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Pranoti Nagarkar Israni


NRI Woman Engineer gets $11.5 mn investment in her ROTI Machine Project
Her husband also helped to raise US$3 million in 2012

Los Angeles, July 24, 2015
NRIpress-Club/LA/Gary Singh

NRI Woman Pranoti Nagarkar Israni, 33, Mechanical engineer, graduating from the National University of Singapore, gets $11.5 mn investment in her ROTI Machine Project. She got experience in product development and led a team to design a part of a vacuum cleaner. She came to Singapore to study on a scholarship and did her A levels at National Junior College.

She always wanted to build her own product and she did. In 2008, she thought there is washing machine to wash clothes……And Where’s the machine to make chapattis?.

In 2009, she invested $20,000 into her start-up, Zimplistic, to create her Rotimatic chapatti maker. She built a prototype to show potential investors and won the national Start-Up Singapore competition.

“In my school days, I had seen my mother would make hot Rotis in the kitchen all the time, while the rest of the family would enjoy her meal at the dinner table,” said Pranoti. “My invention- Rotimatic will help an Indian family like mine to eat together and not have the mother or wife stuck in the kitchen making Rotis.”

Her husband Rishi Israni is a software engineer and entrepreneur himself, having co-founded mobile security software start-up TenCube, which was acquired by security giant McAfee for an undisclosed sum in 2010.

The year 2011, big change came in her life when Rishi wrote the software to run the Rotimatic machine and  alsohelped to raise US$3 million in 2012 from private investors for customer testing and to prepare for production. He became Zimplistic’s chief executive officer.

The program Rishi wrote that look good and be intelligent enough to recognize the type of flour and use the right amount of water. It means, just put flour and water, press a button and out comes the chapatti.

Before the production of this machine, Nagarkar said, “ The people thought, I was crazy and didn’t believe that I was the chief technology officer and engineering architect in the company. They’d think I was the sales or marketing person.”

“We survived on about $1,000 a month and shared an apartment with others”, She said. “ I rode a motorbike to meetings to signal that I was different. “I’m an engineer first, then a woman.”

“In 2013, I was pregnant and hid my pregnancy for as long as I could because I didn’t want any special preference,” She told local media. “I took three months off after the birth of my son.”

In her school days in India, she wanted to be the top national cadet in India. She was in good in shooting, trained and got top positions. She encouraged young girls to become adventurous.

Her brother is an engineer and also helped her in chapatti project. Just likePranoti Nagarkar, her brother rode 1,000 km across India on horseback when he was only 11 years old.

As a product engingeer, the idea behind Rotimatic machine was simple: To simplify the life of an Indian housewife. She is a strong believer in simplicity and an approach of one step at a time!

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India-born engineer’s roti maker gets $11.5 mn investment

Singapore, July 24, 2015:

An Indian-origin engineer in Singapore who invented an automatic one-minute roti maker machine seven years back has now fetched a second round of investment of $11.5 million from venture firms, a media report said.

Pranoti Nagarkar-Israni, a mechanical engineer from the National University of Singapore, came up with a prototype for an automatic roti maker which won her the “Start-Up Singapore” competition in 2009.

She later floated a product design company called Zimplistic with her husband to promote the roti maker brand called Rotimatic.

Zimplistic has now announced an investment of $11.5 million from Southeast Asia-based NSI Ventures and Germany-based Robert Bosch Venture Capital, web portal reported.

“It has been an amazing year for us and these new partnerships will only help to improve what we see as a revolutionary product that enables families to eat healthier,” Rishi Israni, Pranoti’s husband and CEO of Zimplistic, was quoted as saying.

The automatic roti maker is smart enough to use its 15 sensors to figure out the ingredients put in it and the measures in which to combine them.

The user needs to put in the ingredients in the given containers and press a button.

Within a minute, a flat, circular roti slides out of the machine – much like a sheet of paper that comes out of a photocopier.

The machine also allows its users to customise the doughballs and flour discs.

Within a week of the launch of its beta version last year, $5 million worth of roti makers priced at $999 each were sold and Zimplistic had to close pre-orders.

Today, there is a huge waiting list for roti makers and over 5,000 requests for distribution partnerships from around the world are pending with the firm.

“With this funding, Zimplistic plans to finish the Rotimatic beta, accelerate manufacturing rollout and set up operations in international markets to fulfil the big demand,” Israni said.

This new round of funding has been secured just few months after raising the first round of investment worth more than $1 million from NSI Ventures.