Mitra Robot maker startup decries govt apathy to US shipment stuck at Bengaluru airport
Balaji Mitra, the CEO of Mitra Robot, a humanoid robot designed and developed by his startup venture Invento Robotics has complained to Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal that his company’s robots bound for the US customers have been held in the Bengaluru International Airport’s customs for four weeks.
Mitra in a tweet on August 8 Mitra said, “Dear @PiyushGoyal Ji our robots bound for USA customers have been held in BLR customs for 4 weeks. How can we become a major exporter with such red tape? How do you expect Indian companies to be taken seriously by global customers?”
He also blamed the United Parcel Service (UPS), a US-based package delivery company, for being “equally irresponsible in handling this.”
Founded in 2016, Invento Robotics is a robotic company headquartered in Bengaluru. It came into the limelight in late-2017 when a five-foot-tall bot named Mitra developed by Invento Robotics greeted Ivanka Trump at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad.
The humanoid was programmed with facial and speech recognition technologies to greet dignitaries, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at the event.
This was a turning point for the company, which gained visibility and also got its bank loan approved. Soon after, it also started corporate orders from the world over. Its promise of “made-in-India” robots intrigued Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) of companies across the world who invited Invento to give demonstrations of its products in their respective countries.