Machines proved more than a childhood fancy for Pulkit Gaur, 27, who quit his job and borrowed money from parents to set up Gridbots. The Rs 50-lakh, Ahmedabad-based firm makes low-cost robots for domestic and industrial use.
What motivated you to start Gridbots?
Robotics has been a passion since childhood. I made robots in school and college, and won a gold medal for designing a hybrid vehicle while doing engineering at Jadhavpur University. My first job was with Ahmedabad-based Meditab Software, but I craved innovative work. So, in 2006, after about a year, I quit to start Gridbots.
Was it easy to set up the firm?
It was difficult even though my parents provided the seed capital of Rs 10 lakh. Getting the core team was also a challenge.
What kind of robots do you make?
We have pre-orders for robots for the hospitality industry, which cost Rs 2-3 lakh (20% of the price in US or Japan), and surveillance robots, costing around Rs 50,000. We also make robots to clean homes, swimming pools and sewage systems. The US-based iRobot, one of the world’s biggest robot manufacturing companies, has approached us to work on similar technologies.
How do you keep the costs low and what are your returns?
Our turnover for 2007-8 was Rs 50 lakh. We keep costs low as we do everything from designing the hardware to developing prototypes. We also provide consultancy and our clients include the Ministry of Home Affairs, NID and start-ups like EduK.
What are your future plans?
Once we stabilise with our current products, we will venture into military robotics, which may take about a year. Besides, we are setting up a bigger factory for mass production and are talking to venture capitalists for the same.