The Madurai-based Native Angels Network, the investing arm of Nativelead Foundation, released its first seed funding to Rainstock Tech & Consultants Private Limited, at a function held here on the 5th of March. Rainstock is an organization floated by a first generation entrepreneur and engineering graduate, K Sakthivel, and his college professor V. Arvind to create social impact through a self-sustainable business model.
Madurai’s renowned industrialist and philanthropist, Karumuttu T Kannan, who is also the chairman of the Native Angels Network, handed over the first seed funding to Sakthivel.
Like most graduates of his class, Sakthivel had at first been clueless about what to do after graduating and he did not know where he would find a job. This was when Nativelead Foundation entered his college, as part of a move to promote entrepreneurship among students. ``I was really taken with the idea of becoming my own master and taking my life forward,’’ is what Sakthi had to say about the concept. This out-of-curriculum topic was the one that attracted him the most during his B.E years. The Foundation urged students to take up social issues, and think of ways to solve them through their own start-ups. Sakthivel came up with a variety of ideas, till he decided that one of the most important things that had to be addressed immediately, especially in this region,was a way to solve the water problem. Madurai and the surrounding southern districts had been affected by severe drought in the last few years. The discussion among some of his professors who said that some of the areas which had implemented the rainwater harvesting systems in houses and other building had been able to overcome the water problem, got him thinking. Rainstock came into being and his professor V.S.Arvind also joined hands with Sakthivel as co-founder.
Rainstock is a social enterprise which will address a social issue through a self sustainable organization. This organization concentrates on three major aspects of water management.
1.Recharge 2.Reuse 3.Reach out.
Recharge -The organization deals with recharge through rainwater harvesting structures in a scientific manner based on proper testing of the soil. The structures would be maintained by his organization through annual maintenance contracts to ensure maximum impact. Rainstock also implements Rainwater storage projects through which rainwater can be filtered and stored for long term usage. Reuse- This deals with saving our daily used water. Certain plants have been found to act as excellent filters to remove the grub and silt from the used water from bathrooms (bathing) and kitchens. They apply proven and scientific approaches in this process. Extensive study is being done on how to recycle the water in the best possible natural way here. Some of the recent researches are successful in ways of using nanotechnology for water purification. Rainstock is working with researchers on commercialization the same.
Reachout- Rainstock believes that a structured programme to create water awareness is the need of the hour. It plans to conduct such programmes in schools, colleges, companies and residential areas with the help of corporate and individual sponsors.
The company is currently setting up systems and processes in all their three areas of focus. It also has plans to establish the Rainstock brand intensively and the promoters feel that these two aspects would help them in the near future in expanding their business network beyond Madurai by engaging partners.
Another major achievement for the company is that they have been invited by the Rural Technology & Business Incubator of IIT-Madras for incubation. This would help us in incorporating various water management technologies in to our business offerings, V.Arvind co-founder added.
Rainstock has been lucky that Native Angels Network, the funding wing of Nativelead, which was started by the leading industrialists and business heads of Madurai, has come forward to provide the seed funding for this venture. The fact that they are willing to mentor the organizations that they are funding is an added advantage to Sakthi and other young start-ups.