CHINO, Calif. – Ashwin Sheth’s heart swelled with patriotic pride as he walked out of the theater after watching the Bollywood movie “Mission Mangal,” based on the true events of the Indian Space Research Organization successfully launching the Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) as he knew that the orbiter had optics, lenses, lasers and microwave components that he had sourced and supplied. In fact, Sheth’s brainchild, Liberty International, has just celebrated 25 years of doing business with India’s space missions.
Sheth was a director at Systron Donner, a defense company, until 1994.When the company was sold, “I did some soul searching… I had taken my engineering degree away from my country and I wanted give back to India,” the Indian American entrepreneur told India-West. “Soon enough, I had a Eureka moment which propelled me to become an entrepreneur serving India by providing some of the prestigious technology entities with much needed components. There was a need for space and aerospace materials in India and I began to fill this need with very reasonable pricing.”
Today, Liberty International is a multi-million-dollar company doing 80 percent of its business with all seven divisions of ISRO. Sheth and his life and business partner, Divya Sheth, are sub-contractors and distributors of components, keeping in mind that there is zero room for error in their business.
They are one of the few companies in the U.S. holding export licenses to provide highly evolved technologies to India. “We win Government of India tenders first, then source vendors and complete the supply chain process. Our business is very transparent, and we disclose the entities of the vendors to our customers. Then, our customers, vendors and we have to be on the same page,” Sheth explained to India-West.
He said the ability to learn the technologies is critical along with having an in-depth understanding of how to navigate the policies of doing business in India.
While Liberty International operates with just the husband and wife team in the U.S., they have five offices in India. Divya Sheth has emerged as a savvy businesswoman and Sheth told India-West with pride, “Divya does all the export licensing, purchasing and banking. I take care of the technology side of things. Over the years we have acquired the trust of other companies we do business with such as Hindustan Aeronautics, Tata, Bharat Electronics and even IIT research institutes.”
At 73, Sheth still works 12-hour days and shows no signs of slowing down from when he was an engineering student at Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi. He later received his MS degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Liberty International has grown in revenue during each of its 25 years and 2020, according to the Sheths, is projected to be even better.