Alumni Profiles: Amrit Acharya and Srinath Ramakkrushnan (Zetwerk)

Created by Kiran A, Modified on Tue, 11 Jul 2023 at 10:13 AM by Kiran A

For Amrit Acharya, love for machines flowered when he, along with batchmate Srinath Ramakkrushnan, joined ITC as management trainee after graduating from IIT Madras in 2010; Amrit was from the department of Electrical Engineering and Srinath from Mechanical Engineering. Acharya worked as an associate with McKinsey in San Francisco with a handsome package before quitting his job to set up Zetwerk with Srinath and two other IITians, Vishal Chaudhary and Rahul Sharma - from IIT Kharagpur and IIT Roorkee respectively. Srinath had worked at ITC with Amrit, co-founded OfBusiness and worked as Head of Supply at Blackbuck, where he connected with Rahul.

Zetwerk taps small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that have skill, technology and speed to build a range of capital goods, consumer goods and precision parts. It serves both industrial and commercial customers, with the former accounting for 70% revenue share. Amrit recalls how his first objective was to set up a factory. This was followed by hiring people and getting the supply chain up and running. Ramakrushnan emphasized their commitment to cater to the unique requirements of different industries. By adopting an industry-specific approach, Zetwerk aimed to provide tailored solutions to address the specific challenges faced by diverse sectors. This strategic shift allowed them to deepen their expertise and deliver more specialized services to their clients. 

The startup operates on an asset light model where it partners with several manufacturers on the supply side. The startup plays the main role on three fronts. Firstly, it does matchmaking and connects with the right manufacturer for the client, solves issues related to pricing and fulfillment, including logistics and shipment. The client organisation can get real time updates on their product making process and status right from the beginning. It is a “managed market”, acting as the point of contact for the customer as well as the master supplier.

Zetwerk is an India-focussed business, but amid the pandemic, it recorded a lot of interest from clients outside India, especially from US. Zetwerk transacts with 3,000-4,000 SMEs and offers them a range of services, including logistics, but does not manufacture itself. It works with SMEs to ensure they meet the promise of quality and timely delivery. According to Amrit, it improves the manufacturers’ revenue by 20%. Zetwerk ended FY2021 with revenues of 900 crore as opposed to 300 crore in FY2020. FY2022 revenue (till December) is six times the last year’s number. Exports account for 17% revenue as opposed to 5% three quarters ago. The company’s goals gel well with the Make in India push. 

Amrit and Srinath sought funding from visionary investors who recognized the transformative potential of their concept. Drawing upon their impeccable reputation and compelling pitch, they secured significant investments from leading venture capital firms. This funding provided the fuel needed to develop and scale Zetwerk into the revolutionary force it is today.

According to Rahul, the Covid-19 pandemic has cause a drastic shift to commercial manufacturing and it is fast-paced as well - shifting supply chains from China to India seems a viable option for Zetwerk. The startup entered the coveted unicorn club in August 2021 after raising $150 million in Series E round at a valuation of $1.33 billion.

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