Meet Nikita Baliarsingh the Co-Founder and CIO of Nexus Power and Forbes Under 30 alumni

When we are younger we are so passionate about doing something when we see something wrong happening around us. And are always dreaming about being superheroes to save the earth just like Krish saves people from danger. And in that small tiny brain a child wonders what he/she can do to save the planet? Then we grow up and become a part of the rat race wherein we end up contributing to the existing problem but very few are motivated and dedicated to work to better the situation and one of them is Nikita and her twin sister who together worked hard to make their dream of sustaining the environment through rechargeable, bio-organic and biodegradable batteries for electric vehicles a reality.

Entrepreneurship is all about finding solutions to problems. The long-age problem about batteries not being environmentally friendly was solved by Nikita and her twin sister Nishita’s idea. Previously many people argued that electric vehicles are also causing damage to the environment because of increased emission while manufacturing the batteries as well as disposing of the batteries. So you see entrepreneurs just look for solutions when you and I crib about one.

Key takeaways from the interview:

  • Her inspiration to begin this start-up
  • Challenges faced by her
  • Her source of strength and positivity
  • Her piece of information for budding entrepreneurs


About Nikita and her company Nexus Power

The Co-Founder and CIO of Nexus Power and Forbes Under 30 alumni, Nikita Baliarsingh is a dynamic leader and a sustainability enthusiast. The brand Nexus manufactures rechargeable, bio-organic, and biodegradable batteries for electric vehicles. These Eco – friendly batteries are lithium-ion free and utilize crop residue as the raw material, efficiently managing the massive farmland waste generated in India and across the globe. The interesting part is that the batteries charge 8x – 10x faster and last 20% – 30% longer than their counterparts. Nexus Power owns a provisional patent for its lab-tested working proof-of-concept.

Nikita completed her Bachelor’s in Business Management with marketing majors from Xavier School of Commerce and then pursued her Master’s in Media & Mass Communication from Xavier School of Communications, Bhubaneswar. She has also completed master’s certification programs in Nanotechnology & Innovation and Strategy management from IIT Roorkee and IIM Bangalore. She has been a recipient of multiple awards for innovation in battery technology. At such a young age, she has also featured in media stories in both print and digital mediums. Nikita is actively involved in guiding young aspiring entrepreneurs and has been invited as a speaker for various events as well.

Besides her entrepreneurial interests, she is a creative writer, filmmaker, and adventure freak. She is also a musician, sports enthusiast, and brave horse rider. She strives to build a greener planet. The company also follows the same ideology and is constantly innovating to sustain! Nikita is very active when it comes to business, leadership, and travel.

What inspired you to start Nexus Power?

It was sometime in school when my identical twin sister Nishita & I discovered the meaning and true essence of entrepreneurship and we were sure, ever since, that we wanted to build a career as entrepreneurs. We were fascinated with the commerce and business ecosystem around us and since our parents had their establishments, we had grown up, understanding the nuances and the highs and lows of business. 

Sustainable lifestyle techniques had been a fascination for both me and Nishita since we understood the importance of taking care of the environment. Luckily, during our course in business management, we were given more insights into the world of sustainability, and in the middle of one such classroom discussion, we decided to build something that can transform the way people looked at the mobility industry. Our initial plan was to manufacture electric vehicles in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

EV was an upcoming trend in the market, back in 2016, but the main concern was that even after multiple companies were promising to offer EVs, the buyers were not interested in opting for them over the IC engine-based cars. This gap in demand and supply forced us to investigate the causes behind the low acceptance of electric vehicles. A few major drawbacks identified were long battery charging time, high–priced cars, lack of local sources for procurement of Lithium, and toxicity hazards.

We sincerely wanted to help improve the E – mobility sector. Our research made us realize that to make electric vehicles popular, the battery has to be perfect first. Keeping this in mind, one night at the terrace, both of us unanimously decided to work on battery technologies and build a green alternative that is equally efficient and effective as the batteries in the market currently. At that moment we had no clue what we exactly wanted to make. Also, neither of us was a science graduate and hence we had to read a lot to understand every bit of the genre we had chosen.

An old biochemistry book from our grandfather’s library gave us our first breakthrough towards innovating in battery technology. There was a statement that said “proteins may have potential benefits in electrolytes” and that was the turning point. We pushed ourselves into continuous research and development and finally ended up making an effective innovation in EV batteries.

What are some of the challenges you faced?

The beginning was exciting but on shaky grounds. We had to bootstrap and being freshers, just out of college, we barely had money in hand. So, we started by doing our research work online, by signing up on E-journals from our institutional mail IDs. Eventually, with a lot of reading and understanding of the E – mobility genre, we stumbled upon the idea we were looking for! Since then, we went on to experiment and developed a proof–of–concept. The initial challenges broadly belonged to the technical sphere as our product is purely based on innovation. A lot of time and energy was spent on research work and trial & error experimentation. There were days when we wanted to drop the idea and shift to something else, but gradually things began to settle for us. 

Battery technology research is booming and people across the globe are thinking about it, much more than before. Not just companies but technological institutes are also putting their heart into innovating in this domain. We consider all battery manufacturers, EV manufacturers making their batteries, and R&D institutes as potential competitors of Nexus. We haven’t come across a firm doing the same thing that we are doing with cell chemistry yet, but with the way start-ups are coming up in India, it is difficult to predict the longevity of our uniqueness! Needless to say, that is why we have been filing for multiple patents and copyrights.

How do you manage studies along with this?

I am into my startup full-time for now. I used to manage studies along with this as everybody on the college campus, from faculty to friends and classmates were all supportive about my venture and multi-tasking.

What were the initial responses like?

The initial responses are based on the testing and initial discussion results, which look quite promising. We are hopeful of making an impact in this segment since there isn’t any direct competition with regards to the use of biodegradable crop residue as the raw material. The world needs better batteries and being a startup, having the potential to bring a breakthrough in battery technologies, a lot of people show their interest in partnering with us.

It requires a lot of courage and confidence to embark on something like this. Where do you find the strength and positivity to grow this venture every day?

The idea of working in the E – mobility sector was well appreciated by all our near and dear ones and everyone was very supportive when it came to deciding on a particular genre. Most portions of the Nexus journey were conceptualized in the classroom and household discussions with our teachers and family members. We have witnessed tremendous encouragement from our friends as well. There have been times when technological innovation was challenging and ideation was turning stagnant but the motivation to make it to the finish line, kept us going. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that, in the initial days, our well-wishers were more confident about our venture than we were as founders!

What all have changed since you began your journey as an entrepreneur?

A Typical Day at work in the initial days was more theoretical research-based and revolved around both of us as founders. We spent almost 6 months only on theoretical research of the idea and once we were sure of certain elements we started working on practical tests. Our prototype was built at home during the lockdown. We used everything we could get at home to prove the theory of bioorganic batteries. It has been more than a year since this project and we as founders, are quite satisfied with the progress and timelines. 

With the gradual developments, we have an R&D and an administrative team on board, so most of the work for us has shifted from doing the experiments hands-on to only overseeing the daily tests. We have also been fortunate enough to be on good terms with the media, because of which some of the time these days goes in answering the media inquiries! As of now, the Nexus team is experimenting with a lot of more permutations and combinations to reach the desired efficiency. It’s fulfilling to be at work!

So many students want to do something outside their academics but don’t know where to begin. What do you want to tell them?

I believe, entrepreneurship is not just about making something new or earning profits, it has a bigger picture and all entrepreneurs must grasp the essence and difference of being an entrepreneur and a businessperson. We all set goals and we must be patient enough to achieve them. Every day, one needs to have the same enthusiasm as day 1 to make sure that the organizational goals are achieved. Persistence and perseverance are the keys! All of us, together, need to work towards making India the most happening Startup hub of the globe!

What’s your biggest learning lesson from this?

As time passed by, in the entire process I realized that entrepreneurship is not only about everything we do physically that makes it work. It is about the emotional strength the founders possess, it is about having the same enthusiasm throughout, it is about believing in yourself and your team and most importantly, it is a journey and it has no particular destination! Both Nishita & I believe in innovating to sustain and dream of a greener planet Earth!

What are your plans for the future? 

A crude form battery pack has been successfully developed and tested for its ability to power a 2-wheeler electric vehicle, its charging time, and its range. The current tests show a significant improvement in the energy density and driving range. The Nexus batteries also boast 8x – 10x faster charging.

The team is still working on the R&D to make the composition more efficient to derive better results. The crude form is promising and we are looking forward to building the MVP in the coming months. We have already spoken to 3-4 Electric Vehicle manufacturing companies in India to perform the market trials and the response is quite welcoming. We are hopeful of tying – up with multiple 2-wheeler EV manufacturers across the Asian region for the pilot program, scheduled for Q3/Q4 of 2021.

A slightly long-term plan for us would be to develop the Nexus batteries for 4-wheeler electric vehicles and commercial E – vehicles. We also want to cater to the mobile phones and consumer electronics industry in the future. An idea that gets us excited is to manufacture 4 -wheeler electric vehicles with design thinking for the mid-segment income group in India, but that surely is only an idea at the moment, and will certainly remain one until the batteries pave their way into the EV industry.

What’s your motivation to keep going every day?

A passion for automobiles and aircraft and the spirit to make a difference. Our motivation also comes from the positivity our team possesses. We believe, if the team is confident about something and enjoying their work, we should also keep going and give our best to make the organizational goals come true.

Nikita is doing her bit to save the planet but we must remember that people like Nikita and Greeta alone cannot save the planet, they need your and my support. Are we willing to do our bit for our future?

Her idea was great and the product was even more awesome, so reach out to her on LinkedIn before she becomes busy manufacturing batteries for Elon Musk.

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