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Tech | September 2019

Inventing solutions, our forte: Jothi Murugan of Robotex

Jothi Murugan, who has around 22 years of industrial experience in various fields like research and development, new product development, production and quality management and intellectual property (IP) rights, came up with a unique concept right after coming back from Germany, where he was working with a Research Institute. The concept was sown in January 2016 with the launch of his firm, Robotex, and then the partnership firm was registered in October 2018. On the nature of his new business, he says, “We invent new solutions, which will solve the problems of the spinning and automobile industry. We have also put up as our company’s tagline, i.e., Inventing Solutions.”

The idea

“In Robotex, we invent new machines and components for textile industry that could solve the day-to-day problems in spinning mills or which could help to improve the quality and productivity or help to reduce the manpower requirement.,” says Jothi Murugan, who is also the managing partner.

He adds, “In spinning, there may be a problem in Quality, packaging or may be in spinning preparatory. We have identified specific problems in the spinning industry and have tried to come out with solutions for that. This solution could be a machine or just a component. We have invented around 20 inventions in which 13 inventions are directly related to the spinning industry, while other seven inventions are more related to the automobile industry. We have developed prototypes for some of these inventions, and are trying to penetrate the market with these unique inventions.”

“We file patent applications, then develop prototype, conduct industrial trials and finally transfer the technology to machinery manufacturing companies. Alternatively, we are also planning to manufacture and market small-scale products”

Says Jothi Murugan, “We are mainly concentrating on more on offering Industry 4.0 solutions for the textile spinning industry. We have developed IoT-based product for the spinning preparatory machines. It is an intelligent process identification system. It follows the entire process of the preparatory machines and monitors it. I can proudly say that I am the inventor of that technology.”

For the automobile sector, “we have solutions for controlling the door opening and closing system, high beam lights, Display console and the Reverse parking. We use LiFi, WiFi and RF technologies to come up with simple and smart solutions. Apart from these, there are other futuristic technologies that are working focusing on,” he says.

“We have IP, and along with the model and prototype design, we go for industrial trials. Then we go to the OEM manufacturers and sell the idea to them. It is called technology transfer which is a part of Invention Marketing,” he adds.

Challenge to market the idea

Speaking on the challenges faced, Jothi Murugan has this to say: “At Robotex, the major challenge is to try to make the investors understand the business model of our company. Most of early Entrepreneurs are usually working on one invention and are selling it to the clients. But our model is to develop new inventions and sell the concepts and patents. This concept is quite new for this industry, and it gets difficult to make them understand the concept. In fact, it is a challenge for me too, as I am trying to find a suitable answer for that.”

He adds, “So far, we have successfully come up with some industrial prototypes and are facing some challenges during product validation. We are selling the ideas along with the prototype model and the Industrial trial results. It consumes more time and investment.”

“At Robotex, we don’t manufacture, only the Design engineering and IP engineering will be done in-house and we outsource other services. Obtaining the desired work and desired time from the vendors is really a very tough task. ” he says.

In China, around 14 lakh patent applications are filed in last year, while in India the figure is a mere 50,000. “IP awareness is very less in India,” says Jothi Murugan. He adds, “most of the Indian manufacturing companies believe that they could slightly modify and manufacture the IP protected product and they also think that Indian IP is not very strong and they can easily overcome it. This is just a myth. Government is taking so many measures to enhance the IP enforcement. If they infringe an IP, the consequences will be severe.”

Going forward

R&D is the heart of any company and same is the case with Robotex. A special R&D team is involved in inventing new products and machinery to provide world class solutions to the spinning mills worldwide. “We try to identify new problems and come out with solutions for the same. At present, we are developing the products using Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Cloud computing technologies. We have a small team of Engineers and administrative staffs in the company. We also have a team of consultants called “TechVentors” and we approach them for specific solutions.”

Since we are a startup, we are boot strapping as how most of today’s largest corporate companies began. We are looking for some angel investors who can invest in our company. If we capture 20-25 percent of the world market the turnover in next five years is expected to be around Rs. 100 crores. The initial struggling part is getting the financial,” he says. “Right now, I am concentrating more on international clients and my current focus is to sell the invention to some OEM companies. However, we have already developed a prototype and are approaching Indian and international companies. Talks are going on, and hopefully by the end of this year, we will sign some new ventures,” says Jothi Murugan with a positive tone.”

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