Wednesday, September 14, 2022
HomeAsian NewsIdeasparq Robotics born out of fixing founder's ache level over international equipment

Ideasparq Robotics born out of fixing founder’s ache level over international equipment

  • 3 years to get first product constructed with Panasonic Air-Conditioning as buyer
  • Throughout pandemic Ideasparq helped vaccination centres with use of its robots

Asyraf Rahman (front row, centre) with members of his team.

A geek working a small software program enterprise, Asyraf Rahman’s journey as an entrepreneur took a serious flip when his ailing father requested him to take over the enterprise. The daddy was a vendor to Proton.

Asyraf instantly noticed a serious ache and choke level of the enterprise. “You might be reliant on the equipment distributors, all of whom are primarily based abroad,” he says. After all they inform you there’s native help however while you need assistance with some defective tools, the knowledgeable wanted was typically primarily based abroad. This made upkeep tough, to say the least.

He discovered it to be an inefficient strategy to run a enterprise, to not point out expensive.

This was when the thought of going right into a enterprise the place they may make their very own machines struck him. And this was the early seeds of ideasparq, which right this moment has grown right into a promising robotics maker with some Japanese manufacturing purchasers and now, a rising base of hospitals which deploy their robots for cleansing.

The sale of Roomba to Amazon brings a smile to Asyraf’s face as their first concept was to construct a robotic vacuum cleaner.  Fortunately that concept was stillborn as they realised making a mass client product was not going to be a stroll within the park. However an industrial robotic was a complete totally different proposition.

“Constructing an industrial product is often simpler since you’re not making mass and you should use less complicated supplies like metallic and do not must focus an excessive amount of on appearances. Performance was key,” he says. Plus with Asyaraf’s background in testing and a manufacturing unit at their disposal as they attempt to construct a profitable robotic, Asyaraf and his associate, x, launched into their journey launching Ideasparq Robotics Sdn Bhd. It was 2012.

“With our background as software program builders, we thought it could be a straightforward factor to do,” says Asyraf, laughing on the reminiscence of how naive they had been in regards to the job of constructing an autonomous industrial robotic.

These had been early days nonetheless for autonomous robots and the software program was not mature but. Amazon had simply purchased Kiva Programs, a robotic maker in March 2012 and would go on to throw its engineering would possibly into robotics programs as effectively.


After one 12 months of battle, ‘Let’s construct one thing less complicated’

However right here in Malaysia, after one 12 months of struggling to make headway, Asyraf referred to as time. “Let’s restrategise and construct one thing less complicated that we will take to market faster,” I advised the workforce.

That was their entry into line guided robots or extra popularly referred to as Autonomous Guided Automobiles or AGV.

However historical past repeated itself. This time, it was his engineers who felt this was going to be simple. In spite of everything, they’d labored on such fashions for his or her last 12 months tasks and even introduced them to the workplace to indicate Asyraf. “So I believed this may take us just a few months,” he thought.

It took a 12 months. Because the workforce came upon, there’s a gulf of distinction between a last 12 months challenge and an AGV that business will approve of and use.  

All in it took them three years to get their first product constructed with Panasonic Air-Conditioning Sdn Bhd as their first paying buyer. However right this moment, it takes as little as two weeks for them to construct a product for a buyer. “That is how far the workforce of 20, with over 50% being engineers, has come,” says Asyraf.

He’s trying to develop the workforce as there’s a important native order ebook and with curiosity from abroad as effectively. How that order ebook took place is that, earlier than the pandemic hit, Ideasparq was working with Medivest an built-in healthcare services providers supplier that was trying to strengthen its worth proposition to the hospitals it was serving.

They had been truly within the strategy of creating a whole line of service robots for cleansing in hospitals. The pandemic truly helped strengthen their worth proposition and right this moment, there are three hospitals in Johor which are utilizing their providers.

Extra promising is {that a} bigger rollout with over 15 hospitals in on the playing cards. Therefore the necessity for a bigger workforce and new premises to construct these robots. Satirically, the AGVs are nonetheless being constructed by hand and can possible stay so within the new plant as effectively, although there are facet of manufacturing that shall be automated within the new facility.


Good outcomes from MTDC partnership

Ideasparq was already partaking with Malaysian Know-how Growth Company (MTDC) earlier than the pandemic with the company serving to it with market entry. The connection deepened in the course of the pandemic when MTDC noticed Ideasparq serving to among the vaccination centres with its robots.

“They principally stated, let’s go hand in hand and we are going to allow you to to develop your organization additional,” stated Asyraf. That led them to the subsequent stage the place in 2021, Ideasparq managed to safe a RM3 million mortgage from MTDC through its Enterprise Development Fund that focuses on early stage corporations. The funding shall be used to arrange a brand new manufacturing line with automated equipment and to construct out its gross sales pipeline.

It’s understood that MTDC is trying into the expansion potential of the enterprise because it weighs a conversion of its mortgage into fairness.

Curiously, one of many focus markets to drive gross sales are the SMEs and particularly to assist them resolve the issue that Asyraf noticed his father’s automotive enterprise dealing with ie locked into buying costly equipment from abroad with poor, and expensive, mantainenance help. 

With many of the prospects for AGV’s being multinationals, Asyraf sees a possibility to assist SMEs buy the robots as effectively to spice up their competitiveness. With the most cost effective AGV out there retailing at round RM60,000, with no bells and whistles, Ideasparq has produced a competitor at RM25,000 that’s simple to put in and use.

Even higher than the associated fee is a leasing plan that can enable a buyer to pay round RM950 a month for 3 years. “That’s decrease than the month-to-month minimal charge,” notes Asyraf.

The hope is that when the SMEs get comfy utilizing such entry degree robots, they may finally need extra options.

With 15 years beneath his belt as an entrepreneur, Asyraf, on reflecting over the important thing classes learnt, zooms in on one main lesson. Focus.

“No matter alternatives got here throughout my lap after I was youthful, I wolfed them up.” Consequently, he says the enterprise lacked focus, and suffered since you are spreading your sources too skinny. “It isn’t simple to do however you will need to keep away from chasing new alternatives earlier than you may have totally given your self an opportunity to take advantage of those you might be at the moment chasing.”

Be courageous sufficient to say, No.



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