This Power Couple of ‘Vaayu India’ Creates Power Cut At IWB’s Office With Their Business Cum Love Story
- IWB Post
- October 8, 2017
A couple from Indore, Pranav, and Dr. Priyanka Mokshmar have developed a highly energy efficient hybrid air-conditioner that needs just 10 percent of the electricity consumed by the conventional ACs to operate.Low cost and eco-friendly. Great. Isn’t it?
This power couple has now expanded their business across nine states in India under the name, “Vaayu India” and is now more powerful than ever!
Their life is nothing short of a Bollywood movie. From a highly disapproved love marriage to becoming the recipients of various awards at national level…they have seen it all! In fact, the very name “Vaayu” has quite an interesting small story behind it.
Dr. Priyanka Mokshmar, in a telephone conversation, told me all about it and much more!
Before The Vaayu Switch Was Turned On
Earlier, I was into academics. I wrote papers and gave lectures. At that time, my husband, Pranav did a business of air conditioners from home itself. So, many technicians were working there, and air conditioners were used all the time. Result? High electricity bill. Then Pranav installed coolers in place of ACs and started experimenting with them. The entire new AC cum cooler was developed in the very first attempt!
I hadn’t taken Pranav and his experiments seriously until one day; he told me that a consultant from CIPLA was highly impressed with the technology and that he suggested getting it patented. On his suggestion, we did it.
I still continued with my job, and Pranav’s business was really flourishing when suddenly Pranav dropped a bomb on my head! He said, “I want to stop my business and start a new company.” I was completely against it because everything was going so fine. This idea of starting a company sounded insane to me. But somehow Pranav convinced me.
Now, the first problem was the name. After thinking about it for some time, one day a very weird thing happened. From my institute, I called him and said, “I have a name for the company.” And he said, “I have a name too.” And then we both said in unison, “Vaayu!”
Pranav wanted me to leave my job and join him in his business, but I disagreed to that as in business there was no financial security whereas in the job I had that. So I refused to be a part of it that time. Ultimately Pranav decided to sell the patent.
One day when Pranav was giving a presentation on Vaayu Hybrid Chillers in Ahmadabad, I studied the expressions of the people sitting there, and I could see that they were highly impressed. Now suddenly I had this strong desire to carry the idea forward! During the tea break, I went to Pranav, and after a little argument, we decided to not sell the patent and start our own company.
And so Vaayu India was born! He made me the CMD (Chairman and Managing Director) so that I wouldn’t run away from the company! Pranav takes care of Sales and the Research and Development. Apart from these, all other areas like finance, marketing, logistics, etc. fall in my domain.
At The Time Of Financial Short Circuits
One day Pranav told me that he wanted to make this company big. Using a very simple equation, he said, “When we invest in lakhs, it’ll multiply in lakhs. But when we invest in crores, it’ll multiply in crores.” The confidence in his eyes that his company would grow and become very big was so bright that I finally gave my approval to sell our house which was the only property we owned that time.
But that was not enough. So, in 2014, in a Summit in Indore, we stood in the parking lot from 9 am to 9:30 pm distributing our business plans. While Pranav was approaching the investors, I was approaching the Ministers. I knew that our Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan had good schemes for startups. So, Pranav and I explained him our entire concept, and he was convinced! After visits to various banks, we had finally acquired a funding of Rs 1 crore under the collateral-free CGTMSE scheme of the state government of Madhya Pradesh through Corporation Bank, Indore. Now our dream actually started turning into a reality! We had two plants and a manufacturing unit built, and Vaayu now started operating.
Me: What makes you and Pranav a power couple?
Priyanka: We have a lot of respect for each other’s capabilities and work. We always give each other opinions on what we think about a particular matter, but we never jump into each other’s domains.
Priyanka: Just keep going. Never stop. Dream big because dreams do get true and the result you get is even bigger.
Me: What is your favorite ‘on duty’ and ‘off duty’ moment?
Priyanka: Every other day, when we crack a deal, we get mail. Then Pranav and I get out of our cabins, share the news with our team and then we all clap. That’s my favorite on-duty moment.
A Favorite off-duty moment is definitely when I cook something and Pranav likes it…because Pranav generally doesn’t like my cooking.
Me: What is that one benefit the business gets because of the husband-wife equation?
Priyanka: When a couple works together there is a lot of trust and confidence. You know that somebody will always be there. Many times I break down, and Pranav is always there by my side, and the same goes the other way around.
Me: Among you both who is the boss?
Priyanka: I am the boss! But I am a good one!
Me: How are you as a couple different at work and at home?
Priyanka: We have to go to the office by 9:30 am. So, I am always frantic about finishing the housework and getting ready to reach office on time. Whereas Pranav from early in the morning gets busy with calls from dealers. And that annoys me because now he’ll come late to the office. He doesn’t like to be poked upon in this matter. He says. “I am working anyway whether it is at home or office. Reaching my own office late doesn’t really matter.”
So, I go to the office in my own car. He comes late. We are more like work colleagues there. We don’t get much time with each other as we are engrossed in our own work. On our way back home, I get carried away with talks about the business but then Pranav holds me back saying, “Don’t talk business. Leave it in the office and let’s spend some time with the kids.”
Me: One advice to couples who are coming up with their own business?
Priyanka: Divide your work according to your capabilities and have full confidence in one another.
Pranav and Dr. Priyanka are also supporting highly innovative young entrepreneurs who wish to start their own businesses. So, if you think you’ve got that Edison spirit, go ahead and contact them!