Saturday, July 10, 2004

How about an instant chai machine?

I did this story yesterday about a guy from Haryana, not an affluent family, who has designed a fascinating tea-making machine that also has an alarm function to give you tea when you want it! The Grassroots Innovation Augmentation Network has now taken it up to evolve a sleek and more efficient model out of the original design:

This success story does not have a happy beginning. Ashok Dhiman’s mother was unwell and it was up to him, the youngest in the family, to help her with all the household chores. And the first task of the day was to make tea for the family. That is where Dhiman, a resident of Panchkula in Haryana, put on his thinking cap. Why not have a machine that would make tea automatically, in the required quantity and at the required time?

He did exactly that. A former Industrial Training Institute (ITI) trainee, Dhiman created a machine in March last year that was designed to prepare tea, Indian style, in the required quantity. It even had an alarm function so that the user could get a steaming cup while in bed. The Grassroots Innovation Augmentation Network (GIAN, North) cell in Jaipur has now adopted the project to incubate it into a success story. The creation has already been patented.

A snazzier model, like your microwave, complete with push buttons and programmable logic control is expected to hit the market countrywide around Diwali this year. The prototype of this model is expected to be readied by the end of this month, a GIAN official informed. Priced at around Rs 6,000, it will require advanced booking. “The machine could be any executive’s office furniture. It will be designed in way so that you can keep it in your drawing room and not your backyard,” he said.

The first model was crude and had basic functions such as mixing the ingredients and bring the water to a lukewarm temperature. The second model corrected that and made it possible to boil the water and switch it off immediately, using sensors, to save electricity. The third model is expected to be entirely automatic and have a capacity for five cups of tea. “It will not take more than five minutes to do so,” the official claimed.

“We are expecting an enormous demand but we do not want to produce it en masse. We have received around 50 orders from Jaipur already,” he added. Only around 100 pieces are expected to be ready by Diwali.


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