23 Sep 2017, 09:31 — 7 min read
Robotics is a growing force sweeping through the world. Solutions provided by robotics have led to automation that optimises business processes improving outcomes in diverse fields. Yet, indigenous companies involved in innovative robotics and electronics are limited. Seeing an opportunity align with their passion in robotics, three young entrepreneurs, Pratheesh Prakash, Arun Joy and Puneet Melwani established Robo Inventions Pvt. Ltd. in Kochi in 2012.
After an initial period of bootstrapping and investing most of the revenue raised in R&D they now have a range of products and services like 3D printing and robotic solutions that attract clients from across India and Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Electrobricks, a kit developed by Robo Inventions for teaching students electronics is used by the Government of Kerala in 3500-4000 schools across the state. The three founders hope to bring a robot to every Indian home.
GL: Tell us about your business.
PP: Robo Inventions was started with the intention of spreading robotics and electronics throughout India and the world. For now we are concentrating on 3D printing and manufacturing of robotics.
Robo Inventions started off in the second year of my college. We started with the intention of working on embedded systems products. We wanted to release ‘Made in India’ products that would cost less than those currently sold in the market.
We are three co-founders. Arun Joy and I are graduates of Engineering from Pondicherry. Puneet Melwani is a dropout from Pune University. Being in the embedded systems market for over a year, we realised people were looking for automated solutions - robotics - for their factory.
We are working on three major verticals. The first is education where the Kerala Government is our major client. We have deployed a lot of Electrobricks kits. They are kits for training school students in schools. Roughly 3500 to 4000 schools in Kerala. The second is 3D printing. We have all the die manufacturing and all the CNC machine manufacturers coming to us for our 3D printing. The last is our robotics wing. Clients from Abu Dhabi and Dubai are purchasing our robots.
AJ: When we started the company, we saw that there were a lot of robotics companies around the world. We realised there was not one from Kerala. Since we began we have given a lot of young minds a knowledge of electronics.
When we were doing training for students with the Keltron Knowledge Center, we got money which was then used for development of the company. We have launched three products one of which was Electrobricks which we sold to the Kerala Education Department which was subsequently used by many schools.
GL: What are the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?
PP: When we started, we had the idea in mind to keep ourselves bootstrapped for a while. We wanted to develop revenues for our robotics R&D. We started by training school students and college students in embedded systems and robotics. After three years of raising money by offering this training we are now able to manufacture our own robots.
Our current team strength is six people. We are three directors and three employees. We promote all our employees in developing new ideas and thoughts. If anyone has a spark of an idea, we flesh It out and try and have a go at it. That is how we keep them motivated. Once in a while we have team outings. All of us generally have fun while working. It’s not so much effort keeping the team motivated.
AJ: The basic challenge was the money. Our idea was different and we didn’t have institutional support for our startup in the beginning.
GL: What is the USP of your business?
PP: Our USP is to optimise the processes that are there on the market. Maybe a farmer requires some hardware that can optimise his work and increase his production. We want to optimise these processes and reduce the cost of these processes.
GL: What are some of the milestones of your business?
PP: In our education vertical, we have developed the Electrobricks kit. That product is designed to teach electronics to school students. We wanted a way to teach electronics which would not require soldering or a lot of use of wires. These building blocks are colour coded. We had to make it streamlined, cost-effective and short-circuit proof. The child can actually put the kit in water and use it after it dries. Smaller-volume manufacturing capability was created.
AJ: We have been recognised by the Kerala Government at a young entrepreneur’s summit held in 2015. They recognised one of our projects. We have trained a lot of engineering students about robotics and electronics at an advanced level. Four or five years later they will be starting companies and bringing products to the market which is our contribution to the economy in a way.
GL: What role do you feel GlobalLinker plays in connecting & assisting SMEs?
PP: GlobalLinker can connect us to our clients on the education and 3D front. Manufacturers can approach us before making their dies and get prototypes made from us.
GL: What is your big business dream?
PP: The goal is to have a robot in every house and be a recognised name worldwide.
GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?
PP: My message to aspiring entrepreneurs is to develop your ideas into commercially viable products and to enjoy your work.
We at Robo Inventions have a motto — Learn, tinker and innovate. Sometimes building from scratch might take longer than reverse engineering. A lot of products have been taken out of the market because they are no longer viable but their parts and modules can still have value for a new product.
AJ: You will succeed one day but it will take time. There will be a problem of money. Recognition will take time. Everyone needs to have an aim. Stick to it and work for it. Hard work makes anything possible.
Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
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