Hyderabad: For any rush-hour office goer breakfast is something that they care less about. However, if the same is served piping hot within minutes and is equally filling then it would become part of their morning routine. With this idea in mind, Dr Mahalakshmi Nagubandi along with her entrepreneur husband Ayyappa Nagubandi designed an Idli vending machine. Priced at just Rs 35, the machine provides piping hot Idlis with sambar and chutney at just a click of a button.
Completely detachable and easy to operate, the Idli vending machine is operated through a robotic arm which picks up two Idlis and puts it on a biodegradable plate. Then the plate moves further and sambar and chutney are poured through big containers wherein they are stored. The exact measurement of sambar and chutney is already put into the system and the machine has the capability to keep the sambar hot and the chutney at room temperature. The Idlis are also kept warm inside the machine and it can store up to 320 Idlis which translates to 160 plates.
“The idea of setting up an Idli vending machine came about when we saw the unhygienic conditions in which roadside food stalls sell. We wanted to build something that was not only hygienic but also healthy and filling. About a year ago we working on a pani puri vending machine, however, that was not reaping much benefit for us. That is when we thought why not focus on something simpler and popular. And that is when we thought that Idlis is one dish which people of any age group can eat and it can be eaten at any time of the day and it is the most preferred food when someone is ill,” said Dr Mahalakshmi.
Overall 12-15 people have worked on developing the machine and all the manufacturing has been done in-house without any foreign component being used. Weighing over 100 kg, the machine will be provided on franchisee basis wherein the rent and machine acquisition has to be borne by the franchisee while the after service and delivery of Idlis, sambar and chutney will be provided by Possibillion (the company that has made Idli vending machine).
“We are targeting bus and railway stations and even corporate offices as our first phase of operations. Going ahead, we will be placing the machine in all busy junctions of the city,” said Ayyappa who already runs another startup Broadcast Wear.