Robotics industry excites me and many other people who are sci-fi movie lovers. India too has robotics software/products and there is a startup that is sailing in this industry. Meet Mr Rajeev Karwal, Founder of Milagrow Business Solution. What interests me the most in Rajeev is why he chose to startup in Robotics Industry when he was already heading a multi national company Electrolux.
About Rajeev Karwal, Founder of Milagrow
Rajeev Karwal is a renowned management thinker and professional. Acknowledged as an ethical leader in the Indian industry, he debuted at the 43rd position in the Economic Times India’s Most Powerful CEOs list in 2004. He is considered as a leading brand builder in India. He has made great contributions in his previous roles at LG, ONIDA, Philips and Electrolux to name a few. Below is the interaction we had with him over email.
1) How is Robotic industry looking for an entrepreneur to startup in it?
It is a great time to enter into this industry but what is important is that these startups need to understand customer needs before designing and building production ready robots. They need to understand how or why customers will use them and do extensive market research for the same as the Indian robotic market is still growing and is very small as compared to the likes of China or Japan.
2) If humans and related by robots, then people would be losing jobs, what do you have to comment about this?
The 4th industrial revolution talks about robotics and how robots will replace human jobs. Today, the minimum wages are rising and workers are becoming more aware about their rights with litigation happening at the lowest level. With robots all these things would be eliminated. They can work round the clock and won’t waste any time leading to huge cost saving for organizations. Robots don’t need any leaves or appraisals, neither you have to worry about the emotional aspect with them. More robots will replace humans in the defence and medical sector also. Read Interview of Myles CEO.
3) Why are you so keen in replacing humans with robots?
I want to replace humans serving humans for menial tasks and jobs where a dignity of a human actually suffers. It is because, I believe that if our nation has to grow, the participation of the women workforce has to increase. Even in the urban sector today, women do not want to do the domestic chores. Only when more and more women will do more meaningful jobs, will the county progress twice as faster.
4) Education robots are an interactive version of a textbook, will they be effective when compared to a human teacher?
We have introduced robotic kits for children to learn the robotic language in an easy manner. Pleo is another educational robot which teaches them about different stages in a mammal’s life right from infancy. The educational robots offer easy programming language to teach the children about robotics. This is a very niche segment in India but it will slowly become big. However, a human touch cannot be replaced by robots or machines which lack the emotional quotient. Technology will redefine teaching and will enable teachers rather than replacing them.
5) Who is your role model?
In India I find we have a dearth of role models. I do not know very well about the foreign achievers except the stories propagated by the organized PR effort. The closest someone comes to my role being my role model is Rahul Dravid but he is much younger than me and also in a different field. Actually I am my own role model. With contentment, without comparing. I have competed with myself and I did not grade honesty on a scale.
6) Why did you choose to startup, when you were heading Electrolux ?
I have been fascinated by robots right since childhood. Growing up watching movies like the Bicentennial man or Edward Scissorhands further increased by interest in robotics. I feel that whenever sci-fi movies depict something, there is some reality attached to it and the idea that human intellect has the power to create technology which breaks all barriers makes me want to be a part of it. I wanted to bring that technology and change to our country which gave way to Milagrow HumanTech.
7) Where do you see Milagrow after 10 years from now?
When we started with Milagrow HumanTech, robotics was in an infant stage. In India the robotic market size is still very small but it will grow by leaps and bounds in the next 5 years. Milagrow plans to enter extensively into robotics and create robot shops and labs that will provide complete robotic solutions in the consumer as well as the commercial space. We are also looking at entering into industrial robots in a big way.
8) Would you like to give any advice to budding entrepreneurs from your experience ?
If you believe in you enjoy being an entrepreneur, never give up. If you want to realize your vision, validate them with some numbers sooner than later. Read more CEO Interviews.