Avontec Automation: A Story Of Perseverance
Written by: Kriti Anand
The Entrepreneurial Journey
“Success and learning come from the worst experiences.”
Carrying a legacy is as much of a challenge as creating one. Uma Nidmarty has taken that challenge head on, and has come through as an entrepreneur of tremendous merit. Uma came back from the US in 2016, as the CEO of Lectrotek Systems Pvt. Ltd., now known as Avontec Automation. She has transformed the outlook of her parents’ enterprise and is responsible for its introduction to the world of industrial Internet of Things and beyond.
Uma’s diverse and cross-functional experience spans Strategy & Business Planning, Sales Transformation, Brand Marketing, New Product Innovation & Commercialization, Technology, Leadership Development, Program Execution, Industrial Automation, Startup Ecosystem & Portfolio Management, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management.
As an internal entrepreneur at organizations like PepsiCo, IncEMC2, Mercedes Benz and Altria Group (Formerly Philip Morris), Uma drove strategy and execution across large, international, multi-million-dollar projects aligned with organizational goals.
As she took over the working of the company, Avontec saw an increase in its revenues by no less than 40%. She helped streamline the company’s products from 270 to 75, increasing production efficiency and profitability. It was in 2018 that the company changed its name from Lectrotek to “Avontec Automation”, to better reflect its capabilities.
In addition to her current role as the Director at Avontec, Uma serves on the board of 5F World (A Ganesh Natarajan company) as well as HIIT80 Fitness, a unique tech fitness brand to hit the Indian market.
No entrepreneur can truthfully say that their journey of running an organization has been smooth. Like every entrepreneur, Uma had to face obstacles in her path, too. Two years after she took the reins of Avontec in her hands, the company fell into a situation where under the influence of malicious outsiders, the partners moved money out of the company, engaged in activities without disclosure, demoralized employees, and disenfranchised the company’s supply chain. Never one to back down in the face of challenges, Uma turned this setback into an opportunity for learning, and began to work through it with the help of her brother.
Avontec has begun to overcome this hurdle already and is starting to see the successes it had reached prior to it. The greatest support amidst this have been the company’s ferociously loyal customers, employees and a supply chain that has supported it through the toughest of times. The team at Avontec has taken on the challenge to rise from the ashes and are already seeing the results of this unflinching dedication.
Uma says, “I wanted to highlight this experience because the life of an entrepreneur is fraught with peril, but also creates the highest learning. Anyone who has found themselves in a similar situation should know that most learning in life comes from negative experiences. And even when you are going through your worst times, you should know that, this too, shall pass.”
Company At A Glance
“We solve real business problems by designing and implementing solutions that seamlessly integrate into your existing manufacturing processes.”
Avontec is an innovation-based, technology-driven High End Industrial Application Engineering, Digital Transformation and Automation Partner Organization. The company designs and delivers high-impact transformative industrial solutions that exceed customer expectations.
Avontec Automation specialises in Automation (material handling), Industrial IOT, and Process Instrumentation. The three types of products/services that Avontec has an expertise in, include:
Automation: End of line Solutions, Conveying and Packaging Systems
Transformation: Leveraging the IOT software platform to increase line and machine efficiency and productivity
Visualization: Large Industrial Displays, Process Control and Indicating Instruments
With a highly experienced team working together, the company has Fortune 100 clients across various industries such as Food & Beverage, Home, Personal Care, Pharma, Petrochemical, Automotive, Steel, Power & OEMs. The team includes highly qualified design, mechanical, electronic and control engineering experts, and is a single solution provider for all of customer’s relevant needs.
Avontec provides custom automation solutions to the customers that enable them to optimize their productivity and better utilize their resources. Application engineering is not only Avontec’s forte, they live and breathe application engineering.
A Woman’s Journey
Women have been entrepreneurs alongside men since the dawn of time. It is only now that society and women themselves have started seeing them as such. Today, women have limitless opportunities to grow and prosper in most places. With the internet as omnipresent as it is, any woman can tell her story and if done well enough, can open doors further for herself and for other women. Uma hopes to see the heavily male-dominated startup industry of India make place for its women entrepreneurs, and would love to mentor any woman through the process.
Her own experience as a woman entrepreneur has been distinguished. Entrepreneurship does not differentiate between men and women, it just grows with the person. Uma’s experience has been undoubtedly overwhelming, going through its own ups and downs in managing to find a work-life balance, but she has always found a way out. The key is to keep your eyes on the bigger picture and keep moving ahead. Good business practices, genuine interpersonal skills, and solid time management practices are qualities that can be embraced regardless of a person’s gender.
“When you can clearly communicate the WIIFY (What’s In It For You) to your customer, employee, supplier or family, the battle ceases to be one.”
Having come from a family where women are recognized for their prowess and not for their gender, Uma has been fortunate to be at the receiving end of opportunities that contributed to her success. It is her commitment and hard work that helped her rise beyond people’s expectations.
Looking to the Future
Avontec Automation has a fifty-year legacy to stand up to. In these five decades, the company manufactured over three hundred and fifty world-class products indigenously and was showered with innumerable accolades. With such a glorious past behind it, the future cannot be, but brighter. Avontec has ambitious plans for its growth and that of its people. They plan to scale exponentially, building collaborations with foreign establishments to manufacture machinery in India.
Uma claims that just as the PMO has helped reduce corruption and red-tape in the processes of running MSMEs, if the government could enable real liquidity and credit for them, there is no stopping Avontec Automation and countless others like it in India.
This year has turned over a new chapter in the history of Avontec, and in this changing outer landscape, the world is its oyster.