In 2016, when Indian Space Research Organisation will next ferry astronauts into space some part of the safety of the launch vehicle will be in the hands of a small venture, Captronic Systems.
The Bangalore-based firm is testing the internal controls and external insulation to shield the vehicle from the intense heat generated from atmospheric compression during re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere.
Captronic was founded by Vinod Mathews, an electronics engineer, almost a decade ago, when the organisation he was working with, Pertech Computers, went bankrupt. He started out with projects from Aviation firms, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and National Aerospace Laboratories.
He began scouting for overseas business but soon realised he needed money and support from outside investors. Mathews scouted for venture capital funding for two years, but many risk capital firms did not understand this industry.
After lot of difficulties, the company raised Rs 16 crore in February this year from Forum Synergies (India) PE Fund Managers, an Indian private equity fund, floated by a group of former corporate executives. Forum Synergies is helping the firm to tap customers in US & Europe and the company is now in talks with European Aeronautic Defence and Space company.
The biggest challenge for the company was not fund raising but retaining talent. After getting trained at the company, the engineers would join multi-national firm which would offer higher remuneration package. The firm is tackling that challenge by offering employee stock option plan to its employees.
Today Captronic tests equipments for customers such as India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation and Tata Motors. The firm which is earning revenues of Rs 40 crore and has 60 engineers is expecting to Reach the Rs 100 crore revenue mark in the next three years.