sundar Muruganandhan and K Durgasharan

BL18_Sundar.eps



Going from a turnover of ₹15 crore to ₹200 crore in three to five years may seem a daunting task for many. But Sundar Muruganandhan and K Durgasharan, who founded Versa Drives Private Ltd in Coimbatore, are confident they will reach that milestone.

Their confidence stems from the most important feature of the ceiling fans they make – energy efficiency.

The entrepreneurs have taken the outsourcing route, depending on small manufacturers in areas close to Coimbatore to produce key components. But their success is due to their focus on niche technology to produce an energy efficient fan.

Managing Director Muruganandhan, an electrical engineer with an MS from the US, and Director Durgasharan, an MTech in Control Systems from IIT-Madras, said they started Versa Drives Pvt Ltd to achieve excellence in motor control. 

Expansion plan

They began manufacturing motors that were highly efficient and not the induction motors mass produced in Coimbatore, a city known for its engineering excellence.

When the motor was developed, the first product they wanted it to be fitted in was the ceiling fan.

The fan, powered by their motor, would consume ‘less than 50 per cent’ of the power consumed by conventional ceiling fans. Muruganandhan and Durgasharan saw an opportunity in that.

Budget constraints

Muruganandhan said he could not afford a huge marketing spend for the product due to budget constraints. He was looking for investors to increase production and also to help advertise the product and create greater visibility.

The 300,000 unit annual capacity the company had was not huge considering that India annually produced 30 million fans.

Muruganandhan said he was looking for an investment of about ₹25 crore and hoped to reach a production volume of one million ceiling fans in three years.

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Published on March 17, 2015
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