Mukundan




Mr. Mukundan, founded Servals Automation in 2002, to be a social enterprise that is dedicated to the cause of “bringing appropriate technology” to the common man. With the launch of the 30% kerosene saving burner, that is currently the market leader, in a field that is still important to about 10% of India’s population, “Venus” was Mr. Mukundan’s first ‘pick’ as an appropriate technology that deserves scaling.  TLUD gasifier was his second – when Mr. Rajan Philip alerted him about the visit of Dr. TLUD to India in 2006 and the possibility of exploring the TLUD  gasifier technology as the second appropriate technology to back under the Servals banner.

Mr.Mukundan’s vision, enthusiasm and sheer interest towards the grooming of this technology for the Indian market, from the time of the gentleman’s handshake with Dr. TLUD in 2008  on a royalty based collaboration, provided the starter energy for getting the TLUD prototype into a well-designed, well-tested, and durable model. He also provided the leadership to get the product tested and endorsements built and bring it to the starter blocks for its eventual scaleup.
 
The current successful project (the only one at scale) has been made possible only by the intelligent nurturing and groundwork provided by Mr. Mukundan. The test certificates and production models that were made during his time are the credentials that the current model continues to ride on. Mr. Mukundan passed away in 2014. But will be remembered for his unsung ground-work – which allowed the TLUD technology to break out of the amateur trap into a viable product line and offers a unique and innovative energy choice to the 80% of the world that still cooks with biomass.


An entrepreneur in mind and soul, Mr. Mukundan’s entrepreneurial drive has taken many commendable forms over the past 40 years. At a time when India was poised for the rise of the entrepreneurial ethos, Mr. Mukundan chose to make his contribution through the subspace of small and tiny industries, in line with his belief, that the Indian economic state is best served by a healthy crop of small and medium enterprises that are socialists in spirit. He created a new and unique niche in the space of industrial marketing – where he championed the market creation work for deserving technocrats and their brain-child technologies.

But he reserved the noblest ambition – that of leaving behind something of permanent value –for his second (and last) enterprise. Servals Automation Pvt Ltd. 


A social enterprise that he dedicated to contribute to the household energy solutions space. Servals contribution to the household cooking energy space, over the last 15 years is well known and well appreciated. While not “big” in numbers, Servals Automation takes pride in being innovative in their choice of technologies they have crafted themselves and economic models that they have sculpted themselves.

A man who believed that if you are not a risk taker, you better get the hell out of business and if you are not a teacher, you better get off the planet, Mukundan, has laid a beautiful foundation for the scale-up of some truly meaningful socio-economic models around appropriate technology by finding – not the extremes but by finding the right balance. “Production by masses” vs “Mass production”; “Teach the elephant to dance”; “Harness the productive power of women, while allowing them to play their vital roles as home makers”; “Build the whole eco-system not just your own product” and “create an atmosphere that creates human dignity, sweeps away mediocrity, the petty bourgeois mentality and abolishes survival fear” are some of the organisation building legacies that he has left behind.