Busy lives and irregular working hours of the citizens will fuel the robotics market in India: Jean Jacques Blanc, iRobot
iRobot, one of the world’s leading home robots manufacturing company, entered the Indian market with one of its most popular product, Roomba. This robot vacuum cleaner cleans the floor spick and span.
• The iAdapt responsive Navigation Technology responds to the environment to make smart cleaning decisions in the real world.
• The round shape helps it navigate into and out of tight spaces.
• Dirt detection: focuses on cleaning where it's needed most
• Roomba knows to return to its Home Base when finished cleaning a room or needs a charge.
• It can be scheduled to clean at a time that is convenient for the user.
iRobot has sold over 14 million robots in more than 60 countries, with the Roomba vacuum cleaning robot leading the charge.
Startups and even technological giants like IBM have just started experimenting with robots in the Indian market. With a global company’s entry into it, the market shows great potential.
Jean Jacques Blanc, Vice President of Marketing and Sales, EMEA Home Business Unit, iRobot analyses the Indian market and gives us some insights about their expansion plans in India, in chat with Business Insider India.
What is the current scenario of India’s robotics market?
India is a fast-growing economy and holds much potential for cultivating a robotics market. Lifestyles in India are changing - Indians live busy lives with irregular and long working hours, and the need to keep personal spaces clean and dust free is important. With these changes, people are looking for help in keeping up with the daily mess and we believe that effective and practical robots such as our Roomba floor vacuuming robot and the Braava floor mopping robot will be a valuable cleaning addition to consumer’s homes.
Globally, the robotics industry, including iRobot, has seen huge growth in recent years. A lot of this comes from ever -increasing acceptance of these products into our daily lives. Trust amongst consumers regarding robots in the home has improved exponentially since the launch of Roomba twelve years ago; and we have sold over 14-million home robots worldwide.
What are your future plans for the Indian market?
Working hand-in-hand with our exclusive Indian distributor, PureSight, we recently opened our first store-front in August 2015 and our second store this September at the Phoenix MarketCity Mall in Bangalore.
What are the challenges of the Indian market?
Increasing ‘believability’ around the effectiveness of home robots and awareness of the home robots and awareness of the home robots cleaning category is a key focus for us. More and more consumers throughout the world are finding that they can trust these products to deliver on their promise, and robots like the Roomba vacuum cleaning robot can play an integral role in helping with busy, sophisticated lifestyles. This increase in acceptance is one of the biggest drivers for growth and development.
How will the entry into the Indian market with the new products affect Indian robotics market?
At iRobot, we focus on building consumer robots that empower people to do more with their lives. We created the whole home robot revolution with Roomba in 2002, and ever since we have maintained a laser focus on our customers. Tasks that are difficult, dangerous or not enjoyable to do, but that must be done frequently, are great tasks for a robot to handle. For example, most people around the world do not like to mop their floors, but many would like to have a clean floor every day. That was the inspiration for us to build the Braava floor-mopping robot and our other home robots that tackle dull and dirty tasks. Any time we consider adding a new technology to our products, we ask ourselves: Will this enable people to do more with their lives, without adding excess cost?
As more people around the globe, such as in India, accept these robotic technologies and learn how a home robot can make their lives easier, we expect household penetration for practical robots to grow significantly. We also anticipate that there will be more robots available, helping to address even more areas of people’s lives – both inside and outside of the home.
What is your expected response for products from the market? What is the future of the respective market?
We are at a very exciting time in the development of the entire industry as we're seeing widespread acceptance of these technologies in homes around the world. The current global market for home maintenance is $14 billion USD and the vacuum cleaner category (<$200) is $7 billion USD. Robots currently represent 20% of the vacuum market, so we see incredible growth potential ahead.
As the global leader in the category, designing and building practical robots is all we do – and we have been doing this for 25 years. Our robots are sold in over 50 countries worldwide, and they are revolutionizing the way people clean. We believe that the consumer robotics market is one that will continue to grow significantly over the next two decades. It is in its early stages right now. There have been great strides in the last few years of people accepting robots in their homes, just like people have adopted many other technologies, like the PC and mobile phone, technologies that are now considered ubiquitous. It’s all about providing value. The robot needs to do its intended job and be at a price point where consumers find it valuable.
(Image credits: Indiatimes)