“Atmanirbhar Bharat Is Not Going To Be Easy, But Together We Have To Make This Happen”

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Murali Srinivasa, founder, LionCircuits

Murali Srinivasa, founder of LionCircuits, speaks to Potshangbam July about his personal and professional life, and discusses how his strong desire to create his own business venture has nudged him to become an entrepreneur. He strongly believes that it will take perseverance and determination to bring a significant change in the manufacturing ecosystem in India.

I was born in Bengaluru and did my education until engineering from that city. I graduated in electronics and communication from RV College of Engineering. My father worked in a government organisation, and my mother was a teacher. They made sure that I got the best education possible, and have always encouraged me to do what I love. I am indebted to my parents who have always been very supportive in my endeavours.

A few of my favourite things
Favourite sportsperson: P.V. Sindhu
Favourite music: Indian classical music
Favourite book: ‘Crossing the Chasm’ by Geoffrey A. Moore
Favourite holiday destination: Gokarna, and Lake Tahoe
Favourite quote: “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.”

—Swami Vivekananda

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How I kick-started my professional journey

When I graduated, I had offers from MNCs in Bengaluru like many others. But I chose to work for a startup early on and co-founded Li2 Technologies, an educational robotics company in 2008-09. Later, I joined National Semiconductor, a US based semiconductor manufacturer, specialising in analogue devices and sub-systems. There, I worked with a great team defining next-gen sensors in automotive, industrial and medical verticals. This gave me an opportunity to work closely with customers from all parts of the world.

The biggest turning point in life
The biggest and most recent turning point was when I quit my job in California and moved to Bengaluru to start LionCircuits in 2016. These have been the best four years of my life in terms of the direct impact that we have been making in the industry, by building world-leading products in India.

Leader that I look up to for inspiration
I draw a lot of inspiration from Sridhar Vembu, the founder of Zoho Corp. I consider him my virtual advisor too. He is one of the reasons why I decided to quit my job and move back to India to bootstrap LionCircuits.

Management style
I attribute my success to enabling and empowering my team to be successful in their roles.

My mantra for success is ‘Stay humble, stay foolish’.

Challenges that I have encountered
As an entrepreneur, you face challenges on a regular basis and one learns how to manage them over time. However, sometimes we also face frustrating challenges because of the way various regulations are built into the system.

For example, we need a major reform in the existing import/export system of electronic components from a customs standpoint. A package from the US or UK reaches India in just two days, but it takes more than five days for it to be transported from an Indian airport to your facility in the same town. The process is a bit tardy and unorganised. This needs to be fixed quickly to create a better ecosystem to thrive.

Important life lessons
If one desires to bring significant changes, it cannot be achieved overnight. It takes time to happen. Therefore, I strongly believe that perseverance and determination is crucial in life.

My take on Atmanirbhar Bharat
This was 100 per cent needed and our prime minister started this at the right time. It’s not going to be easy, but together we have to make this happen. In fact, we at LionCircuits have launched a new plan called ‘Mii’ (stands for Make in India) to support India’s mission of self-reliance. It is our answer to the Chinese branded PCB fab house.

People in India can now buy high quality PCBs at affordable prices on a completely automated platform, do turn-key projects and more. Our aim is to accelerate ‘Design to Manufacturing’.

Future roadmap
We have big plans to introduce major changes in the way electronics is manufactured in India and the way components are sourced. We are working towards the overall improvement of the manufacturing ecosystem in India by introducing high-tech manufacturing tools.

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