Samay Kohli scores big with robotic automation

Samay Kohli joins the likes of Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who made it to the global list of Innovators in past years

Samay Kohli is co-founder and CEO of GreyOrange, a robotics firm he founded in 2011.
Samay Kohli is co-founder and CEO of GreyOrange, a robotics firm he founded in 2011.

New Delhi: Samay Kohli isn’t certainly a household name in India. He has, sort of, come from nowhere to become the lone Indian to be part of the global list of 2016 Innovators under 35, in the Entrepreneurs sub-category, published by the MIT Technolgy Review.

Kohli, 30, has been honoured as an entrepreneur for his outstanding contribution in the field of computer and electronics hardware, joining the ranks of the Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and the Facebook founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg, who have been on the list previously.

Kohli, an innovator who disrupted the traditional supply chain operations through robotic automation, is co-founder and CEO of GreyOrange, a robotics firm he founded in 2011 along with his friend Akash Gupta, who is the chief technology officer.

GreyOrange designs, manufactures and deploys advanced robotics systems for automation at warehouses, distribution and fulfilment centres (warehouses maintained by online retailers) across the world.

“GreyOrange is driven by the potential of robotics automation and the continuous zeal for innovation,” Kohli said in a statement. I am delighted to be a part of the coveted MIT Technology Review list as it acknowledges the role that GreyOrange has played in transforming the supply chains across industries through its robotic solutions. We are actually living our mission of solving real business problems using technology”.

Kohli’s products include the GreyOrange Butler and Sorter, both artificial intelligence powered goods-to-person robotic system that automate inventory management in a warehouse. While the Butler stores products and brings shelves to human workers, the Sorters automatically scan and sort packages of any size or shape. The butler and sorter robot solutions enhance the efficiency and accuracy of warehouse operations by minimizing the need for human movement and reduce the level of human error, time and labour. This automation helps companies, especially those in the e-commerce space, significantly improve brand experience for their customers.

GreyOrange claims 92% of India’s warehouse automation market, a sector that Kohli thinks can become humongous. The company has over 40 clients including retailers such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and Myntra.

The company has a 500-plus strong workforce, and has posted a growth rate of 300% year-on-year. One-third of the company’s workforce and revenue are dedicated towards research and development, making it one of leading robotic automation players globally.

According to reports, GreyOrange robots are already sorting about 12-million packets every month.

Kohli’s affair with robotics began a decade ago. He has won several robotic competitions around the world, and conducted robotic workshops globally—including at institutions like Stanford University, Louisiana University, MIT and the Indian Institutes of Technology.

Kohli’s interest in robotics was sparked off while he was in college. He is an alumnus of BITS Pilani, graduating in economics and mechanical engineering. As part of the humanoid programme at the Centre for Robotics & Intelligent Systems at BITS, he created AcYut in 2007, one of the first indigenously created humanoid robots in India.

He has also represented India in robotics competitions across 13 countries; winning the gold medal at the RoboGames (formerly ROBOlympics) in San Francisco in 2009.

Currently, the company is headquartered in Singapore with offices in India, Hong Kong and Japan. It has recently expanded business to the Middle East and China markets and in the next two years plans to set up shop in Europe.