Sets up incubation centre for budding entrepreneurs
Mysore, 17th September, 2018: Achuta Bachalli, an alumnus of NIE-Mysore and Chairman of Unilog Content Solutions, has found a way to return the favour to his alma mater. He has entered into an MoU with his alma mater National Institute of Engineering, Mysore (NIE-Mysore) to create the Unilog Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship which will help young budding entrepreneurs to fuel their ideas into proof of concept (POC) and far.
Unilog, which has contributed INR 20 lakh towards setting up the center, is a story any institution would be proud of. The entrepreneurial bug bit him a little late in life, yet he has made a mark for himself. Achutha is about 70 years old today, and it was 18 years ago that he set out on an entrepreneurial journey by starting the Unilog Content Solutions. Achutha took the path at an age when many people start planning for their retirement.
From a family of teachers
Hailing from a middle class background he led a protected life, and his family was mostly into teaching, He studied at the NIE-Mysuru.
He did his post-graduation from NITIE, Mumbai, which opened his eyes to a world of opportunities and possibilities. With table tennis at 2 am, to rubbing shoulders with IITians, Achuta got to experience a cross-cultural atmosphere which had a profound impact on him. A month into it, and he was up to speed with the best. It is here that he developed self-confidence.
A career not ordinary
He then got into a chemical company followed by an electric insulation company. Most of his work was to do with technology and research and development. So exposure to technology helped him grow his confidence. He was always working to get stuff from lab to pilot project to commercial production.
Achuta had reached the top echelons he could in his organisation. On the numerous trips he made abroad, he helped his company win over USD 15 million through a deal of licensing, commissioning and engineering. “Customer thought I was the owner of the company, and when they came to India to sign the contract I was not even there in the photographs. So I was young enough to go on an ego trip and the entrepreneur bug bit me,” says Achuta unapologetically. This raw confidence and an appetite for risk lay the foundation of Unilog Content Solutions, a data management, product cataloging and e-commerce product firm.
When he started Unilog, he did the basic data entry for a US client, who ensured he never made money by continually changing the price. Then LG sub-contract happened and they got some traction. They got into cataloging, taxonomy, schemas and classification. They discovered a niche in transacting the data. Slowly they stood for the highest quality global cataloging services mostly for B2B clients. Their customers were industrial distributors.
One of their clients paid the cost to develop a product CIMM2. This was PIM (Product Information Management) product with many additional features of CM (content management system), search, integration with ERP and payment gateway. This is a SaaS product and all of their clients are based out of the US. They are mid-sized companies from $50 million to $500 million. That was a game changer. Today, it has over 200 customers using the product. In a way they have empowered smaller distributors with same tools which the big ones have.
Today Unilog employs about 900+ people with majority of them in Mysuru and in USA.
He says “Entrepreneurship is a bed of thorns. You are always surrounded by fear. But you need to persevere.”
The princely city of Mysore, in Karnataka, plays host to the National Institute of Engineering, fondly called NIE. Established in 1946, the institute has been granted autonomy in 2007 from Visvesvaraya Technological University. Currently the college offers, 7 Bachelor, 11 Master’s and 5 Post-graduate Diploma programmes and has 13 Centres of Excellence.
NIE envisages its journey of excellence on three strong pillars:
• Intellectual infrastructure creation
- Courses/services offerings
- Institution building
Unilog develops a web-based e-commerce software that offers Big Data analytics and product data management solutions for the e-commerce distributors. Unilog’s headquarters is located in Wayne, Pennsylvania, USA. Unilog’s top competitor is SAP Hybris, led by Alex Atzberger, who is their President.