A company which created the world's first robot chapati maker is one of the success stories from start-up hot spot Block 71 in Ayer Rajah Crescent. It is also a good example of why it is important to promote entrepreneurship in Singapore.
In the English segment of his National Day Rally speech yesterday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong noted that entrepreneurs do not just create jobs and prosperity.
"With their resourcefulness and optimism, they give our society the confidence that 'anything is possible'," he said.
Zimplistic's product, Rotimatic, has transformed the way the wholewheat unleavened flatbread can be made. "Put in flour, oil and water, press a button, and out comes fresh hot chapati and roti, one per minute. If you have made chapati, you know what hard work it is," Mr Lee said.
The Rotimatic was developed by Ms Pranoti Nagarkar, a mechanical engineer by training, and her husband Mr Rishi Israni, who is a software expert.
It uses patented artificial intelligence technology to measure and mix the correct ratio of flour and water in real time.
"It is our staple diet. I thought, we washed clothes by hands, then came the washing machine. Where's the machine to make chapatis?" Ms Nagarkar told The Straits Times in an interview in 2014.
She spent $20,000 to create Rotimatic. A prototype won the national Start-Up Singapore competition in 2009, and the product was brought to market with the help of Spring Singapore and other investors along the way.
The Rotimatic was launched early last year, with nearly 8,500 units of the product selling out within a few days.