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Interview

In Conversation With… Krishna C, Founder, Karpine

Can you help us know about your professional background?

I have done B.Tech in Software Engineering from India and then completed  Masters Degree from University of Hertfordshire, UK in 2003.  After working for two years in the UK as a Software Analyst, I came back to India to work in various roles in the IT industry till 2010. I left my IT job from Dell in 2010 and started an e-commerce startup ‘Anytime Retail Pvt. Ltd.’. I worked in several IT projects in various roles and capacities in Finance & Health Care verticals. I was in the e-commerce space in India from 2010 to 2020. I had an opportunity to work with founders of almost all of the internet related startups of the time.

I built two private labels from scratch in mobile accessories, which sold two million units in the last 5 years.

Currently, I have founded a new startup in the Blockchain technology space in December 2020.

Can you please tell us about your venture ‘Karpine’?

Karpine, a Blockchain-as-a-Service company provides domain specific REST APIs to call from existing software solutions to add digital trust to the client data without additional blockchain specific coding.

Blockchain implementation currently is complex and there is scarcity of developers in the eco system which stops organizations from bringing in digital trust to their businesses. Despite having millions of developers working on several technologies, blockchain adoption is very limited.

Karpine wants to takeout the hassle by setting up permissioned blockchain based on a container-based installations with few clicks and then preload the installation with simple to use REST APIs:

  1. Create Public Key & Private Key
  2. Create, Read, Update & Delete operations on blockchain with their private keys
  3. Generate BI reports based on offchain database based on either Leveldb (for key value pair type of data) / MS SQL (for structured data) / MongoDB (for no sql)

These blockchain APIs could be plugged into new developments or existing systems without disturbing any architectural changes and limiting to just an extra one line API call, wherever needed.

These APIs will be further extended to domain specific use cases to create template based smart contracts.

What is your vision for your venture ‘Karpine’ in the long run?

We strongly believe that the way all manual ledgers have moved to flat file dbs like excel and then to relational dbs like sql, every single transaction where its authenticity may questionable will eventually move to a distributed ledger.

Companies are either building complex smart contract solutions or trying to provide hosting solutions for independent blockchains. Both of which require significant resources and costs. Also blockchain sounds cryptic to businesses which is preventing the adoption and not many players in the industry are not helping them with easing the adoption.

Helping businesses to add data to a simple distributed ledger could cut down several overheads. If only a simple system to store a message with a digital trust added by a private key encryption is in place, businesses can adopt blockchain (at least for simple use cases to start with) in a massive way as has been any other medium like SMS/ Whatsapp/ social media.

What role has technology played in the success of your venture?

We are a tech first company and our entire business model is built around technology. Due to the scarcity and complexity of blockchain technology, adoption has been meagre in the industry. We are leveraging existing technologies to make it simple for blockchain usage.

What impact did Covid-19 pandemic have on your business? What steps did you take to overcome it?

We have been an e-commerce startup since 2010 and own 2 private labels in mobile accessories which have generated around US$4 million in GMV. Due to lockdown, business got hit badly. This was a blessing in disguise for us since the 3 months of free cycles we got, helped us to get back to our drawing boards and start looking at the possible billion dollar ideas. We picked blockchain out of AI/ML, Data Science & Blockchain.

How do you build an effective team to work along with you?

Shared common vision among team members plays a vital part in a startup’s success. We have a lot of aspiring youngsters today who want to make it big in their life. In most of the cases they take a path towards it. Bringing together people who are from similar domains with shared interest is key to putting in the right team for a startup.

How important do you think is team work for any company’s success?

In most cases the founders do all jobs in the startups. However, all of us are gifted with a certain set of skills and in all probabilities not cut for other roles. Its in the best interest of the company to let the right guy do the right job. This happens only when we have right team play at work.

What is the problem you are trying to solve with your venture?

Digital Trust is a vital feature in transactional data storage. We may consider a few requirements such as:

Digital Identity

  1. KYC is done everytime we avail some service which requires a person’s identity
  2. Credit history is verified everytime a loan is requested.

Blockchain addition will take out the manual verification process and loan disbursement timelines could be cut drastically.

Data Protection & Privacy

Data on blockchain could be given access to required parties for a required amount of time. E.g: A doctor needs the patient health care data (such as Electronic Medical Records (EMR)) only during consultation. Currently the hospitals/ doctors own the patient data. With blockchain patient owns the data and can invoke or revoke permissions to view the data.

Fraud Prevention

Cases involving double spend is rampant in several industries like Real Estate/ Event Ticketing. A digital asset issued on the blockchain identifies the owner and his identity preventing any forging of the ownership of records.

What is your message for any aspiring entrepreneurs?

Start young and start early so that you have chances to learn from your failures before building successful ventures. I am a first generation entrepreneur and while I was a student, the environment was to secure an MNC job or a H1-B visa to work in the US. Times have changed now. The world is now looking forward to young entrepreneurs to solve the problems for the world.

 

*All views are that of the interviewee. UdyamGyan does not promote or endorse any claims.

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