Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Keerthi Reddy Kotta: Tracking vaccines with blockchain

StaTwig builds a blockchain-enabled vaccine supply chain management platform to give stakeholders complete visibility of all vaccines at all times

Manu Balachandran
Published: Feb 11, 2021 02:48:20 PM IST
Updated: Mar 20, 2021 02:21:23 AM IST

Keerthi Reddy Kotta: Tracking vaccines with blockchainImage: Harsha Vadlamani for Forbes India

Keerthi Reddy Kotta | 24
Co-founder & COO, StaTwig

Logistics has always been in Keerthi Reddy Kotta’s blood.

Her family runs a transportation company, Soni Transport Solutions, a Hyderabad-based firm that owns buses and trucks, and has been in the business for 25 years. “Perhaps, that’s why I have always had a liking towards the logistics and transportation sector,” she says.

After graduating from the London School of Economics, Keerthi returned to India following a brief internship at Singapore-based supply chain company, Quincus, to join StaTwig, a five-year-old Hyderabad-based cloud-based solutions provider for cold chain monitoring.

StaTwig has built up a vaccine supply chain management platform that ensures all stakeholders have complete visibility of all vaccines at different stages, using blockchain, and also predict and prevent failures in supply chains. Today, Keerthi owns a 5 percent stake in StaTwig and intends to raise it this year.

The company’s signature product, VaccineLedger, allows for end-to-end tracing of vaccines from manufacturers to the end customers, providing tracking ability to all the involved stakeholders through blockchain, recording, and providing real-time tamperproof data to improve transparency. “Every product is assigned a unique ID and an alphanumeric code that is globally recognised, allowing the product’s lifecycle to be traced efficiently from production to distribution and dispensation to patients at the drugstore or hospital,” says Keerthi.

At each touchpoint, the platform records data such as quantity, temperature, timestamps, chain of custody, and price against the unique QR codes. In 2018, Unicef invested $100,000 in StaTwig as part of its plan to ensure smooth delivery of vaccines to children in need. The company was among six of the 50 companies that received the investment.

“In the starting phases, Unicef helped us develop our platform and declared us as their ‘preferred vendor’ to enable global sales,” Keerthi says. “Along with this, being a part of the World Economic Forum Covid-19 platform has provided us a great opportunity to scale our solution in global supply chains.” The Telangana government has roped in VaccineLedger to help with the vaccine distribution programme.

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 “There’s increasing need for blockchain during the pandemic, especially with the supply chains being broken,” says Ramadevi Lanka, director for emerging technologies with the government of Telangana. “Companies such as StaTwig can help remove the weak links and improve supply chain efficiency and transparency.”

Keerthi Reddy Kotta: Tracking vaccines with blockchain

(This story appears in the 12 February, 2021 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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