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BW Businessworld

Digging Up A Niche Area In Manufacturing

“With a curb on imports and huge demand for trenchers in the Infrastructure projects undertaken by the government the situation is favourable to reach our established goals”, said Buddhiraju

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Santhoshi Sushma Buddhiraju

Santhoshi Sushma Buddhiraju had been nurturing the thoughts of becoming an entrepreneur since her college days. In fact, she conceived her first entrepreneurial idea while taking a train back to her hometown from college. Called Delivery Uncle, the venture would ensure delivery of good food for travellers. Wanting to nurture her business talent further, Buddhiraju first worked with a couple of MNCs before taking up entrepreneurship full time.

Buddhiraju co-founded Autocracy Machinery in 2020, which innovates and manufactures trenchers, crucial construction equipment that is used to dig trenches for laying pipes, cable or drainage. Currently, trenchers have to be imported. The brand aims to promote domestic manufacturing, which is also in line with the government’s Make in India agenda. 

Talking about the business proposition she says, “Currently, there is no trencher manufacture of repute in India. With a curb on imports and huge demand for trenchers in the infrastructure projects undertaken by the government the situation is favourable to reach our established goals. Our recent success in L&T’s ongoing T fibre project is another factor that will contribute to expand the product to other industry giants currently pursuing projects in various other sectors like gas pipelines, water works and fibre projects.”  

The last one year has been difficult for most businesses with manufacturing taking a huge hit. Talking about the challenges Autocracy Machinery faced during the pandemic, she says, “Conceptualisation of the idea and delivery of a prototype in the midst of a pandemic where imports had been reduced to a trickle meant putting together a supply chain to procure the parts involved in building the maS chine, like gearboxes, driver chains, etc. I also visited multiple vendors at their home locations within the prescribed lockdown rules to agree on design parameters and the timely delivery of machine parts.” 

The company also faced other hiccups along the way including making changes in design to accommodate vendor limitations, and prototype testing across multiple soil types, according to Buddhiraju.

Like all other entrepreneurs, Buddhiraju aims to incorporate on-thejob learning to expand her business. Some of the crucial lessons have been a continuous customer feedback loop, coupled with adequate on-site testing at every stage of the design process. 

“With a business strategy based on constant improvement, the aim is to expand into other earth mover machines, and agricultural machines which are currently not manufactured in India,” says Buddhiraju. 

The company also aims to introduce new technologies in India which are currently non-existent or available in a limited capacity. “Thanks to our continuous R&D and increasing customer demand, we have launched ditcher machines (no existing manufacturer) which are used in canal irrigation. We plan to increase our product portfolio continuously,” says Buddhiraju.

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SANTOSHI S. BUDDHIRAJU Autocracy Machinery WESA 2021