ET Startup Awards 2021: Genrobotic Innovations wins the Social Enterprise award


Using cutting-edge technology to overcome some of the most deep-rooted social issues— such as manual scavenging—helped Genrobotic Innovations emerge as the winner in the crucial Social Enterprise category of the ET Startup Awards 2021.

While rural fintech and lending startup Jai Kisan was neck and neck with Genrobotic in the first round of voting, the Thiruvananthapuram-based startup pulled ahead as the 11-member jury discussed the novelty of the idea to use robots to replace manual scavenging.

Genrobotic’s ability to deploy its solution with several customers and earn profits while also focusing on rehabilitating workers who lose their jobs to its robots, was a deciding factor for the ETSA 2021 jury.

“Genrobotic is bringing together technology, purpose and profitability, which is rare and extremely valuable,” said Ankiti Bose, cofounder and chief executive of B2B ecommerce platform Zilingo, who was part of the jury. “Their tremendous growth and validation in the market is testament to their incredible vision of replacing humans for jobs no one shouldn’t have to do in this day and age.”

Founded in 2017, Genrobotic’s first product ‘Bandicoot’ is targeted at eliminating manual scavenging in India. Bandicoot is a robot that can clean and maintain sewers. It has two major units — a standing unit and a robotic drone unit, which dives into manholes and sewers for cleaning and unblocking.

The company has already deployed more than 100 such robots for its clients including governments, hospitals, rehabilitation centres, refineries, and private contractors.



Genrobotic also works closely with sanitation workers, educates them on the technology, and has made its robots as user-friendly as possible, so that sanitation workers can use them with ease.

“This award will generate awareness of what we’re trying to do. We want to completely eliminate manual scavenging in India,” said Vimal Govind, cofounder and CEO of Genrobotic Innovations. “When you look at the sanitation industry, no big development has taken place in the segment. People are using centuries-old technology even today.”

In 2018, Genrobotic
won a competition conducted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs for technological solutions to address the issue of manual scavenging. The startup has also been recognised by the Smart Cities Mission that envisages cities to provide core infrastructure, clean and sustainable environment and offer a decent quality of life to its citizens.

Genrobotic Innovations intends to develop robotic solutions to address various other issues and is looking to create robots to replace people where the risk to human life is very high, Govind said. “We are also providing solutions for oil and gas refinery-related problems because that too is a toxic environment.”

Also Read:
A robot powering India towards ‘Swachh Bharat’

Other Contenders

YourDOST | Richa Singh & Puneet Manuja

YourDostET Tech



YourDOST is a digital platform to foster mental wellness, catering to more than 300 clients and over 900 experts offering counselling services. Its journey began as a blog, but in 2014 pivoted to an online counselling portal as its founders realised that they had to leverage technology to remove the social stigma attached with therapy.

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Jai Kisan | Arjun Ahluwalia & Adriel Maniego

Jai KisanET Tech



Jai Kisan provides financing for income-generating activities in agriculture and allied industries, financing inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and crop protection products and associated equipment. It also provides an agriculture marketplace—Bharat Khata—for users to buy inputs, facilitates market linkages with buyers and farmers, and offers advisory services.

Goodera | Abhishek Humbad & Richa Bajpai

GooderaET Tech



With an aim to transform Corporate Social Responsibility and donations using technology, Goodera set out to help corporates effectively measure, manage, and report their CSR projects. Today, Goodera is the world’s largest volunteering company, enabling more than 5 million employees to volunteer with thousands of non-profits in more than 100 countries.

iKure Techsoft | Sujay Santra

iKure TechsoftET Tech



iKure offers affordable and accessible primary healthcare to the last mile using technology. Till date, the company has impacted a population of 12 million and treated more than 2.5 million patients in 6,200 villages across eight states in India. The company has its own proprietary platform consisting of data analytics, artificial intelligence, and device integration.



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