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From an Agent to 3D Printing Legend

Vishal Jariwala - CMD & Founder J Group Robotics

I wasn’t born with a Silver spoon, in-fact in a poor family. Cousins old school uniforms altered, old books, going in Share Auto, Bus as not able to afford School Bus. But gradually my parents put all their efforts and savings to successfully raise us up and break through the poverty, they pretty seemed to be elevating it from a lower class to a middle class standard in the society. In schooling I use to be one of the toppers until 4th grade, from being a topper to an average, then landing up to be an under average student shows clearly that I was loosing interest and was attracted towards the social life. All my cousins were getting highly qualified and I was the one who was left out. Apart from being taunted so many times, was also counseled by family members. My mother tried if I could become a doctor as it was one of the profession which could bring stability in my life, unfortunately I was highly unsuccessful to clear the entrance exam. I was then routed to Engineering, as that time this profession also could get a good stability in ones career. I tried for Engineering, could not get an admission even in the college which had a low cut off percentage requirement, had to drop out the idea of being an Engineer for a year, took up B.S.C. to be a Science student and maintain the education standard in the society. Being a B.S.C. student with no interest in the field I loved being an Actor (acted in College, Society and finally couple of commercial films), Directing a documentary Movie, Writing a movie (1 Written), I started enjoying my social life in the college but slowly understood that these things are not leading me anywhere. In order to be in a richest circle, I had no money, use to get money from home only for travelling and eating vrunch, for my saving use to go walking, sometimes hungry for less money realized the importance of money in life.

I started working in the events distributing coupons, worked as a courier boy, sell mobile phones, windows installation, joined Domestic Call Centre along with my B.S.C. , I was told B.S.C. doesn’t have a great future, should try for Engineering. I finally got an admission in to an Government Affiliated Engineering College and started attending the same. Money was not enough as the needs were increasing, realized that if I work with an International Call Centre IT Process had a better chance to earn more, finally after many tries got selected in an International Call Centre IT Process, was very happy with the pay scale offered as it was the first time in my entire life, could see approx 15000 INR in one go. Everyone including my Grand Mother, Father & Mother was extremely happy.

I had understood the importance of savings and had seen my father the way he was struggling, working hard, saving each of his penny, trying to keep the needs of the family. Understanding the requirements my father took a bigger house (joined two houses) as the kids were growing up. Initially my parents let me spent some money and live my life, I took a third hand car with my small savings, but spent all my money fixing the car, finally ending up having no savings. My parents wanted me to understand the reality of life and come out of this social balloon and start practically living my life. My father from his savings afforded us an assembled computer as he wanted us to learn and never keep ourselves behind. We, especially my younger brother Vaibhav Jariwala learnt playing games, instead of working. One instance I remember that the game required us to upgrade the RAM and we requested Dad to get the computer upgraded telling his Tally software wouldn’t run and it shall also make the computers faster. My Dad was smart enough to understand but he still got us 2 RAM’s of 500 MB each making it to 1 GB. In order to avoid the computer technician charges, my younger brother tried putting the RAM, but burnt the first one. It was a setback for us, but we later learnt the entire assembly. My mother had seen the smoke coming out of the computer and when ever we use to play for a long time, my mother

My mother had a dream of having a bigger house and living in tall buildings, parents saw a home in a good offerings and offered me to partially pay the installments and they could sell one of their house out of two, keep one for their savings and one as an investment in the new house. Possession of the house was within 2 years till then my salary increased. One tragedy when I joined the International Call Center IT process, I was promised to be in the IT process, but then realized it was on the calls, troubleshooting the U.S. Clients for Networking and Internet related issues. I tried speaking up to the management but then did not complain as the pay I was offered was market competitive and I was also responsible to pay off the Home Loan Installments for my home taken in a tall building, which became a responsibility of my life. I was in such a pain working in night shifts; I use to cry and complain to God, shared it with my close friends & colleagues, I use to tell my them I will do something big, they use to say one day you will become a “Star”. With love my friends use to call me “Star”. I successfully completed my Engineering and till then was promoted, and was now handling escalations. I learnt Team Building, Professionalism, Importance of Time, Career Building and gained many more qualities. I still remember all our team members use to love working as the environment created was beautiful by our leaders. My father then asked me to do M.B.A with distance education; I agreed and happily took it up. I remembered after having a long time in the same job, either one quits or go for a better opportunity outside, or looks for a internal job promotion. I applied for an IJP for (MIS) Management Information Systems, being done with Engineering, seeking MBA and among the top performer in job and cracking a good interview lead me to a position of a MIS officer, my leader taught me how to maintain data and my senior leader taught me how to lead towards success. My team had changed; my performance was loved by everyone. There were ups and downs had experienced all the feelings, but with great work pressure, new role, recent promotion and improved salary had to give my best, use to work 14 hours a day to improve the system, created automation reports and data handling, people started liking my skills and I was getting recognized. But after same work in the system, I got promoted to Senior MIS and then lead to a path of a short success with small growth in my salary. Our family was indeed happy as mean time my brother got a Government scholarship to study in U.K. for which partially my parents had to shell out all his savings and also sell his house. Mean while my Father retired as a Lawyer and started small Laws and Real estate practices. Slowly as the days moved on, there was an IJP for Internal Auditor, I applied and was lucky enough to clear it. There were certain politics, but until then had learnt how to handle those. So finally after getting promoted as an Auditor had to learn many things, the role seemed to challenging but interesting. I was suppose to Audit everyone’s task in the system and score each process and finally site. With power comes respect, slowly being in the Auditor role learnt how each function in the business should operate. Slowly with time got into the Senior Auditor role and was now handling the entire India region Audits for the company. I learnt traveling had to travel for Auditing sites at different locations. First time had sat in plane, was very happy to sit on the window seat and see how the world looks from above. It was an amazing experience. Started living my life “King Size”, but then with time the Job started getting monotonous, but with good salary and position didn’t complain.

I was working with Corp-orates, always had a passion to be so called a Businessman and an Industrialist. My brother Vaibhav Rajendra Jariwala returned to India from U.K. completing his Mechatronics Engineering, and we had also shifted to the new house recently, also got a lovely Labrador named Jummie. One day on a lunch while mom was cooking hot Roti’s and we were seated on the Table waiting for the Roti’s and discussing how was life in London etc, then my brother asked me how am I doing, I told him with a smile ‘I am at the top level Auditing Directors and their Sites’. He was happy to hear and told me to work in U.K. which would fetch me more money than what I am earning now. Later my brother mentioned that he had got an offer from “Honda”, also want to apply for “BAE systems” which will offer him good fat salary. He also mentioned working there in Mc Donald’s, people earn Lakh of Rupees. I was smiling and was confused, but till then the Roti’s came on the table and mom complained about the back pain she has while cooking Roti’s.

It all started from there, I asked my brother if he could make a Roti Maker which could automate the entire process, Mom added it will be a super hit product and there would be many people who will want this product. My brother said it was easy from him to develop. We then started eating food and finished the lunch. Next day in the afternoon when Vaibhav wakes up, he says it was very easy for him to develop and has a complete Technical plan on how to develop the Roti Maker. I also went to office and started explaining all about the Roti Maker; people were so happy for the idea and started praising my intelligence”. I was literally excited to build one; with my small savings we started building the Roti Maker. Finally a thought came to my mind a being an Entrepreneur and building a company. Mean while I had also completed my MBA, on it several years of experience in Audit Field, plus my brother’s confidence to build the Roti Maker made me feel that I could be the next “Industrialist”. Vaibhav designed a CAD model and we also filed patent application for the same. In order to manufacture the model, we had to visit the Industries, but he said the local industries here will not be able to give the precision, but after visiting couple of industries he figured out how to make it in Metal and the first model was made in metal, we tested couple of Rotis few were failure but then it started giving the results. I still remember Jummie wanted to eat the good Roti’s. Finally we all were happy and decided to take it on to the next level. We started finalizing on it and came to an conclusion that we need to create a Die & mould for this, but when we took out the prices for the same. The entire family was literally shocked to see the prices were running in Crore only for manufacturing, plus the marketing and other operational cost. Vaibhav then researched and told us there is a second method we could create a complete working “Prototype” and find a crowd funding or an investor. My Dad and Vaibhav really worked hard to find where the “Prototype” could be made. Finally we were surprised to see only 5 to 6 vendors in entire India and out of which the one in Mumbai had quoted us around 60 Lakhs for the to create the “Prototype”. All came home and were thinking what next, we started finding an Investor and got Mr. Vallabh Lukhi a friend, diamond merchant, seed investor. We explained him the entire Idea and he was also really happy and was interested in the project, he said he could raise funds from the Diamond Industry and together let’s do business. But then next day Vaibhav studies about the “Prototype” so called as “Rapid Prototyping” , “3D Printing”, “Additive Manufacturing” market in India. He said this market is going to be very much bigger than the Roti Maker Market because everyone would require prototyping services. Mr. Vallabh Lukhi also understood the growth opportunity of 3D Printing in different sectors like Automobile, Aerospace, Manufacturing, Engineering Products, Packaging, Consumer Packaging Products, Toys, Architecture Models, Engineering Colleges, Jewellery, Dental, Medical and many more. We all decided to build a 3D Printer as there we very less competitors into the market. Then we figured out how to make one, first printer was imported to study how it works as the open source 3D Printers we available into the market, made it feasible for us to develop. Mr. Vallabh Lukhi funded the development of the 3D Printer and my father help us with all the legal aspects. The making of 3d Printer started in our house, the first 3D Printer was finally created in wood took over months to build the same, certainly there were some issues but we decided it to figure out in due course. Finally we demonstrated it to Mr. Vallabh Lukhi and he agreed to go further on it. Finally on 12 September 2013 J Group Robotics was born, we decided to register the firm with a Private Limited Label, name it as Jariwala Robotics Private Limited. We took a small office with an underground basement, decided to manufacture 3D Printers at the Basement and Sales at the top floor. The top floor was made with a demo zone, accounts section, conference area and my cabin. With limited budget we learnt architecture and interiors. With the 3D Printer we made one “Angry Bird” and that was the only prototype we had to demonstrate, with the new opening of the office we called all our friends, relatives and known businessmen for the office opening. I explained the concept to all by being a speaker at the opening event, every one congratulated us. The journey of entrepreneur started. Dad holded our hands and was our extreme support. We started figuring out vendors, how to hire people. I had left the Job, mean while I had my old company people who left the Job and supported me in the mission. Vaibhav took time to understand the corporate functionality, but he was on the machine working day in day out to build success. We all knew he was the brain behind the entire plan. All supported him happily. There we big talks we being compared to the business tycoons, which filled more energy into our work. Finally after spending lakhs of rupees our result was awaited and delayed. It was 8th Month everyone lost hope and my friends understood I was in to loss are no sales just R&D on to the task. My friends left to avoid my losses as their salary for every month was not justified. All the efforts went into procurement and finding a right vendor to develop an accuracy product. Finally we found a vendor in Gujarat, he also screwed up the manufacturing process by not delivering the accuracy parts. Finally one printer was build and put into exhibition. We took 2 stalls, finally the machine had an issues working. The exhibition was a complete failure because the machine worked a little and the exhibition was a Jewellery exhibition and we realized there were different types of 3D Printers for Jewellery. Mr. Vallabh Lukhi, including me were shocked and finally realized the machines shall only work for Industrial sector. Many left and we had to rehire people. Finally all sat together and decided to take this product ahead as this product is also the need of the market. We made a batch production of more than 100 units and the investment was huge. Finally the first printer was accepted by “Indian Navy” and we saw a light in the darkness. We still remember how difficult it was to plan the delivery, installation and training for the first 3D Printer. It was difficult but we learnt a lot. Finally after trading couple of 3D Printers in the Market we participated in the couple of exhibitions, we were given free stalls at some as the technology was new and it was a prestige to see a 3D Printer in the exhibition. We made a press release with one of my closest friend and orders started moving from 5 to 10 units, supplied in colleges. But Vaibhav realized in one of the exhibition that the accuracy of the product can be developed more by using a delta technology. Our all printers were orthogonal system. We started building Delta 3D Printers and it was a huge success in terms of 3D Printing. Our old orthogonal 3D Printer models were put to side, there were price variations to sell and clear the stock. But still we were not able to clear the stock as Delta came into demand. We were not making profits for until One and a Half year and one of the Investor left; Mr. Vallabh Lukhi kept patience and always supported us. But in terms of wanting more money for manufacturing the Delta Printers and withdrawing our remunerations as the entire Jariwala family worked in the same company, and the company being at loss initially had to suffer from personal financial crisis. Many pressures were created by Investors end. Things were legally fixed by introducing IP valuation, but still loss is loss. We were into major financial crisis. Points were raised by the investor’s team to replace me, and also what’s the future of the company. Mr. Vallabh Lukhi also introduced Mr. Vipul Lukhi so he could support the business. We didn’t initially understood why he wanted to manage the accounts division being an engineer. There were many arguments and pressures from the Investors end. I managed creating a website and introducing ERP to automate the system. But slowly as the time passed we managed the sales and Delta 3D Printer was the hero of the 3D printing Industry. We sold 3D Printers to Cipla and many more. We also remember the Sun Pharma R&D C.E.O. sitting in our office. This was a start of the next growth we deserved. Slowly we manufactured large size 3D Printers and finally we decided to fill tenders. We won couple of Tenders against Stratasys, the king of 3D Printing Industry. The next large size Delta 3D Printer was supplied to National Aerospace Laboratories. It was our pleasure and couple of media coverage got us running into the market. We also started a small call centre with complete monitoring system to target and achieve the sales. Our company was stable and we started appointing distributors across India, slowly we appointed many distributors and our income was now just stable to run the company. Slowly we understood the segment of 3D Printers and we invested a little in DLP 3D Printing technology. Now we being the leader of 3D Printers we have large corporates, also there was a reorder of machine of National Aerospace Laboratories. We were then approached by Reliance, Adani, Tata, ISRO, HAL, Indian Navy, NIT, DC etc. So we took a corporate office at Boomerang Andheri, which maintained our status. We closed couple of orders and now we have a building with different departments and heading towards Construction 3D Printing, Jewellery 3D Printing, Color 3D Printing, Metal 3D Printing. The journey is still not over until we make it as big as “Apple”. Lots if things to learn as an entrepreneur still way to go. We learnt good team, good technology, good planning & good implementation with good leadership will lead us to a good success. Now we are planning to raise funds via equity with KPMG and make it a great sucess. We are also nominated by Stand Up India access to larger funds and greater Government support. The journey is still left. Keep following to know more.

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