Published: 23rd March 2020
This entrepreneur duo is making bio-organic, protein-based batteries from crop residue. Here's how
Nishita is also a photographer and an artist while Nikita is a creative writer and a filmmaker. Also, they have turned down two funding offers due to a few issues and are actively looking for funding
After our conversation with Nishita Baliarsingh, one half of the entrepreneurial duo that also includes Nikita Baliarsingh, we realised that maybe the two were born with an entrepreneurial streak, which itself has been nurtured by the entrepreneurial atmosphere boosted by the government and educational institutions for some years now. This is how in class XII itself, spurred on by the tech spirit, they realised that they just had to do something different with their lives. In 2015, they started Felis Leo Ventures (rebranded in 2018) offering their app and web development services through their vertical Felis Leo Infocom. "One of our main products is a visitor management system which is being used by a few government websites like the Police Commissioner of Bengaluru and Mumbai," says Nishita, impressing us already.
Receiving a citation from Governor of Odisha Prof Ganeshi Lal | (Pic: Felis Leo Ventures)
While pursuing their education from Xavier University Bhubaneswar, the duo learnt about concepts like Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability and, simply put, the need to make this world a better place. That's when the two 22-year-olds started becoming environmentally-conscious. They went on to develop a heating and cooling system which uses the latent heat present in the atmosphere to heat gas or water and it gives cool air (up to 16 degree Celsius) as a by-product. This can be used in industries in the place of boilers, air-conditioned units and more. "This has saved our clients up to ₹20 lakh per annum," shares Nishita. They are also working on bioorganic batteries, under their vertical Felis Leo Widgets, one of their most exciting initiatives. Instead of going in with lithium-ion batteries, they want to offer an alternative in the future. These protein-based batteries (made from protein obtained from crop residue), which are still in the research and development stage, attain full charge in ten minutes and can power 450 km of travel, as opposed to lithium-ion batteries that take two to three hours to charge. This is innovation at its best, right there!
The twins | (Pic: Felis Leo Ventures)
What encouraged the twins to expand into so many verticals, we wonder. "We did not want to have a monotonous graph, we have always wanted to expand," says Nishita. Their latest venture is Felis Leo Leisure, where they want to set up a one-of-a-kind brewery in the city of Bhubaneswar, where they are currently based out of. Over five years of working together, the duo has realised that it is Nishita who is good with finances and the technical side of things, thus making her the CEO, while Nikita is the more creative and innovative one, thus making her the CMO. The duo has won multiple awards and titles like the Young Global Ambassador title from Enprendia, an initiative promoting women empowerment through entrepreneurship, in 2018. They have spoken at many colleges and events to bolster the confidence of youngsters. "We were even invited to our alma mater recently to deliver a talk and that was a very special moment for us," she shares with a smile.
Some of the awards they have won:
- Best Small & Medium Enterprise – Sustainable Engineering
Presented on May 30, 2019, by Small Enterprise Business Excellence Awards
- Best Service Enterprise
Presented on August 11, 2019, by Prof Ganeshi Lal and the Odisha Association of Small and Medium Enterprises
- Innovative Enterprise of the Year
Presented on November 16, 2019, by CII Yi Innovex Start-Up Expo and Awards 2019