Updated: January 31, 2020 7:28:52 pm
“Kitchen robots are the future of the food and beverages (F&B) industry,” founders of Mukunda Foods, a Bengaluru-based startup in the ‘kitchen robotics’ segment claims as its sale of Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled machines that can make dosa, dough, puri, chai and assemble burgers cross 2,000 with orders from 27 countries.
Speaking to Indianexpress.com, Eshwar K Vikas, co-founder of Mukunda Foods claims that his startup is pioneering the ‘kitchen robotics’ sector in India. “We are indeed leading the evolution of Indian kitchens from chulah (mud stove) to kitchen bots, also trying to send across a message that kitchen bots are unisex making cooking a chore attributed to all, irrespective of gender,” he said.
According to the engineers-turned-entrepreneurs who run the startup, these innovations would also address the predicament of shortage of skilled manpower in the F&B retail sector. “One doesn’t need to be a chef to operate these food robots. These bots also offer solutions to various challenges faced by food vendors in maintaining taste, quality, hygiene, and consistency,” Vikas added.
Incidentally, necessity turned out to be the real mother of this invention as well, as the ‘million-dollar-idea’ struck the co-founders Vikas and Sudeep Sabat during their college excursion to Delhi in 2012 from SRM University, Chennai.
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“As dosa was very common in our daily diet, we tried pursuing the same during our trip to Delhi as well. We then realised we had to shell out Rs 150 or even more. Finding a hotel that served south Indian cuisine in good taste also became a tedious task and this led to us getting to think of solutions to the problem,” Sabat said.
Three years later, in 2015, the youngsters completed the first machine – Dosamatic – to make dosas without much ado. Later, three more people joined them in Bengaluru to begin large-scale production and development of more such machines, venturing into multiple types of cuisine.
At present, Mukunda Foods constitutes of 100 people from different sectors striving towards introducing kitchen robotics within and outside India.
Interestingly, several of their machines have found a place in kitchens across India including Rashtrapati Bhavan (New Delhi), DRDO (Siachen), Western Railway HQs (Mumbai), and INS Jyoti, to name a few extraordinary places.
Several restaurant chains including Ibis, Comesum, Dosa Wrap, Bikanervala, and others also use their bots, the startup claims.
“We have been continuously working on new products, and updated technology to create an industry niche. We’re sure that you will be hearing a lot about us in the coming days,” Sabat added.
The startup is now exploring the US and UK markets with 10 more products in the pipeline with various partners.
However, this startup believes technology and human intelligence work best together. “We could be building the best food bots technically, but only experienced and qualified chefs would know what is required to ensure a quality outcome. This keeps us connected in partnership with chefs and known food brands to help us in automating the process as well,” Vikas said.
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