Engineering grad offers robotic solutions for agri sector

In this week’s edition of Young Turks, Sheeen Bhan of CNBC-TV18 speaks to Anirban Chowdhury who has begun to usher in the future by bringing robots into the course of everyday life. Through his company Yogiki, which was founded in 2009, the engineering graduate offers robotic solutions for educational and agricultural sectors.

The idea occurred to Anirban Chowdhury during his days as a mechanical engineering student  in Chennai. The incredible response Anirban and his classmates received to their workshops on robotics confirmed the idea was a business proposition worth pursuing.

So, between projects and exams they devised a program to make robotics easier to understand and the trio launched Yogiki in 2009.

"We saw an opportunity but realised that it would be fruitful only if we provided training as students in India are not able to invest much money on robots.

We also provide a year’s service. The names of students who have trained with us are entered into our database and periodically intimate them about products and solutions on offer.

We even give discounts to students whose names are already in our database, "

Apart from conducting workshops, Yogiki also creates prototypes for industrial use. Having launched online store, My RoboBazaar, in 2010, Yogiki has already turned in revenues of Rs 50 lakh by sale of components and circuits.

Bhan: The target is to now cross the Rs 1 crore mark this fiscal. So, what's driving revenues?

Chowdhury: Our primary source of revenue comes from conducting workshops and training programmes. The second source is from sale of robotic components, circuits, batteries, motors and other accessories.

We have a strong R&D section which works on new technologies and products. There are few products in the pipeline like the robotic vacuum cleaner and a robot to work on strawberry farms.

With a foot print across 50 cities, Yogiki has guided over 30,000 students and tied up with over a 100 educational institutions like the IITs and ISRO.

With over 10 lakh students graduating from engineering colleges every year, Anirban sees a huge potential for his robotic venture.

Bhan: What are your plans going ahead?

Chowdhury: Going ahead, I would like to focus on consumer electronics and robotics. Personal robotics is yet to reach the high growth level as in the West. Our workshop and training arm has driven around 60%-70% of growth constantly for the last three years.

If the demand for personal robotics opens up, we plan to increase our growth targets at 100%-200%. Our plans will be to increase training and workshops.We have initiated a franchise system also have already around two-to-three franchise outlets.

The interest evinced by a few schools to set up robotics labs has opened another area of growth.