Entrepreneurship is all about Heart
Entrepreneurship is all about Heart
Global Entrepreneur In Residence
Progress through Innovation
Chetan Manikantan known amongst his friends as 'chet', is a polymath, artist, designer, software engineer, inventor and a serial entrepreneur.
He currently holds the title of founder & CEO at Tengu Inc. Chetan is also serving as the Global Entrepreneur in Residence at UMass, Boston. In this role, he provides teaching assistance to professors, and lectures, mentorship, and guidance to the students of various disciplines.
After being discouraged from becoming an Indian air force pilot, and not having enough money to become a professional racecar driver, Chetan decided against a Fast and Furious life. Instead, he combined his artistic talent with his engineering skills to become a tech-entrepreneur. He figured that the only way to realize his dreams would be to use his imagination and creativity to build a profitable business venture that offers socio-economic benefits and real value to people around the world.
Chetan obtained his electronics engineering degree from BIT Bangalore, where he served as the President of the student body. In this role, he championed many path-breaking initiatives including the first inter-collegiate science, arts, cultural, literary and technology festival. His engineering thesis project for the Indian defense company 'Bharat Electronics Limited' was to build a high-security encryption tool. Post graduation, he worked at Microsoft in software engineering and business development roles.
After his time at Microsoft, Chetan co- founded several successful start-ups. In these roles, he has been responsible for technological innovation as well as high-growth sales. At Echrome, Chetan and his team built prepaid energy meters and a cryptographic signing tool for software licensing including a hardware-lock. At SinformatiX, he signed an exclusive multi-year partnership valued at over $20M with Pitney-Bowes for the APAC region. At mySpark Technologies, he successfully closed over $5M in sales and built a pipeline of over $10M in just the first year of operation in India. In 2012, Chetan co-founded Guru-G, a software company that has pioneered education in the developing world. Guru-G has received numerous awards and wide recognition, chief among them being ‘The Best Start-Up of India’ award granted by the Indian Government’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry at the Start-Up India event in 2016.
In 2014, Chetan founded a non-profit organization called Klatsch, a collective that blends art, design and innovation. Klatsch brings artists, designers, and innovators together to improve public space apathy in India through artistic interventions and unique design ideas. It has seen a lot of success in a very short span of time. With over 2000 members, the collective has executed over a dozen successful projects in partnership with organizations such as Amnesty International, the Goethe Institute, Numa, Bangalore Metro and the India Foundation for Arts, among others.
Chetan has regularly contributed to mainstream news media, appearing in The Times of India's expert column on artistic interventions in public spaces, and as a guest speaker at various radio talk shows both in India and in the USA. Chetan has volunteered educating slum-dwelling children with essential life skills and vocational training through various organizations in India.
He loves hiking, music, playing pool, soccer, painting, writing essays, and reading books on history, philosophy, sociology, psychology and politics.
mySpark Technologies Inc
MySpark Technologies built innovative touch-screen tablets and specialized software for the education market. The mySpark Education Platform provides students and schools with affordable hardware and scalable software that integrates with existing campus learning systems. (news) (more)
SinformatiX built a strong practice in Product Lifecycle Management, Customer Communication Management and Content Management domains. Sinformatix built a 'solution innovation center' for Pitney-Bowes catering to the entire South East and South Asian region. (news)
Echrome Embedded Services
Cryptographic signing-tool for software licensing. Hardware-lock. Electronic energy meter(projects in India and Nigeria). India's first fully automatic electronic display system for public transportation(projects in India).
20+ Public Art Installations
>$100M in value created
As an Entrepreneur, Chetan has created over 200 direct jobs and several hundred more indirect jobs through his various entrepreneurial pursuits (and non-profit initiatives.) Over the years, Chetan has generated over $40M in sales at the various companies that he co-founded. Apart from this, during his time at Microsoft he also generated leads worth several millions of dollars selling Microsoft Enterprise software to enterprise customers.
His other social impact ventures such as mySpark and Guru-G have benefitted thousands of schools, tens of thousands of teachers and students in India and Africa. The combined value generated by all these initiatives and ventures exceed over $100M. Chetan's non-profit work involves teaching slum-dwelling children as well as many public art interventions (over 25). His work and passion over the years have resulted in an indisputable positive impact to the world surrounding him.