We are publishing an interview of Mr. Mayank Raj Singh, Founder & CEO of RoboManiax at Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Founders of Robomaniax
Mayank Raj Singh – B.Tech (E.C.E) , Techie in Electronics and Robotics with Sound knowledge of Business Development, Analysis, Sales and Marketing, Proficient Communication in various languages, Social-Media Junkie, Entrepreneur, Traveller and Keen Learner of New things. He is the Founder & C.E.O of RoboManiax (Infotrix Technology Solutions).
Soubhik Bhanja – B.Tech (E.C.E), Techie in Electronics and Robotics with efficient and impeccable Creation and Content skills, Multilingual, Operations and Management. He is the Co-Founder of RoboManiax (Infotrix Technology Solutions).
Give us a brief background of what founders were doing before starting the venture.
This all started in the year 2015 when I was in my B. Tech, 2nd year. As an average marks scorer engineering student, I was always petrified with the words like interviews, exams and jobs. That year I was one of the coordinator of our college’s Tech Fest.
At that period of time, we gave many workshops on robotics and other stuffs. After the ending ceremony of tech fest, I and a friend of mine went to a beer bar that evening. After all the hard works and 3 long days of stressful work all we wanted was a couple of chilled beer. There we were talking about our upcoming jobs, interviews and how much we dislike doing jobs in IT sectors being an electronics engineer. Meanwhile my friend’s phone beeps and there was a message from one of our junior stating – thanks bhaiya! Today’s robotics workshop was awesome; we have learnt many new things from your group. This message striked me and I asked my friend “why can’t we start our own community where we will allow each and every interested person irrespective of their age to learn robotics.” We both thought about this program for a while and we agreed to start this when we will reach Kolkata.
After coming to home, we asked our parents to fund us so that we can buy some kits and spend some amount on promotions. But as any typical Indian family, our parents said that they are with us but only after we complete our B.Tech. As we were students and we didn’t had any funding, so we started it organic. We both went to numerous coaching classes and schools but every time we failed to bring a single project to continue with. But we didn’t stop there and we continued our search and after 3 long weeks, our hard work paid off.
We got a small coaching centre’s project which was for a single day only. But due to lack of funding we were in a great thought of how to execute it. As my friend and I were having just a pair of hand gesture robot’s kit so we thought of going with that only. We were very excited to give lecture and knowledge on what we know and what we like as it’s always best to chase your passion. On that very day, we went there and shared our knowledge and practical implementation with the school going students of that coaching centre. We took a test of what they have learnt and believe me they answered our rapid fire round questions correctly. After the end of session, we asked for their reviews and it was unbelievable to get all the positive reviews and compliments from them. That day we understood that there is no difference between a school going kid and a college student, if there is so then that is just the lack of any specific knowledge on robotics which is yet to be delivered to them. From that day we decided to continue our work with students.
We decided that if any coaching centre/school/college student have financial problem but have keen interest to learn robotics then we will help them to learn free of cost as nothing is most costly than knowledge. Till date we have worked with many NGOs, schools and colleges and we are continuing our good and happy work.
List all the names of the core team members, along with their skill-sets, specific domain expertise & designated roles. How do you see them evolving over time?
- Mayank Raj Singh- Founder & C.E.O
- Soubhik Bhanja – Co-Founder
- Riya Medhi- H.R./Recruiter
- Navnita Roy – Content Writer & Designer
- Shayak Bhattacharya and Team – Robotics Research Associates
- Pratik Deb – Business Development Associate (Assam)
- Soumyadeep Patra – Business Development Associate (Kolkata)
- Punit Chaudhary – Business Development Associate (Jaipur)
- Himanshu Garg- Business Development Associate (Haryana)
- Ravneet Kaur – Business Development Associate (Punjab)
- Sumit Sagar – Business Development Associate (Bihar)
- Rohit Pandey – Business Development Associate (Jharkhand)
More associates to be added after our hiring process and our team will promote our motive thoroughly pan India.
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
When we went to deliver our 6th/7th workshop, there we asked them whether they know how many transistors can be there in a single chip of size 14 n.m? Most of them answered in double digits and 2-3 students answered in triple digits but when we told them that world’s largest transistor count is 10 billion on Intel’s stratix 10 I.C.
They were amazed by the number they heard from us. This made them gain more interest for robotics. This is the biggest problem here, technology has become much more advanced than we can see or imagine. But there is no one to deliver this information to the students. In foreign states, they know how to make basic robots or about the components that can be used to make a particular robot from the very young age. But here even in colleges, most of the students don’t know anything or knows less than basic of robotics. If that foreign states children can then why can’t we??
What challenges did you face when you were starting out?
In the first 3 weeks of our venture wherever we went, we experienced only one word- rejection! But we didn’t stop there and continued the search for our first project. At last, one coaching centre named “Pathshala Activity Centre” in Kolkata with 40 students agreed to work with us. It was the breakthrough for our venture and with that we learnt many new things like how to deal, how to approach and how to continue our work. Following that we got three projects in hand in the very next week. From that first four, one school was so happy with our work that their principal has approached us to establish a robotics lab in their school.
How did you get the initial capital? What returns does it have? Tell us about the investors (if any).
After the prototype initialisation, when we asked for basic investments from our parents to start our venture; but as every lower middle class family, our parents said that they will help us but after we complete our B. Tech. But we were not in the mood to stop there. We saved money from the amount that our parents used to send every month when we were in college. After saving around 4K rupees, we bought a domain from GoDaddy, built our website (in Rs1800) and did the rest possible things with that amount of money to start like printing banners, reg. forms in little amount. Even though not aware of, later our parents made us to promise that if we fail or give up then we have to get a job and continue with that. But today we are very much satisfied in creating buzz in-between students for robotics with our team.
Please tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
We aim to provide quality education to young minds of all the ages on Science, Technology and Robotics via organising seminars, workshops and training in collaboration with the schools, colleges and NGOs PAN INDIA. Our model is basically an execution model abide with the presence of competitors in market. We believe in hands on experience for the students of our country.
What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have?
From the second year of our Engineering College, being an E.C.E student, we have showed keen interest towards robotics and learning. Before entering the real market, in the 2nd year of our college life we gave our first workshop to our juniors. Before giving that workshop we studied really hard to add more knowledge over our existing knowledge of robotics. Now also we follow the same routine, we use to study every thing from the very beginning to the very end to cover and learn new things on robotics. With every passing day and workshop we gain experience, both of acquiring taste of knowledge and teaching. We didn’t have any idea of real Indian market when we started our own. At that time we were nothing less than amateurs but with each passing day we learnt how to showcase our talent and how to deliver our knowledge.
What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has?
After doing a survey from the college time to the institutions where we have given our workshops, we saw that students have keen interest to learn new topic beside their regular syllabus. It’s like an alien topic to them where they can move robots by their command. We have also asked them whether they have done this kind of workshops or not. 30-40 % of students answered YES. But what they all have added beside their answer is that they haven’t done this kind of practical’s before. It is because we believe in hands-on-experience. We allow them to make their robots by their own under the guidance of ours. This makes them remember things better than just learning by seeing the blackboard/whiteboard. We ask for future coordinators who wants to stay connected with us after the end of every workshop and we appreciate their work. These coordinators can help us in future wherever we go, whenever we go to the nearest place they connect for workshops as this will help them to sharpen their knowledge and gain experience.
What is the strength of the start-up and the scale of operations? Who do You Perceive as Your Competition?
We aren’t seeing this as a competition. Because every competition create cons beside pros. We are here to give extra knowledge and skills on robotics to the students. We are not here to change education system of India but we are here to add an extra topic to their syllabus which is the future of technology. We are very much strict on giving best workshops to students. We have asked our core members also to do it without any bad politics. So, every start-ups or companies who has the ability to deliver workshops without any bad policies are our competitors.
What is the revenue model?
We are following the premium business model of offering high end products and services to students of all ages though they are in school, college or a N.G.O. Brand image is an important factor in our business model, as quality is often a subjective matter. We are providing quality service in low margin but with large impeccable volume. Moreover, Education & Learning will remain an ever consistent domain with time.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
Each and every person irrespective of their age who have keen interest in science, technology and robotics are our students. Technology never ends so does the age of gaining knowledge. In any technologically, developed country students from the very young age knows how to work with different basic electronics, electrical & robotics component, But here our students lag. We want to break the stereotype that robotics is an in achievable subject. This will help them to know that they are using many robotics thing in their daily life taking fans, switches to laptops, refrigerator, etc.
How did you get your first customer?
In the first 2 weeks of our venture wherever we went, we experienced only one word- rejection! But we didn’t stop there and continued the search for our first project. At last, one coaching centre named “Pathshala Activity Centre” in Kolkata with 40 students agreed to work with us. It was the breakthrough for our venture and with that we learnt many new things like how to deal, how to approach and how to continue our work. Following that we got three projects in hand in the very next week. From that first four, one centre was so happy with our work that they has approached us to establish a robotics lab in their school.
What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger?
And there is another plan to open another window of our venture that is robotics lab and academy setup pan India in schools, colleges and NGOs in a semester wise module. We will help any school or colleges with robotics lab setup and trainers providing on the basis of semester period. Moreover, we are distributing robotics kits and projects to students at a cheaper rate than the market via labs.
Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture?
If we need to sense the business done by our venture, it would be incorrect from our side because being at one region with an office we can’t guess the pan India business. Still we would say 10% ,that is the reason we are hiring associates from all over the country. Furthermore, Ed-tech learning domain is a much more consistent and ever field. After the launch this year in May month, we had 2K+ visitors on website regarding various queries, quite satisfying number of organic reach on social media page. Our start-up is fully bootstrapped and not funded externally by any means; so we have scooted our start-up from our pocket money savings.
What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
For the next six months, we have a bigger picture for our venture in mind. As robotics, there are many important subjects and computer languages which are very useful and ready to hold the market of technology. We will grow our team with more expertise trainers so that any workshop will not fall for trainer shortage pan India. Recruitment process we will start. And there is another plan to open another window of our venture that is robotics lab or academy setup in a 6 months semester wise in 32 cities in the New Year. We will help any school or colleges with robotics lab setup and teacher providing on the basis of 6 months period.
What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
We just want to tell few points to our upcoming entrepreneurs: – Practice doesn’t make a man perfect but perfect practice does. – When the whole world will be against you, and then remember you are going on a right track of your start up. – only hard work doesn’t pay as much as “hard+smart” work does. – You are neither more than anyone nor less than anyone.you’ll get what your “hard+smart” work deserves.
Any other information you would like to share:
Mutual work and Team effort are the keys to promote an organisation! We are a fully bootstrap organisation, we are not supported or funded by any other investor or organisation till date. For more information visit our website: www.robomaniax.in or check our Fb page: @RoboManiax