The royal couple, Prince William and Princess Kate, had a glimpse of smart, useful Indian innovations during their tour of India. At an event in Mumbai on day 2 of the tour, four young entrepreneurs displayed their inventiveness to the royal couple. The display at The Social, a cafe and collaborative work-space, included a machine that made Braille learning simpler (by Project Mudra), a racing car simulator (Mahindra Racing Team) and an app for mapping (by Chris Sheldrick, CEO of what3words).
But the royal couple was especially impressed with a dosa maker, innovated by a former B-Tech student from SRM University in Chennai. Vikas Eshwar, who is the founder and CEO of Mukunda foods at 24 years of age, had invented ‘dosamatic’, a table-top dosa maker that reduces usage of fuel and makes the crispiest dosas.
He developed the concept with his batchmate Sudeep Sabat. The dosa-loving duo thought of inventing this machine after failing to find perfectly crispy dosas anywhere else but in their hometown. “Chennai’s crispy dosas spoiled us and we realised that when we went to other parts of the country or world, we could never get them as good as in South India,” he said to Times of India.
The portable machine requires the least amount of human intervention to make a dosa that is perfectly crispy, of the right size and thickness.
It lets you customise the size, thickness and type of dosa. Pour the batter in, and wait for just a minute to get hot crispy fresh dosas.
The duo launched their invention in 2011, but it took them a while to perfect the machine and get it to the market. In 2012, they won the best business plan award at VenturaFest in Chennai, which earned them recognition enough to get funded by the Indian Angel Networks. In 2014, the duo launched two versions of the machine: a commercial model, which costs around Rs 1.5 lakh, suitable for restaurants and hotels; and a domestic model, which costs as low as Rs 12,500, for households.
Eshwar says that the dosamatic machines are available all over the UK and the US as well.
Last year, Eshwar had also shown the machine to Prime Minister Modi at another event. Little did he know at that time that he would be called for an event where the royal couple would be visiting. “Modi had just glanced at my invention when he saw it last year, so I expected the same from the Prince and Princess. But I was really surprised when they started talking to me about the machine, then made themselves a dosa and took a bite,” said Eshwar, excitedly.
According to Eshwar, the royal couple, who are never seen to eat in public, had broken protocol to taste his dosas.
“The Prince has asked for one to be shipped to the Buckingham Palace as the machine makes pancakes and crepes as well,” adds Eshwar.