Sharath Kumar, Burgeon Systems, On building a Robotic Vaccum Cleaner
The robots are ready to take over your daily chores. Pune based Burgeon Systems has developed a robotic Vacuum Cleaner that can take away your burden of everyday household cleaning. Are you up for it?
We at YourStory.in find out more from Entrepreneur Sharath Kumar.
A Robotic Vacuum Cleaner is exciting! Tell us more about it.
Yeah, it is exciting. The robot which only does what it’s told! New technology for the daily chores is the theme here. In India, no one really uses their manual vacuum cleaner. They are used to leaving all the cleaning to their maids, irrespective of their own earning capacity. There have been a few cases of people training their maids to use the vacuum cleaner, but till date, that number is finger countable. Imagine cleaning the house at the touch of a button. It is as simple as that. The idea is to help people get rid of the dust in their homes, even on days when the maid decides to "maro culti" (take an unscheduled leave). Another interesting feature is that the machine can actually work unmanned, considering the current busy lifestyle. No more dreaded thought of cleaning the dusty house when back from a vacation.
At Burgeon Systems, using technology for simplifying lives of people is the mantra!
How did it all start?
It started with Jesudas and my intention to start a venture of our own, which builds upon embedded skills, experience and expertise. We started with creating solutions around tele-security systems and solar products, which had a choppy start. Next we spoke to Mr. Kulkarni, to help us mentor and give directions. We wanted to create innovative technology products to simplify lives. We launched the first product in Service Robotics around 8 Months back. Alongside, we are working on innovative products in renewable energy space and algorithms for service robots for effective navigation and coverage.
What all does Burgeon Systems offer?
Our aim is to ‘Simplify Lives with Technology’. Towards this, we developed four major focus areas: Service Robotics, Renewable Energies, Home Security Solutions and Embedded IT services. Our flagship product, SunTap, is planned to be launched in the next two months. It is an innovative product that works with the existing inverter system and reduces the monthly power bills by 30%.Did you invest your own capital to start off?
Yes, we did.
How are you marketing the enterprise?
We have been active in online marketing. The idea was to look at maximum reach with minimal expense. Hence, we created short video demonstrations to make them easily consumable via YouTube. We also are on social media channels Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Following this, marketing campaigns using email and text were executed. We have also done a couple of road shows. We organized press conference in September 2010 to educate the general public around the product and its concept. This was covered in all the major newspapers, starting with the Dainik Saamna.
Tell us about your sales channel.
Currently, we are directly selling the machines from our office in Magarpatta, Pune. The philosophy is that we need to sell first before we build the partner networks to sell AutoClean across the country. This way, we are able to collect a lot of learning from the market, and keep the next product ready with the right modifications. We have created a model for partnerships which can be deployed across India. There is a good amount of interest coming in from Bangalore and Mumbai.
Who all comprise the team behind Burgeon Systems? Tell us about them.
Mr. Kulkarni is the main guiding force, helping us with his wealth of experience in entrepreneurship and technology leadership. Jesudas is our Solutions & Technical Head, pushing us towards new directions and evaluating the overall economics of every decision taken. I am the Operations & Marketing Head, looking after tie-ups with various organizations and ensuring smooth functioning of various activities.
How do you deal with the competition?
To be honest, there are very few players in this area and an enormous scope to build the market. Burgeon Systems understands technology and hence would like to translate this into superior after sales service. Our major focus has been to provide a circle of trust around our products, providing service over and above the existing documentation and service level agreement. Burgeon Systems would continuously innovate and improve product to provide more value to customers.
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
Service Robotics is a new area for Indian Market. It is time for customers to believe that the robots can take up their daily chores. It is taking time and we had anticipated this. In renewable energy, the field is clumsy with too many players. This also creates an opportunity to make a niche for a tech company. In addition, people are wary about technology and innovative products since they do not get after sales service, since such products are imported and dumped in the market.
Do you plan to raise funds for going forward?
Burgeon Systems was the winner in the Pune- Hyderabad Boot camp which was organized by IAN and Spring Board Ventures. We are seeing a good amount of interest, both from Angels and Venture funds. Burgeon Systems is also looking at various other options to raise funds.Our short term goal is to launch the SunTap Product and deploy it in the market. We look forward to raise funds to grow to the next level.
What are your expansion plans with Burgeon Systems?
Burgeon Systems is a product company, hence, creating innovative products will be our main focus. A couple of innovative products are planned for launch this year in the renewable energy space. Burgeon Systems will be a 20-25 member team by end of 2011. The business network is expected to reach main cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Cochin, Chennai and Delhi. Burgeon System has a business growth goal of becoming a 100Cr company in the next 3 - 5 years.
For more details, do check out http://www.burgeonsystems.com/