My entrepreneurial journey started around 8 years ago when I came to Singapore along with the other co-founders of our company to start Comm-IT Consultancy Services – an IT consulting firm. It was around the same time that I got accepted into the SP Jain Executive MBA program, and I could immediately see a difference in how I handled business. I used to apply the learnings from my class directly to the company operations, and we were soon able to expand our start-up to the other parts of ASEAN. One of the most important learnings from my MBA journey was that what matters is not what you think, but what your customers think. Design thinking may seem like a recent buzzword to many – but what people often do not know is that all successful businesses have been applying this concept forever.
About 6 months
ago, I decided to start my entrepreneurship journey again, this time into the
evolving world of blockchain. Many of you might associate blockchain with the obvious
buzz surrounding Bitcoins and Ethereum. But in this fanfare, we somehow lost
the real reason behind this technology – to decentralise the currently centralised
economic activities. Blockchain is a powerful technology with the potential to permanently
change how we run our business activities, or for that matter, even how we live
As an entrepreneur, you start with certain beliefs that you validate or change as you move along. My new startup, Muon, is about developing blockchain technology for the utility sector. The utility sector is quite complex and is the backbone of any economy. Not surprisingly, it was tightly controlled by governments around the globe for years. The downside to this control was the lack of new innovations that could spur the industry into a new era. When the governments started realising this, they started opening the industry to private companies. Today, there are multiple startups around the world that are working hard to bring new innovations into the sector. Blockchain is the obvious choice for many startups since it is one of the most centralised industries with diminishing value addition as you move along the value chain.
At Muon, we are working on a solution to make consumers active enablers in the electricity market rather than passive receivers by allowing them to monitor and control their electricity needs, reward them for sustainable consumption of electricity, and connect them directly to green energy sources through consumption linked REC trades. We have designed an alternative consensus algorithm called Proof of Consumption (PoC) that can handle thousands of transactions while consuming a fraction of the energy used by Bitcoin or Ethereum blockchains. Most other startups are using either Ethereum or Bitcoin, and with a focus on the payment use cases, their deployments in the energy sector are often an afterthought. They are not ideal for the power sector – both because of their low transaction throughout and the associated consensus algorithms which are energy-intensive. For example, the amount of energy required to maintain the Bitcoin and Ethereum infrastructures can power the whole of Switzerland and Iceland. Needless to say, our technology is our key differentiator. As regulation further dissolves in Singapore and around the world, Muon blockchain technology will be deployed for completely decentralising the electricity ecosystem. I just have one thing to share with all the MBA students out there planning to start their own entrepreneurial ventures soon. With all the glitz and glamour associated with successful entrepreneurs these days, there are many parts of their stories that we do not pay attention to. Behind every successful startup, there are hundreds of failed startups. But the notion of failure to a true-blue entrepreneur is not of shame, but of learning. They are driven by just one fact – failure is the thoroughfare to success. Once you have imbibed this, you are ready to start your entrepreneurial journey. Throwing out the established norms of society is an entrepreneur’s second nature. Take a plunge into this journey if you think you have the mental endurance for it. But then again, you’ll never know if you have the endurance until you take the plunge.
Deepanker Mahajan is an Executive MBA alumni of SP Jain from Singapore. He’s an entrepreneurial self-starter with a penchant for solving complex business problems through strategic planning and tactical executions. He is a keen student of emerging market trends and is not afraid of critical decision-making in a complex and ambiguous business environment. He is a people’s man and leader who believes that “you cannot do it alone”. Always the optimist, he is also a firm believer in the saying, “Failure is a thoroughfare to success”.