This Automatic Roti-Maker Has a $72 Million Waiting List
Zimplistic co-founders and Rotimatic inventors (L-R) Rishi Israni, software engineer and CEO, and Pranoti Nagarkar, mechanical engineer and Chief Technical Officer.Todd Beltz Photography / Courtesy of Zimplistic
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Zimplistic’s Rotimatic looks like a cross between a breadmaker and a printer and is the world’s first fully automatic roti-maker. Designed for today’s working professionals who do not have the time and patience for rolling out fresh roti or Indian flatbread every day at home like earlier generations, the Rotimatic measures, kneads, cooks, and then cranks out the roti, hot and puffy, at the rate of one roti per minute. All the user has to do is load the flour, water, oil, and then turn on the machine.
"Roti is the staple bread of hundreds of millions [of] people worldwide,” Janny Huynh, Zimplistic Brand Marketing Manager, told NBC News. “But for centuries, there has been no automation done for this tedious daily chore. Ready-made solutions are laden with preservatives and do not taste the same as a hot and puffed handmade roti. That's why we invented Rotimatic, to make healthy eating really easy."
“With a demanding job, I often found that I did not have the energy to make [roti] and that’s when I really missed my mom’s garam garam karki roti,” said Pranoti Nagarkar, co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Zimplistic, in a video.
Even with a hefty $999 pricetag, demand for the Rotimatic has been so intense that the company is sold out through 2016. At last year’s launch in Singapore and the United States, the company sold over $5 million in pre-orders, then had to close pre-orders within one week.
Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a freelance writer and speaker based in Michigan and Hawaii. She has been a contributor for AAPIVoices.com, NewAmericaMedia.org, ChicagoIsTheWorld.org, PacificCitizen.org, InCultureParent.com. She has published three chapbooks of prose poetry and been included in several journals, anthologies, and art exhibitions. She teaches Asian Pacific American Studies and writing, and she speaks nationally on Asian Pacific American issues.