Ashwin Bhadri is a Mentor, Entrepreneur, Author, CEO of Equinox Labs, and national level speaker on Food Safety, a National Spokesperson for FSSAI – Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.
He has also been doing a lot of work in educating the country especially the FBOs and QSRs on the norms and trends of Food Safety and Hygiene etc.
He is also helping Corporate maintain its Food, Water and Air quality. During this Pandemic he has educated thousands of people by conducting Free Webinars for them.
1. Tell us a little about yourself
Ashwin Bhadri: I am from Mumbai. I did my schooling in Mumbai and then went on to pursue my Degree in Computer Science from University of Texas, Austin followed by a MBA in McCombs School of Business.
I was the “Good Son” and came back to India to join the Family Business. My Family ran a Water Treatment Company.
I started their Customer Care Department, but owing to my very unique last name, most conversations with Customers turned to old stories about my dad, and how he helped them.
I soon realised that I wasn’t going to create my own identity in that company. So I left the family business and started Equinox Labs.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Ashwin Bhadri: While I was in the Water Treatment Company, I used to send samples to multiple labs in the country but got a very poor response from them.
I knew that I could do a better job than that. I also knew that many companies that needed to do testing, weren’t aware about the need.
I also realized that Food Safety was critical when a dear friend of mine almost died because of worms in his brain, which were caused because of poor food hygiene.
What service(s) or product(s) do you offer?
Ashwin Bhadri: We offer the best of food, water & air testing services. When it comes to food, our services include food testing, sensory evaluation, nutritional labelling and shelf-life analysis; all in compliance with FSSAI.
Our water-related services include Industrial water testing, drinking water testing, construction water testing and borewell water testing.
As far as air is concerned, we provide Indoor Air Quality monitoring, DG Emission monitoring and Data Centre monitoring services.
What is unique about your business?
Ashwin Bhadri: We have been pioneers of the testing game for more than 15 years now. We are an FSSAI Approved, NABL Accredited Lab with a PAN – India presence.
We use the latest technology to deliver best in class services for a 360° approach to Safety & Compliance.
What was your mission at the outset?
Ashwin Bhadri: To create as much awareness about food safety as possible, achieve new levels in terms of food security in India and set an example for the rest of the world.
How many employees are there in your organization?
Ashwin Bhadri: 1000+
What’s your company’s goals?
Ashwin Bhadri: Improving Lives by ensuring Quality and Innovation. I want to make the Food, Water and Air in India Safer.
How do you build a successful customer base?
Ashwin Bhadri: First and foremost, I believe in customer feedback & support. People are happy to express themselves and often enjoy telling you about their online and offline experiences. Listening and solving their issues should always be your no.1 priority.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Ashwin Bhadri: For every success that we have today, there have been 10 failures. We believe in that concept of Fail Forward. We try many new things, most fail, but we learn from them and do better the next time around.
One of the failures was a Service we launched 8 years ago, called Hygiene Shield. It was designed for restaurants to indicate that they were hygienic after we audited them.
It was a monumental disaster. But after we learnt from those mistakes, we relaunched a similar concept 4 years later, along with Zomato, Swiggy and Dineout, which was a grand success and we audited over 40,000 restaurants.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Ashwin Bhadri: Elon Musk is a great entrepreneur and one of the most hard working people I know. He is someone who made it big, and when he got a large payout, he bet all of it on 2 companies he started.
The next person is Dr. Velumani (Chairman of Thyrocare). He started Thyrocare at the age of 45, and made it into a large empire before he turned 60. Both of them have a similar approach. Make it big or go home.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Ashwin Bhadri: Not hiring people who are smarter than me. I think I have fixed the mistake now, but in my earlier days, I didn’t.
It took me a long time to realise that other people can add a lot more value to the organization rather than just following the process laid out by me.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Ashwin Bhadri: I’d say listen up, there will come a time when you feel like giving up (and mark my words it will spring up on you at some point). When that time comes, just remind yourself why you started out.
14. Does your company help the community or society?
Ashwin Bhadri: Of course. I feel that if your work helps raise food security standards in the country (in any way, shape or form), it is definitely a massive step towards the betterment of society.
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Also, you can find his interviews on the Equinox Labs YouTube Channel