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Meet the men behind Agnikul Cosmos: IIT Madras professor, ex-Wall St. trader and ops expert

By admin May31,2024

Chennai-based space tech startup Agnikul Cosmos, scripted history today after it became the first in India to successfully launch Agnibaan SorTED, a semi-cryogenic-engined rocket in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

Agnikul Cosmos: L-R- Srinath Ravichandran Co-founder CEO Moin SPM

The startup was founded in 2017 by CEO Srinath Ravichandran, a Wall Street trader-turned-aerospace engineer, operations specialist Moin SPM, and Satyanarayanan Chakravarthy, an IIT Madras professor. The startup was incubated at the IIT Madras Research Park.

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Srinath Ravichandran has over 10 years of experience in engineering, finance and project management. He has a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy in Chennai and Masters degrees in Financial Engineering from Columbia University and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

Earlier in an interview with Moneycontrol, Srinath had described Agnikul’s launch vehicles as scalable rockets that can be customised to cater to the needs of someone who wants to put payloads which weigh as less as 30kg.

Moin SPM is an operations specialist with over seven years of experience in engineering management, manufacturing, and supply chain operations. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautics from Anna University, Chennai, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Newcastle, Australia. Prior to Agnikul, he led a contract manufacturing company in the consumer packed goods (CPG) sector.

Professor Satyanarayanan Chakravarthy (Aerostrovilos)
Professor Satyanarayanan Chakravarthy (Aerostrovilos)

Professor Satyanarayanan Chakravarthy started off as a graduate student specialising in aerospace engineering in 1987. In 1991, he moved to the US to complete his PhD in the subject before returning to India in 1998. Since then, he has been a professor at his alma mater. He co-founded at least six IIT-Madras incubated deep tech startups including Agnikul Cosmos, ePlane, GalaxEye, Aerostrovilos Energy, TuTr Hyperloop and X2Fuels.

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In a interview with Moneycontrol, Chakravarthy said that he realised after teaching space technology for more than a decade, that experimenting with rockets was very difficult. So when Srinath Ravichandran presented him the idea of 3D printing in rocket manufacturing, he was sold. “It was crazy. I just jumped at the opportunity,” he said.

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