Pranoti Nagarkar Israni
Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Zimplistic
Growing up in a family with four generations of engineers, Pranoti had always dreamed of becoming an inventor. Both her parents have been entrepreneurs in their own ways. Pranoti’s mother is a very dynamic and intelligent woman. She is an artist. She started her own interior design consultancy, wore many hats, learned programming to keep up with the latest in the world, and currently is living her passion as a mathematics teacher. Her father is a humble, extremely logical and practical person. He started his career in Machine design. In his 50s he decided to work for himself by starting a Point of sales turnkey solutions company. Her mom is a rebel, thinker, designer, creative person. Her father is logical, practical, humble, true engineer. Pranoti believes, she and her brother are a good mix of them.
‘High thinking simple living’ upbringing with focus on experience and learning rather than the actual result has gave her the best moulding for living life to the fullest.
In 1999, Pranoti came to Singapore on Singapore Airlines Youth Scholarship to do her A levels at National Junior College. With her love for engineering and being hands on, she pursued a degree in Mechanical engineering and went into Product Design at National University of Singapore. As part of the university exchange programme, she got to study at Berkeley and get in close contact with world-class teachers and students.
In 3rd year of school Pranoti made an automatic iron for shirts. That’s when she realised she can really be an inventor who changes people’s lives. She worked for 2 years at a product design consultancy to learn what the development process looks like from A to Z. All the while she always had a list with ideas she wanted to work on, Roti-making was at the top of the list. She was very health conscious as a new wife wanted to cook healthy meals at home. Experiencing how difficult time management is in today’s work it didn’t seem realistic to do it by hand. So simplifying the complex roti-making processes was the challenge she took on.
In 2008 Pranoti co-founded Zimplistic, investing all her personal savings, time and relationships into bringing the vision of the world’s first fully automated roti machine, Rotimatic, to life.
Step by step, what started off as a ‘crazy’ idea began to take shape, though the path to actual delivery was far from clear. After all, replicating the mastery of Indian mothers and home cooks who have been kneading rotis through multiple generations was a tall order to begin with. Still, Pranoti did not let any problem stop her in her tracks; as she puts it, “Even if a wall seems insurmountable, there is still a way to bring it down one small part at a time”.The walls did not just come down… they ended up forming the foundation for 35 patents that Pranoti has authored and filed across multiple countries, and a state-of-the-art ecosystem within rotimatic that comprises 10 motors, 15 sensors, and 300 uniquely designed parts. Pranoti and Rishi’s vision and persistence fuelled USD15-million worth of research and development work that made rotimatic a truly formidable technological innovation. It stands as a testament that the venture investing arm of global engineering giant Robert Bosch GmBH has extended it’s support behind the invention.
It is unusual for a woman to build a hardware product. People didn’t believe she was the chief technology officer and engineering architect in the company. They’d think she was the sales or marketing person. But having grappled with a lean team, Pranoti had at one point even gone to the length of riding a motorcycle to manufacturing facilities in Malaysia herself to expedite processes. The challenge of wearing multiple hats has only encouraged Pranoti to share her conviction and resolve with a growing team of enthusiastic and driven individuals at Zimplistic.
Pranoti recognises that her journey with rotimatic has only just begun, acknowledging the many lessons yet to be learnt as she works to grow Zimplistic, the company behind rotimatic, along with
her computer engineer husband Rishi Israni, the brain behind rotimatic’s software and Internet-of- Things capabilities. The dynamic duo has been working closely side-by-side, but as the company seeks to scale up production for markets worldwide, their focus is increasingly on finding the right talent. After all, the best cadet knows that no battle can be won without a solid army in place.
As rotimatic reaches more homes and families around the world, it is worth bearing in mind that each time a child picks up a hot, fluffy roti off a rotimatic, he or she is enjoying first-hand the result of a certain courage and a different mindset about venturing off the beaten path – certainly Pranoti’s, but also that of her parents and the people around her who have supported her journey.
Here is how you can win a #Rotimatic at the Buzzar
On 5th October, 2016 At Holiday Inn, Cavenagh Road, Orchard
From 10:30 am to 7:30 pm FREE ENTRY
Click here to REGISTER -(Registration ends October 5th,2016)