Chennai: Naidhroven (27), an MBA graduate, had muscular dystrophy from birth which leads to gradual breakdown and weakening of skeletal muscles over time.
Yet, despite all the odds, he has become an entrepreneur who makes e-scooters.
Moving from one place to another was always an issue for him and that was when his father made him a small scooter. “My father was an engineer,” said Naidhroven.
“He made a scooter for me by watching several videos online. He bought the parts from various manufacturing firms he knew,” he recalled.
This scooter was a eureka moment for Naidhroven.”I took it as the inspiration to start my own company,” he said. Thus, in 2014, he began Nappinnai Pvt Ltd, an automobile firm that makes e-scooters. “For several months, I did a lot of research about the automobile industry and entrepreneurship.”
Creating his own start-up also gave Naidhroven a sense of independence. “After completing MBA at Anna University, I couldn’t find a job as no one wanted to hire me,” he said.
But he struck gold when he got funding from the Tamilnadu government under the Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP). This helped him dive and invest more on designing and creating his e-scooter.
“Around 2015, I roped in a team to work along with me,” he said.
It was years of hard work that finally started paying off.
His e-scooter has become a hit especially among old people as it is designed to reach a maximum speed of not more than 25 km/hr and is extremely light weight.
“Several women and old people like the e-scooters we make,” smiles Naidhroven. “They find it very convenient to use.”
He credits his father and mother for always giving him rock solid support. “My father’s prototype scooter gave me the idea,’ he said, adding, ‘My mother has taken great care of us all these years.”
What kept pushing Naidhroven towards the goal of becoming an entrepreneur despite his limitations?
“It doesn’t matter if you are born with or without disabilities,” he said.
“I had this childhood dream of owning an automotive business and I moved towards it no matter what. I wanted to prove to myself that even people with disabilities can become entrepreneurs.”