But Bala has moved on to seed another venture – EMF Innovations. Based out of Singapore, the start-up has an R&D centre in Coimbatore. This time, the former CTO and co-founder of Ampere is betting on a paradigm shift that is taking place in the motor segment. Bala says, “With the focus on renewable energy gaining momentum, we felt the need to revive a technology, that will mean using DC instead of AC power. Traditionally, motors have been designed on the premise that two electro magnets attract or repel each other. Our idea is to develop a switch reluctance motor technology (sans magnet) for use across industries.”
The firm seeks to address the needs of irrigation, solar pumps, households using UPS-run motors or the automotive industry. With consumer durables such as air conditioners and washing machines projecting the noiseless feature, the transition from AC to DC technology is only a matter of time.
Interestingly, to harness the potential of solar energy, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has been providing subsidies and encouraging the use of PMBLDC motors (Permanent Magnet Brushless). The annual estimated requirement for such motors is 10 lakh units. Tamil Nadu had even floated a Rs 86 crore tender for 30,000 motors. These numbers mean the government business alone will be over Rs 2,000 crore, he points out.
“Our aim is to provide design, IP and testing inputs to develop power train technology for the auto industry and DC motors adoption,” Bala says.
EMF Innovations has on boarded two customers – a tier I German auto MNC in Pune and a leading Japanese discrete or passive component maker in Hyderabad. He says, “We plan to use a hardware outsourcing model to drive our business as Coimbatore has the required ecosystem for motor.”
Confident of a 200 pc growth next year, EMF is in negotiations with a Singapore-based VC firm for raising Rs 10 crore.