Blab with Sandy: Karthik Malluru
Hyderabad Local wishes you a very Happy Ugadi!
Today, we present an inspiring real-life tale of Karthik Malluru, the man behind “Sri Biotech”. Karthik is an MBA graduate from Aurora’s Business school, Hyderabad and currently the Managing Director of Sri Biotech. His company deals with Poultry and Aqua supplements. Here is the blab we had with Karthik about his spirited journey.
What were you doing before starting Sri Biotech?
I was a part of a Multinational company with good earnings. I wasn’t satisfied with my 11-8 routine and I wanted to do something challenging which would keep me happy.
About Sri Biotech:
To be honest, I am not the founder of Sri Biotech. It was founded by Late Dr. G. Veera Ganesh (Veterinarian) and Dr. K.Vindhya Vasini Roy (Microbiologist) in the year 2003. Their main goal was to manufacture the best quality feed supplements for Poultry and Aqua. Due to Dr. Ganesh’s sad demise in 2013, the company was on the verge of shutting down. The market being a rural and an orthodox, started losing trust as they could not associate the brand name with Dr. Ganesh anymore. There was increasing competition and few unethical businessmen stealing the brand name was the reason for the downfall. Currently, our scope of business and primary focus is Aquaculture feed supplements.
Taking over a closed unit and refurbishing it is a task. Your motivation factor?
I took over the company in the year 2015 wherein we barely had customers to sell our products despite of the good reputation Dr. Ganesh had. Taking a unit, which is on the verge of closing and refurbishing it has its own set of challenges, it’s not an easy task specially when the market assumes that the company is owned by someone else/ competitors.
Motivation factor for me in taking this up was the fact that we had the product, quality and I could see the bigger picture which is important for every entrepreneur. The other side to this coin is my thought of earning big.
Who makes up your support system?
My biggest pillar of strength is my wife and my mom. Initially my mom was hesitant of my decision to take up business but, my wife always stood by me in my difficult times and I feel owe my everything to her. Even as of date whenever I am out of ideas and business strategies, the first person I run to is my wife who pitches in like a Marvel character super hero and rescues me.
What sectors does your product cater to?
Until last year, our major focus was on the feed supplement of Fishes, Prawns & Shrimps. Our products were enzyme/ probiotics based (In layman’s term, its organic). This year, we have also started a new division which caters to Aquaculture Chemicals; and by the end of 2018 we target to enter the veterinary division and restart the Poultry wing which was once our USP.
I want Sri Biotech to be associated with quality of our products and personally I want to startup a rescue home for dogs.
Apart from business, what are the other activities which keep your spirits high?
I had severe health issues last year because of overweight, which resulted in depression and anxiety. This was the time when I was reintroduced to my passion for Power lifting, and things started to fall in place personally and professionally as I was much relaxed.
The other 2 things that keep me going are dogs and cricket. My love for dogs made me a better human being. I always thank my mom and my wife for getting Rocky (My pet) into my life. I am also a part of a Corporate cum Friends cricket team called “Southern Strikers”. I play cricket during the weekends which boosts me up big time.
I owe a lot to Mr. Mahendar Singh Dhoni as I have learnt so much from his leadership qualities and I implement the same in my business by doing the right things at the right time. Some may call it luck, but for me “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”.
Experiences: Good or Bad, during your start up days
I would not say if it was good or bad, it was a learning curve for me. I was person from corporate who got used to staying in Air Conditioning for almost the whole day. I was literally forced on roads of the coastal region of Andhra Pradesh in hot sun trying to pitch my already existing product with minimal knowledge about my own products.
I met a variety of people there, some treated me well and some treated me not so well. I thank all of them for being a part of my journey as I learnt that this market is full of surprises. Among the few good people I met, I found my business partner Mr. Ranga Rao who is more like family to me. I always feel his experience and calmness perfectly complements my energy.
Few words about Hyderabad Local
Firstly, I wish you all a very happy second innings. You guys are doing a great job focusing on the city happenings. The best part is about having a separate section for startups and interviews which helps other people/ students to be motivated. I always feel India as a country and Indians as people have greater scope and bundles of talent to think out of the box. I would be a regular visitor for this section of the site, as I always believe that “Inspiration is everywhere; we just have to open our eyes.” Thank you for providing me a platform to share my experience, I would be glad if at least one individual is inspired by my story.
You can reach out to Karthik at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Interview by Sandeep Rao Kanukolanu