Delhi Based Robotics Startup Omnipresent Robot Tech Plans to Open 15-20 Offices in India
“You may not succeed on the first try but you really need to persevere about it to make sure that you are able to deliver value to get clients," says Omnipresent Robot Tech’s founder, Akash Sinha.
Omnipresent Robot Tech is a Delhi-based robotics startup for industrial inspection and defense. It was founded in 2010 by Aakash Sinha, Jyoti Sinha and Alok Shankar. The company deals with Industrial Robots, Perception based Software and Consumer Bots.
Aakash Sinha, CEO & Founder, used to build robots for US Army prior to Omnipresent. He was studying robotics at Carnegie Mellon when the idea of a drone start up came to his mind.
In an interaction with BW Disrupt, Omnipresent Robot Tech’s founder, Akash Sinha shared details about his venture.
The ideation of the company came at the time I used to work for the US army, building robots. We realized the big opportunity in India. So the company has been in existence for about 5 and a half years or so. Before that I have been working for Lockheed Martin, iRobot and DARPA, which is a US defense agency. Post my masters; I got the opportunity to work with Dr. Raj Reddy who used to be the IT adviser to the US President, who became my mentor. Since then the journey started with experts like Alok Shankar, ex CEO of Beetle in Telenor and Jyoti Sinha, who helped us scale up the business.
Unique Key Points
First of all, we are making all our drones and robots indigenously in India. We are guarantying performance in extreme conditions. The drones are being used by all major oil refineries and gas markets in India. They use our drone because we give them extreme performance and extreme safety standards. That really gives the company a lot of confidence in our product, especially in oil refineries.
Our drones are virtually crash proof providing seven levels of fails safe. If the battery fails, the engine fails or any sort of failure happens in the drone, it will not crash, rather it will slowly come down to its ground point. Secondly, we develop high performance hardware as the drones can fly at 50 km/hr. The high zoom capacity gives it a telescope like quality. We have a plant in Delhi and we are setting up another plant in Andhra Pradesh to make drones there locally, with the help of Andhra Pradesh government. We have another office in Gujarat, from where we serve all the oil industry customers.
Funding Status and Monetization Model
We were largely funded by our own revenues but we do have some private investors. Investors like Raj Reddy from the US, Praveen Sinha, ex CEO of Jabong.com and SIS India, a large security company. We are the leading robots and drone solution providers for industries in India. Once a quarter or sometimes once a month our team does the inspection by robots, they create a report for the client, and we charge them on that basis. So they can take actions on this.
Running a hardware based startup is difficult than a software based startup because in software, funding is relatively easier. Finding good talent and expertise in robotics is a little bit of difficulty too. So, we hire passionate people and train them while they work here. The Government support has improved a little in the last few years but the process of getting the funding is somewhat complicated, extremely time consuming, a lot of documentation requirement. State government funding is somewhat easier than central government.
We are getting a very good response from industries like oil industries. As in case of fire, our drones will quickly go in the air and tell them in which direction the fire is and where the wind is blowing. Also, we are getting a very good response from land mapping countries. Recently, we got a land mapping contract to map the entire city of Varanasi. We don’t just build maps, but also the exact 3D models.
In 2013, I was awarded with MIT TR35 which is given to technology researchers/innovators under the age of 35 and the award of Young Entrepreneurs of the Year. I also received a gold medal from Department of Science and Technology for creating some of the top technologies in India. Another achievement was, when I used to work for US Defense, I was awarded with US Department of Defense Medal. The co-founder, Jyoti Sinha got an award of DOT Diva in the US which means top 20 women in computer science to glorify women in technology so that more women are inspired to join technology.
Most recently we also became a part of India Chandrayaan-2 mission. We are building software that will help our Chandrayaan Robot navigate on the Moon.
Till last year, we had only one office in Delhi, now we have already opened an office in Gujarat and the third one is about to open in Andhra Pradesh. So this year we see ourselves operating 3 offices and perhaps in coming 4-5 years we in vision a close to 15-20 offices in India. Serving different sectors, segments and geographic needs. Currently, our strength is about 20-25 people but we hope to expand it up to 300-400 in coming 4-5 years.
Most of our marketing plans are word of mouth marketing. So a lot of major business houses in India like Reliance Industry, Tata Advanced System, JK Cement, FIS India, ISRO, and Jaboong.com. These have all been our clients so a sort of word of mouth marketing has been very helpful for us. Because in our work, the credibility really matters!
Market Size and Opportunities
According to BWC reports, the entire drones global market is about $200B and out of that, the market is really growing fast so the question is just about how much of it can we capture of that. The entire $200B is divided into many sectors including oil and gas industries, construction industries, agriculture. We mastered the oil industry, next we have gone into cement and next we will also explore agriculture.
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