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 Vikrant Singh of BATX Energies sharing his perspectives.

CLIMAFIX thanks Vikrant Singh for his valuable inputs.


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

First generation entrepreneur.

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

I have worked as a Research scholar in nanotechnology in various research organisations and also worked in a climate tech based startup as a Research Engineer.

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

 In college I was passionate about building the F1 class cars for national and international college level competition, when I was in 3rd year most of the racing competitions were shifted to electric driven. In the 3rd year of my (2018) It took 10 months to find a Lithium ion battery which we have imported from Korea. The second challenge was the cost of a Lithium ion battery was very high, almost the cost of a full budget gasoline car. It has created a very deep impression on why India is not into Lithium ion battery manufacturing, then realized that we don’t have natural resources like lithium cobalt nickel which is used to make lithium ion batteries, to solve that problem recycling is the only way to get materials. Initially I have never thought of a startup or company. I was only curious about solving the problem by building a technology for lithium battery recycling , working with professors and other research fellow in CAMD laboratory BML Munjal university. With the compilation of my Engineering I have developed a process to extract the materials from battery waste which no company is doing in India. It was through this experience that I truly understood the real problem and eventually started working towards a solution. That’s when BATX Energies came into existence. 

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

I met my co-founder , Utkarsh Singh. We had in common a project of building a car (college 2nd year) while I was working on my project to build an electric racing car in college. He was 3rd year at that time and he was involved in sponsorships . I have discussed the problem and challenges in Lithium ion battery tech and had a detailed talk about the problem .As a result, he decided to join BATX Energies as a co-founder.

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

As technology enthusiasts, we focused on building technology and products without considering the market demand. Initially, we successfully developed the technology on a small scale in the laboratory. However, when it came to scaling up the production, it required a significant investment. During the early days, we noticed that discarded laptop batteries and other sources still had some remaining energy. So, we started creating batteries using these used lithium-ion batteries and established a market for second-life batteries to support our startup. Eventually, we decided to use the profits from selling these batteries to fund a project for recycling lithium-ion batteries.

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

I think daily we have some Ah moments, But Securing Investment: Receiving funding from Hero growth fund after a year as a pre seed round was game-changer for BATX.

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

  Launching a Product Our first E- rickshaw lithium ion battery and first pilot plant for battery metal Extraction : The moment after launching our battery for E rickshaw that the team has poured their efforts into can be exhilarating and memorable. It marks a significant milestone and the culmination of months or even years of hard work. It’s a moment of anticipation, excitement, and pride in what has been created.

Unexpected Success or Recognition: Experiencing unexpected success or receiving recognition can be a memorable and amazing moment for startups. We were selected in Indian Startup VIVATECH PARIS. We had a chance to showcase our technology in Paris with Indian Govt Expenses . This could include winning industry awards, getting interviews in DD India, TImes ET now etc, getting featured in a Forbes 30 under 30 publication, or receiving positive feedback from a well-known figure. These moments have boosted morale and provide validation for the team’s hard work. 

Team Bonding and Inside Jokes: Startups often have a tight-knit team, and shared experiences can lead to funny and memorable moments. Inside jokes, team-building activities, and casual interactions can create a sense of camaraderie and make the journey more enjoyable. 


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

The biggest mistake I have made was focusing too much on Technology building. I think the first focus should be on market and customer feedback, the customer is the real validator in the market. Never get into something which tells you very short success. 

Always try to get in detail of the market, always go for facts and figures not on the basis of your own instinct.Avoid extra cash burn till the company is in growth stage. 

Initial team selection should be very strong, multitasking, trustworthy and we will only retain them by giving them respect and keep giving them opportunities to learn and grow.. Till growth stage founders are the key person to make everyone energetic and enthusiastic. 

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

Can they have the appetite to take a risk of 1-2 yr without salary and without any comfort expectation. 

Business Idea should fit in the model of Economic, Scalable and Sustainable format.

10. What keeps you awake at night?

Enthusiasm of Taking new challenges everyday, the vision and mission is not letting me sleep. 

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

Our team, Patience & Perseverance towards the battery waste management the humbleness, humility and perseverance is the biggest strength.

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

Attracting and retaining top talent requires a thoughtful and holistic approach. It’s not just about compensation but also creating an environment where employees feel valued, challenged, and part of a greater mission.

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

I would like to thank all our college professors, advisors and team members for their support in sharing their connections and experience. Could not have scaled without it.