1988 - B.Tech - Mechanical Engineering Founder and Managing Trustee, @ Fractal Foundation
Shri. Kannan Lakshminarayan obtained his B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1988. Kannan is a serial entrepreneur and innovator. He has founded a number of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. He started the Sunbeam Group of Schools in Vellore in 1989. In 2001, he founded Vortex Engineering (P) Ltd. Vortex is a sustainable business that builds and delivers technology solutions targeted at financial inclusion, pioneering the concept of rural ATM machines. Through Vortex, he developed a range of ATMs — Gramateller-Indi, Gramateller-Duo and EcoTeller — all of them optionally solar-powered. Vortex has successfully deployed ATMs with leading banks across most states in India, especially in small towns and villages. The products and solutions are specially designed to suit conditions unique to the rural segment where power supply is erratic, literacy levels of end users are low, and the terrain is rough.
Kannan has developed a spinning machine to operate on a small-to-medium scale, which was thought to be impossible. These are now in use at many centers throughout India, and gave rise to a designer fabric called “Malkha”. He founded Microspin Machine Works (P) Ltd. in 2011 to deliver this as a market-driven solution for cotton growers and small producers in the cotton value-chain. He also founded Skillveri Training Solutions (P) Ltd. in 2013 to develop affordable training simulators for different industrial skills, to address the skill-gap.
Kannan is an inventor holding six pending patents on ATM technologies and two patent-pending inventions on micro-spinning. He has also mentored several innovations under the aegis of Fractal Foundation, two of which are patent-pending. He has delivered a number of acclaimed one-off original solutions in the domains of energy, food processing and healthcare.
In recognition of Shri. Kannan’s innovations and pioneering work in sustainable solutions for the rural environment, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer him this award.