CEO and Founder: Pranoti Nagarkar Israni
"When I first started out as an engineer, I had trouble being taken seriously in a male-dominated field. Even when I started the business, I had to constantly prove myself to my staff and suppliers that I was capable of doing the right things. But I’ve learned that hard work and perseverance will always pay off, and you are more than capable of realising your dreams, no matter how long it takes." – Pranoti Nagarkar Israni
REINVENTING THE ROTI
Pranoti first thought about developing an automatic roti-maker while she was undergoing the painstaking and laborious process of kneading and preparing Rotis in her kitchen. Putting her mechanical engineering skills together with her husband and co-founder, Rishi’s software engineering skills, the Rotimatic was invented. The fuss-free machine kneads, cooks and pops out the perfect roti in 90 seconds!
READY FOR TOMORROW’S CHALLENGES
One feature of the Rotimatic is that it will never be obsolete, which is vital in an evolving technological landscape. The inventors continuously upgrade their technology and transmit updates to customers’ machines through an internet link. It will enable customers to enjoy more choices of bread in the future. There are also future plans in store to upgrade the software to allow users to churn out other types of flat breads and add ingredients such as herbs and spices to the dough.
PERFECTING THE PRODUCT
There was a great deal of funding which was needed to finance the project initially, which the company did initially struggle with. However, with support from crowdfunding and angel investors, the project was kickstarted. Pranoti concentrated on the hardware and design of the machine while Rishi wrote the code, fixed bugs, and constantly made updates to construct the perfect machine. At one point, they were producing 2,000 rotis a day in the office to assess the performance and reliability of the machine.
THEIR FUTURE ECONOMY STORY
- Rotimatic is the world’s first automatic flatbread making robot, and the company has plans to develop a line of products with smart kitchen technology that will transform the kitchen of the future.
- The company is exploring software to allow users to make other types of flat breads and add ingredients such as herbs and spices to the dough.
- The Rotimatic is also programmed to enable software upgrades over the cloud and remote troubleshooting via an app.
- Small and medium-sized F&B outlets are able to utilise the Rotimatic to their advantage as they are able to use the time that was previously spent kneading and cooking, to perform other tasks.
- Rotimatic is currently available in 40 countries, and the company has plans to expand further in the Middle East as well as Britain.
GETTING AHEAD WITH GRANTS & SCHEMES:
- Winning the top prize of $40,000 at the Startup@Singapore Business Plan Competition helped kickstart the company’s plans.
- Their first seed funding of US$400,000 from angel investors in 2010 and another US$3 million in funding two years later propelled the Rotimatic project further.