Kannan has a track-record of successful development and commercialisation of customized solutions in the domain of electro-mechanical engineering, particularly for contexts that are price-sensitive and demand high reliability. He engages widely with grass-root level organizations and NGOs working with rural poor on sustainable solutions that improve quality of life, from whom he draws inspiration for pioneering new solutions that hold the promise of scalable impact.
He has been a serial entrepreneur, and has founded a number of for-profit and non-profit entities:
- Sunbeam chain of schools (1990)
- Vortex Engineering (P) Ltd. (2001)
- Centroid Design (P) Ltd. (2008)
- Fractal Foundation (2009)
- Microspin Machine Works (P) Ltd. (2011)
He is the inventor of
- four patent-pending inventions related to automated currency dispensation
- one patent-pending invention related to staple-fibre carding
- one patent-pending innovation related to simulators for skill-training
He has also mentored several innovations under Fractal Foundation, two of which are patent pending. Fractal Foundation was awarded for Social Innovation in the Innovation for India Awards 2012 by the Marico Innovation Foundation.
He contributed a key engineering solution for a community health initiative that was recognised at All India Ophthalmological Society Congress. He is associated with initiatives like Villgro and NEN that promote and mentor entrepreneurs.