ROBOLAB – A perfect platform to explore, learn and build robots
This start-up is driving a change in education sector through robotics and automation
Startup Name: Robolab
Domain: Robotics / Educational
Founders: Amol Gulhane and Pratik Deshmukh
Robolab Technologies offers a tailor-made on-campus center of excellence in Robotics and Industrial Automation. Robolab came into existence out of the rigorous efforts by its founders in an attempt to transform the educational facilities in the country and provide an innovation platform for the students to showcase their skills and implement their ideas and to create employment for the youth. The founders having worked in the Robotics field for four years in their Engineering and with their association in Robotics and Automation Laboratory – Robot Study Circle in COEP, Robolab Technologies was bound to happen. They have worked on a variety of projects participated in various competitions and won laurels for their college at all levels, the founders decided to continue with the same zeal and impart it to the newcomers and other students.
Robolab is equipped with all the advanced technologies which are used in industries and it offers training courses consistent with the latest curricula and the industry requirements. They function as the perfect platform for its users (students and teachers) to explore, learn, build and share their ideas. They are on the mission to provide innovative and interactive training by industry experts which can empower the trainees to manage the Robolab in future. They have standard Robolab offerings and will also customize as per the needs of the institute.
Few of the many offerings from Robolab are,
- Advanced state of the art technical research facility within campus
- Hands on practical experience along with the required theory
- Consolidation of concepts
- Industry Institute Interaction
- Standard guidelines and essentials
- Superior quality and advanced robot study platforms
- Training by industry experts
- Affordable excellence with quick return on investment
Robolab was founded by,
- Amol Gulhane
Amol is a roboticist, he has deep experience in designing and manufacturing of complex and task specific industrial robots. He has a profound knowledge of educational and defense robots and is specialized in digital image processing, embedded programming, design analysis and optimization. With his entrepreneurial, management and technical skills, he plays an important role in shaping a great technology company.
- Pratik Deshmukh
Pratik’s right mix of technology and business skills forms a unique blend and comes in as a great positive feature to an innovative company. He has earned experience in technology consulting and solutions in the area of business analytics, analysis and consulting space. He is well versed in executing technology projects and has deep knowledge of various industry methodologies. He comes with unique ideas of working with large corporations majorly in the space of sales & marketing domains. With business development background and technical education, he has the fitting understanding on extensive areas of sciences.
The Cofounder crew had an interview with Amol, and here is the summary of it,
- How was the journey so far with Robolab?
We started working out the business model for Robolab in May 2013. Initially, we concentrated on cracking our first deal with Gurunanak Institutions, Hyderabad. Since then we didn’t look back, it gave us the necessary momentum and the ball kept rolling.
We officially got incorporated on Friday, 13 September 2013. In last 3 years, we have reached 12 key institutions spread across 7 states in India. We are also associated with the research and development team (ThinkTank) of Indian Military and giving technical solutions for the improvement of the Indian Military’s performance and safety.
- How did you get your first customer?
It took us nearly 5 months to crack our first deal. Our team met several institutions but most of them rejected us for not having experience. We left our comfort zone and started approaching progressively to many early stage institutions all over India. The pool was large so we had to target somewhere initially, so we chose Andhra Pradesh and began approaching Professors and HoD’s of top colleges. After almost 2 months from starting this exercise, we succeeded in breaking the ice.
To convince our first institution, we first met professors, then HoD’s, then Research and Development Head, then Deputy Director and then finally the Director, that too in just one day. We were exhausted with repeated presentations and all the talking but we were ready to do whatever it takes to convert them. Against all odds we got the order and successfully established the Robolab and delivered training at their campus. The management as well as trainees were well satisfied and recommended us to their counterparts.
- What’s your revenue model?
Recurring revenue model
- Establishing Robolab
- MoU to teach students for 5 years
- Lab Up-gradation after every 1 years
- Paid online courses for students
- Annual Maintenance Contract Others
- Research and Development for Indian Military
- What is the biggest challenge you faced as an entrepreneur while establishing your start-up?
Even though everyone we meet likes the idea of having Robolab at their campus, but the final decision takes some time which could have been properly utilized for the betterment of the students.
We overcame it by utilizing the technology to the maximum possibility. Most of the times decision makers want to clarify things face to face and we have started using the video conferencing for addressing such meetings.
- What is the biggest learning so far in your entrepreneurial journey?
The most important part of the company are the customers and your team, both work hand in hand. You have to maintain a perfect balance between your customers as well as your team.
- Who is your mentor/role model? What’s the best lesson you learned from them?
Be remarkable. Period!
– Mr. Sanjay Inamdar: Founder Flucon Equipments and Co-Founder Bhau Institute of Innovation, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship. (Mentor)
Look at the bigger picture; But don’t lose the tiny details.
– Mr. Narendra Kale: Founder Accelya Kale Solutions Ltd and Co-Founder Bhau Institute of Innovation, Leadership and Entrepreneurship. (Mentor)
The answer is always NO if you never ask.
– Mr. Bharat B. Ahuja: Director, College of Engineering Pune. (Advisor)
Be humble, Be strong.
– Mr. Anil Sahasrabudhe: Chairman, AICTE, Former-Director at College of Engineering Pune. (Advisor)
- How was your experience in bootstrapping your start-up?
Being bootstrapped keeps you on your toes. You are the one responsible for whatever happens to you and your company.
- Who are your competitors?
There are some who are trying to establish a part of the complete solution that we are offering. The reason for existence for those companies is completely different and we do not consider them as our direct competitors. We have the first mover advantage not only because we were the first but also because we are giving the best possible solution in the market.
We are taking every initiative to make our products and services better so that our customers can turn into our potential clients. We walk that extra mile to make our customers totally satisfied with our services. We keep doing research so that clients can get the best value for their money and remarkable experience. Our wide of range of services make sure we are always ahead of our competition. Few of our exclusive services are,
¥ Robotics education and training.
¥ Robotics solutions for industries, defense, domestic and other socio-economic problems.
¥ Innovations in Robotics and Industrial Automation.
¥ Providing economical solution (value for money invested)
¥ Cater to customer’s needs to the fullest of our abilities and competence
- What’s your tip for newbie entrepreneur?
You must be shapeless and formless like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.
Start Small, Start Quick and Scale Fast.
“The article was first published in The Cofounder. The Cofounder is India’s first print magazine which writes about early stage startups and entrepreneurship.