Capt. Samarth Singh is the head of the India-based brand firm, Hybrid Content and one of 10 Indian Ambassadors to the Spain India Council. In 2014, Hybrid Content designed a software that analyses and optimizes carbon emissions from ships and airplanes. This software is geared at helping marine and aviation firms reduce their carbon footprint.
- Capt. Samarth, your career has been nothing short of an adventure, you began working at the age of 17, what was that like?
You said it! Adventure personified. I began working with an environmental NGO in Mumbai to which I owe a lot of credit since it planted the seed of entrepreneurship seen in me. From there I went on to writing for a few national news publications and youth magazines. By the time I got to college, I was already working 3 jobs. I never did any of this because I ‘needed’ to, I worked because I wanted to, it made me feel important. In retrospect, the experiences I had working as a teenager and in my early twenties have made me overcome a lot of workplace challenges I face today.
- Prior to your startups, you studied to be a pilot. Why?
Do you know how a kid wants to be a hundred things by the time he turns 10. A fireman, an engineer, a doctor, an army man. All I ever wanted to do as a kid was put on a set of wings. Flying will always be my first love. I still clock hours every now and then by way of freelance and hobby flying and it is the happiest I ever am while working!
- You got your first startup from a college dorm room to the upmarket BKC in Mumbai. What was Hybrid Content like? How did it begin?
Hybrid Content was a shared dream. I put it together with one of my oldest friends and then college senior, Gaurav Deb. We were young, and wanted to do something rewarding in college. Hybrid Content initially only developed marketing content for corporates and publications. Subsequently, we added design and commercial printing to our suite of services and since 2010 have been a full spectrum brand firm. We have worked for some fairly eminent names in India and held some very important brand accounts like Durian, NSDL and the Centaur Group of Hotels (Air India).
- Isn’t the print space saturated? Did you feel the pressure scaling up?
Absolutely! I still maintain we have a long way to go with Hybrid Content. We spent hours and hours back in 2006 working for practically no money. It was a challenge. But the professional relationships we built in the first 2 years of operation have stayed loyal to us. We still feel the heat of competition, because both the brand and print spaces are filled with freelancers. We capitalize on the benefits of being a structured company and aim for the bigger accounts. That’s probably the only way we keep ahead of the competition.
- Let’s get to your second startup? What’s it called?
The software has been dubbed FlyHybrid and SailHybrid after the parent company. I trust the brand team within Hybrid Content won’t disappoint and we will drop you an e-mail as soon as we have finalized the software livery.
The software is simple, but functional. It analyzes a ship’s or an airplane’s (fixed or rotary wing) emissions by monitoring engine parameters like fuel grade, heat generation, exhaust gas content, exhaust gas temperature, fuel economy, distance traveled and many other smaller metrics. It is a software that needs to be locally deployed on every vehicle and a designated person will need to periodically check if data is being properly inputted. Over a period of 4 – 6 months, the software will churn out a ‘vehicle specific’ plan to alter machine operation thereby reducing or improving NOX and SOX emissions.
The biggest challenge we face with a startup of this kind is the resistance by a client to purchase since it is not prescribed as a requirement under maritime or aviation regulators. We are tracking this and are hopeful things will change by 2020. That’s when we really start making some money.
- When we last checked, you had quite a following on your blog?
I’ve never claimed I’m a good writer. I’m actually quite average. But, I love writing. And the readers have always been extremely kind. I’ve got into trouble a couple of times for the things I’ve said, but then again, that’s part of the deal I guess. I write majorly about, Foreign Affairs, Travel Reviews, Political Opinions and Tech. Do try paying me a visit at SamarthSingh.com.