Ask the Climate Startup is an interactive series we run at CLIMAFIX that derives key insights from innovative climate startup founders on many different aspects of their startup journey. (See all posts at Ask the Climate Startup)

This series is done as part of the CLIMAFIX Summit 2023, India’s largest climate startup summit, organized by CLIMAFIX & Energy Consortium – IIT Madras.

In this post, we have Krithikha Muthukrishnan of Green Sketch Consultants sharing her perspectives.

CLIMAFIX thanks Krithikha Muthukrishnan for her valuable inputs.


1. Are you a first, second, or later-generation entrepreneur?

Technically first generation, but my partner, Capt. Krishnan is also my father, so does that make it second generation, am not sure. But we are definitely the first ones to go into entrepreneurship in our immediate family. It’s been a whole experience unto itself.

2. What has been your previous work or professional experience?

I am basically an Architect, so buildings are my passion. Later, I was really interested to know how buildings affect the climate and vice versa.. I have worked in a very similar line prior to starting up on my own.

3. Were there any special or specific reasons for you becoming an entrepreneur?

All the usual suspects- A need to prove myself, to do things outside my comfort zone. But the key has remained that this is where I found my happy space. If it hadn’t worked, I might have probably not carried it through.

4. Where or how did you meet your co-founders?

My partner, Capt. Krishnan is also my father. But we are definitely the first ones to go into entrepreneurship in our immediate family. It’s been a whole experience unto itself.


5. Was there anything noteworthy you wish to talk about from your first year or the first couple of years of your startup?

Well, everyone’s experiences are different, but the most important thing I remember from the first few years is the constantly looming uncertainty. It was vague and hard to describe. In Construction, projects are also usually long and take 2 to 3 years. So, the uncertainty of success was always there.

But in that time, the small victories and step by step progress were that much more valuable and sweeter. And makes it that much more challenging. The desire to show up and power through was strong in the first couple of years and that has sustained us well.  

6. Was there an Aha moment/s during your startup journey that made a dramatic difference (positive or negative difference)

I think more than a single aha moment the build up of years of learning are more important. Entrepreneurship is not magic that with a click of your fingers, everything falls into place.. Its continuous incremental learning on not only the core thing you are working on, but so much more. One has to learn people skills, email skills, marketing, social media, branding, networking, collaborating, accounting, traveling and so on. And one can be successful only when everything comes together and works in harmony. So, for young start-ups I would say don’t search for miracles but depend on good old hard work.

7. Were there any memorable, amazing or funny memories from your journey?

Oh many! This section would be very long if I don’t contain it. Some of the best incidents are to do with the understanding of the concept “Green”. There was much less awareness when we started out and we had many questions like “can you make my Garden Green? – it has dried up”. “Does Green Building mean we should paint in Green Colour.” It was and still is good fun.

The overall kindness of people makes up for a lot memorable moment. People who trusted us and gave us work. Listened to us, gave us their time. You are in our hearts forever.


8. What was your biggest mistake in the startup journey? Something that you would like other startups to avoid?

Maybe not jump the gun on fancy workspaces and far too much infrastructure. No one cares if you are working in the corner of your parents living room as long as you do what you said you will do. Focus on things that matters. Other things will come in due course.

9. Looking back, what would you have tried to do differently if you were to start again?

Nothing really. Sometimes we have to make the mistakes we make and learn from them. It is the only way forward. Maybe taken a few more breaks here and there. It’s not the end of the world like everyone makes it out to be.

10. Is there a question you would like startup founders to ask before they start?

Ask yourself- What is your core Strength. Your Individual core strength. Not the company’s. Is it dealing with people, is it grasping technical concepts quickly, is hustling multiple things. Identify that. And then keep that at the core of whatever you do. Build up from that core strength.

Then ask of the world- How can this “core strength” of mine help the people of this world and then you have what you do.

For example, we, founders of Green Sketch feel our core strength is teaching. We can guide and lead people through difficult concepts and technology in the Green building Industry to their advantage.


11. What keeps you awake at night?


12.  What do you think are your biggest strengths that are especially helping you in your journey?

I have already mentioned teaching. But empathy has been another core strength that has stood us in good stead. Am sure it’s a key strength for many successful start-ups. 

13.  How were  you  able  to  find  –  and  retain  good  talent  –  given  the  vast,  lucrative opportunities such talent has today?

Its hard. Once again empathy is key, towards the people who will go with you on this journey. When you are passionate about what you do, it rubs off on the people who work with you. Keep it simple and professional.

14. Was there some support or help you received in your startup journey that proved critical? Who would you like to thank?

All help we received is critical. Words cannot express the gratitude we feel for immediate and extended family and friends

We are grateful to our team- they are the backbone of this organization. And heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of our clients- for their faith in us.