Ask Me Anything

Hi Beautiful people! Rotimatic has been a dream project for me and in the last 7 years I have gained much experience and knowledge to help more people create products to fix problems.I will be available on 21st and 22nd from 11am to 4pm SGT to talk here on Woomentum!

Hi my name is Pranoti Nagarkar, entrepreneur, engineer, designer, wife and mother.

As the founder of Singapore robotics company Zimplistic, CTO of the world’s first fully automated roti machine Rotimatic and mother of a 2 year old I know as a female entrepreneur you have to juggle it all.

Growing up I knew I wanted to be an inventor. With supportive parents who always encouraged me to challenge the norm, I studied mechanical engineering gaining the skills to pursue my passion for product design.

After kicking off my career with a renowned consumer brand, taking products from concept to final mass manufactured design, I wanted to tackle a problem I felt strongly about: Helping families eat healthy.

That’s why in 2008 I co-founded Zimplistic, investing all my personal savings, time and relationships into bringing our vision of the world’s first fully automated roti machine, Rotimatic, to life.

Over the past 7 years my team and I have worked relentlessly, winning Start-Up@Singapore, placing third in the Intel Berkeley Technology Entrepreneurship Challenge, named among Asia's Best Young Entrepreneurs by Businessweek, even featured in BBC, the Wall Street Journal, Engadget, and Mashable.

 

While being on this entrepreneurial journey I also became a wife, made my husband CEO, gave birth to a baby boy, raised a Series B this year and learned countless lessons along the way.

This is where I can help female entrepreneurs like you: I have acquired a tremendous body of knowledge on product design, manufacturing, material sourcing, fundraising, negotiation and how to ride in the startup rollercoaster while building a family at the same time.

 

Ask me anything from how to design your idea, producing your MVP, building an engineering team, to vetting your manufacturing, all the way to negotiating term sheets.


I promise I will always give you my opinion straight, so you can take your dream one step closer to reality today.

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Hi Pranoti, very happy to see you coming on to do this AMA. As women, we are constantly challenged on our ability to balance both career and family life, while it seems the same is not asked of men.  ...
Hi Olivia!

Really appreciate your question :)

Firstly I feel blessed to be born into my family, this is something not in our control! My parents have given me such an incredible upbringing, very balanced, very high thinking simple living values. I can go on and on about this subject. I will perhaps soon write about this in a blog post! Especially since now that I am a mother, I see how much we can stress and not stress about every little thing about our kids. I have been given the lifeskills to focus on clarity of thought, being practical, being curious, being able to judge and see objectively myself when I make a choice. This is very important I feel. My husband and his family have been super supportive, loving, caring, everything a woman would wish for. Its amazing how one can get so lucky :)

I would also add - i have 2 very very caring and smart helpers at home who take care of us, our home and our wellbeing.
Thank you for sharing Pranoti :)
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You've mentioned that Rotimatic is tackling a couple important issues: helping famlies eat more healthy, and freeing women from the drugery of endless roti-making. To what extent do you view Rotimati ...
Hi Su,

Thanks for this question! It is something on our mind to ensure that we spread goodness in whatever ways possible. Charity begins at home, so right now we are ensuring that everyone at Zimplistic have a great time when they spend time away from their loved ones to create and build on their passions. As for the supplier and the partners we work with, being a woman with compassion, I feel woman have the power to be compassionate like no one, I try to see things in the light of maintaining a good business sense and not forget basics of aesthetics of life.

Aesthetics in the sense of the word not being superficial but the deeper meaning of valuing life and cherishing its beauty in every expression.

I am becoming quite philosophical here, so I shall take this onto a blog post as well for a longer read for you :)

Please do let me know your inputs on how you have helped so we can learn from it.

Thanks :)
Hi Pranoti,

Thanks for answering my question. :)

I agree with you that we must spread goodness in whatever way possible. And I believe the implaction is that business must be more than just making money, it must be a vehicle for good.

But I was suprised to see your answer focus on charity and compassion because structural issues like the ones I raised (sustainability, workers rights and non-discrimination) are usually addressed with company processeses or policies.

Best of luck for Zimplistic in the future!
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Hi Pranoti,  Great to have you here.  My question is on scaling up and fund raising.  I have been developing a product for the past one year and have met with quite a bit of success so  ...

Hi Ayesha, 

Thats brilliant, to reach a stage where your product is liked by your user.

So congrats on that! Now its awesome that you are thinking of scaling. The question is how much do you need to get to the scale you have envisioned. This 

Based on that there are ways to raise capital - pre-orders (kickstarter, on your own etc) and investors, loans too are possible the traditional method but in todays context might be tricky.

Top 3 things investors look for - 

1) Impact / potential of product/service - how many lives can it touch, how much value can it generate ($$), it there any halo effect

2) Who is building the product/service - credibility, skillset of team, level of confidence in the team - sensibility of the founders to see it through

3) Product/service so far - what has been achieved, what is the response from the users, is there scope for improvement, how much risk is still there, can this risk be mitigated

I hope this helps Ayesha, do let me know if you need anything.

Good luck! And dont forget to have fun and fullfillment.

Cheers

Pranoti

 

 

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