Kishan Karunakaran, Exploring the Biofuel Sector and Feels That the Biodiesel Sector is Going to Bloom Much in the Coming Years

CEO & Co-Founder, Buyofuelcoimbatore

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Working in the field of biofuels for the last fifteen years, Kishan believes that it is important to grab opportunities in order to learn from them and execute your plans.

Kishan Karunakaran is the CEO and co-founder of Buyofuel in Tamil Nadu.

Recalling his childhood, Kishan says that he was born in Kerala but grew up in various cities across India. Due to his work, his father had to move to different places, and so Kishan got a chance to explore many countries. He completed a major part of his education in Puducherry. He understands many languages as his work life has also taken him to different places. He says that multicultural growth helped him a lot in terms of adaptability and learning.  Being an IIT graduate, his father was very busy with his work, and Kishan got inspired by his father. In the eleventh grade, his father admitted him to a hostel so that he would be able to handle things on his own.

Talking about his journey, Kishan says that it has been  quite a long one. He set up his first biodiesel plant in 2008 and then got into the business of supplying waste for biofuel manufacturing.  In 2018, the government of India took some steps and introduced biofuel policies. He met some people who shared a common passion for working for sustainable development. So, he and his partners decided to provide a platform for waste sellers and biofuel manufacturers. In the year 2020, they started an online platform for the same.

Sharing his experiences, Kishan says that he learned a lot from his previous startup as a biodiesel manufacturer and built a team with his expertise. Hard work, discipline, and ethics are the key features of his new startup.

Kishan shares that his main goal is to ensure that most of the waste gets into the biofuel supply chain and that more and more fossil fuel consumers become biofuel consumers.

When asked about his challenges, Kishan says that he set up his first biodiesel manufacturing unit in Tamil Nadu and faced many ups and downs in his journey. There was no government support, and the companies were not aware of the benefits of biofuels, so it was very difficult to compete in the market. He also realised that there were various challenges in research and commercialization. The other big challenge was that the government had given high subsidies on diesel, and there was a lack of awareness among people about biofuel.

Later,  he entered the field of supplying biofuel to industries. However, due to a scam in 2013, he had to face many difficulties and shut down his factory. He started setting up plants abroad and importing biofuels. But suddenly, India banned import of biodiesel in 2018, and then he started this plan of creating an online platform that helps biofuel manufacturers and waste generators.

Sharing his achievements, Kishan says that they have been awarded as one of the top ten startups in Tamil Nadu. They were also awarded as one of the top thirty social impact startups in South Asia by the Vruksham Foundation. Business World also ranked his company among the top ten startups. Their biggest accomplishment was that so far a hundred thousand tonnes of biofuel and waste have been transacted through their platform. Within three years, they have managed to become a primary supplier of biofuel  to more than twenty of India’s largest fuel consumers so that they can switch to biofuels.

Kishan believes that experience played a primary role in grooming his leadership qualities. He feels blessed to have learned from many leaders in his journey. He learned a lot from his father, his two bosses, and APJ Abdul Kalam.

Kishan says that he had a very normal and basic education. He says he worked at different places and gained a lot of experience that was helpful in making him successful.

If given a time machine, Kishan would go back in time and make  biodiesel factories to run successfully. On the other hand, he also believes that whatever happens, it happens for good.

Advising the youth, Kishan says that it is important to focus on your work ethics and do it with discipline. Keep learning and keep executing your learning to achieve the desired goals in life. It is also important to be spiritually grounded.

In his spare time, Kishan likes to play with his son. He also likes to read books and listen to music.

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Kishan Karunakaran, CEO & Co-Founder Buyofuel, Coimbatore

Watch inspiring story of Kishan Karunakaran, CEO & Co-Founder Buyofuel in Coimbatore.