Led by IIT alumni, Witworks enables Indian inventors to rub shoulders with biggies like Google
Coming in May this year, two people will have the chance to become inventors and possibly change the way things are done across the world.
Omkar Kulkarni, an electronics engineer, and Bina Keshava, a working mother of three, have come up with ideas for a Wifi enabled audio streaming device and a hand-held electric dishwasher respectively.
These products(you can preorder) could very well hit the global store shelves with their names on it. And all of this conceptualised, designed and Made in India.
The inventors have come a long way from submitting their ideas three months back on Witworks, a Bengaluru-based startup founded by three IIT Kharagpur alumni that helps anyone become an inventor. After significant inputs from the online community and a rigorous process of design and engineering, the two products -- Trippy and Scrubbl -- have been given a final shape, form and specifications.
But the actual litmus test of the inventors lies in the Witworks pre-order that just went live on the first week of this month. For the products to be manufactured and made a reality, they are seeking the support of thousands of backers through a first of its kind ‘all-or-nothing' pre-order campaign.
Importantly, if Trippy and Scrubbl reach 1000 pre-orders each, Witworks will get them into production.
How it could disrupt the consumer product ecosystem, and what it means for India
Trippy aims to take on the likes of Google (and other Silicon Valley startups) head-on in the wireless audio-streaming space. It will be for the first time that an Indian company will hit the market with an IoT product at par with the West. At the same time, Scrubbl has the potential to be a new must-have device for kitchens.
In both cases this entire concept is an attempt towards democratizing the way consumer products are made and sold. “The success of this pre-order would be a validation of the fact that in today's connected world, users can themselves decide and design what they want. And India, the original home of quirky innovations and maker movement (read: jugaad) would have pioneered this product revolution,” says Smonath Meher, Co-founder, Witworks.
Both the products are out for a 30-day time-bound pre-order with a 1000 units goal for each. “We will get them into production only if we hit the required numbers,” adds Meher. While the concept of a Kickstarter like crowdfunding model is yet to catch up in India, doing so for hardware products is going to be even more tricky.
The brainchild of IIT alumni, Witworks connects the buyer and the maker in the entire value chain. The idea for a new product comes from the people facing a real-life problem, and hence, willing to use/buy it at the first place. The model takes the end user to the very beginning of the product development cycle.
“We are treading a thin line to make this work and democratize the entire consumer product space. And for that to happen, the pre-order's success is a critical validation. We need all the help and support we can have to get the word out,” outlines Meher.