By @Connectvj –Interview with Pulak Satish Kumar, Chief Operating Officer at Puresight Systems (official distributor of iRobot products in India).
We interviewed him to know in-depth about him & iRobot. This is the 9th Interview of our Startup Showcase Series.
iRobot is Bedford, Massachusetts based advanced technology company founded in 1990 by three MIT graduates.
The company designs and builds consumer robots for inside and outside of the home, including a range of autonomous home vacuum cleaners (Roomba), floor moppers (Braava), and other autonomous cleaning devices in India.
Puresight Systems Pvt Ltd are the authorized distributors of iRobot products in India.
Explain your professional background briefly
I have a professional experience of about 15 years, cross-industry. I have worked with companies like Voltas, Havells & Phillips in different capacity. The area of expertise covers sales, marketing, business excellence and business strategy.
Presently, I am associated with Puresight Systems as Chief Operating Officer, and for the growth of iRobot products in India working on market penetration, channel development and increasing reach aiming higher top line YOY.
Who are your ideal customers and what difference are you creating for them?
Ideal customer in India is one who want perfect floor cleaning effortlessly. We want the irobot products to reach each and every household. Roomba & Braava are the products which makes automatic floor cleaning much easier and on their fingertips.
The real differentiation that these robots brings to the customers is “Effortless Cleaning” as compared to the traditional way of cleaning, it gives you ease of operating it from anywhere as Roomba is connected device. As a customer you get more disposable time for yourself, better cleaned floors and HAPPINESS.
With such a unique concept what challenges do you face within the market and the company?
The biggest challenge is to educate & make aware the customers about effort less cleaning against traditional way of cleaning. The challenge is to reach to every customer who had wished for this type of product for themselves. But, with the invent fast technology where reaching right TG is fast and easy, we are sure to see a big jump in this category by 2020.
What is the future of Robotics and automation at in the home?
There are many house-hold products from different companies are already available in the market that are Wi-Fi based IOT products. The increase in demand in automated products has forced home appliance companies to launch such devices and the customers can enjoy the benefits. Future holds a big share for robotics and home automation, this can be visualized today with the invent and use iRobot products, Alexa and smart lighting, all of these are part of the same series for future.
Tell us about your flagship product Roomba and how it came into existence
Roomba is a series of autonomous robotic vacuum cleaners. Introduced in September 2002, Roomba features a set of sensors that enable it to perform its tasks. For instance, the Roomba is able to change direction upon encountering obstacles, to detect dirty spots on the floor, and to sense steep drops to keep it from falling down stairs. Roomba uses two independently operating side wheels that allow 360° turns in place.
The Roomba units have a range of models with the 600 to 900 series (in India) , which provide several different features, such as faster speed, separate sweep canister, 5x stronger vacuum, obstacle avoidance, or performance maps displayed via a phone app. However, some parts of the Roomba models are interchangeable between related models, allowing a mix/match of features, or switching into other units for longer battery operation.
How has the company grown over the years?
We at Puresight Systems Pvt Ltd, have noticed the huge increase in demand of iRobot robotic vacuum cleaners over the past 2 years. We have grown more than double in last two years. We are expecting this to increase by 2X in the current financial year.
What about new product launches in the pipeline. What can we expect from iRobot next?
As iRobot is Nasdaq listed company and new development can be found in their website and NASDAQ. We can expect new products in near future.
What is iRobot’s ultimate vision?
For more than 25 years, iRobot has been a global pioneer in the robotics and consumer products industries. The company has sold more than 20 million robots worldwide. The iRobot board and management team is focused on a strategy of growth, innovation and allocating capital that maximizes shareholder value.
iRobot’s ultimate vision is making practical robots a reality. We at Puresight Systems Pvt Ltd, are in lined with this vision and working towards it.
What advice would you like to give the entrepreneurs who are planning to launch their own venture?
Anyone who wants to launch their own venture has to make sure that they are giving practical solution to their target customers, whatever field it may be and what consumer segment may it be. So, ideally we should try to pick any one problem for which we need to provide solution and do regress hypothesis testing before making investment.
On a positive note market is full of opportunities.
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