Inventor of Desi Robots
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Balaji Viswanathan, 35, has learnt his money lessons. The Bengaluru-based robotics firm, Invento Robotics, happened only after he crossed many hurdles in more than a decade. Starting with a team of just three in 2016, Invento Robotics now employs 23 people.
It plans to launch its subsidiary in Dubai. Balaji says, “Our robots provide contextual customer engagement through speech and allow third parties (industries) to tweak their functioning suitable to their requirements. It helps firms offer their customers a personal experience through face recognition, initiating conversations and automating a variety of jobs leading to a decrease in operation costs.”
The company has adopted a cautious approach while charting its growth. Balaji says, “At each point, we wanted to make sure that we are profitable. The goal was to consistently create a new IP and develop its brand image.”
Perhaps, the commitment to making profits from the beginning dates back to 2005, when Balaji interned in a US-based defence company which suddenly ran out of money. His belief got credence when he launched his own Edtech startup, NalandaU, in 2009 and Zingfin.com - a Fintech startup in 2011, both of which could not convince VCs.
Balaji says, “I realised that I was ahead of the market by a year or two.” His third initiative Limitless, which aimed to help people stick to productive habits, got huge traction but failed to monetise. Balaji says, “I realized that a startup owner should stay in the market for a prolonged period. It is essential to earn money from the beginning.“ Invento is on a fundraising round and expects to clock revenues of Rs 30 crore for FY20.