As part of this blog we will see the journey of Padmasri. Mallshanna, from 6th class drop out to invention of electronic weaving machine which I ended up listening to him live as part of #shedevelopstech event conducted at Microsoft India Hyderabad Center
He is born in weaving family and stopped after 6th class. He started feeling concerned about his mother who is working so hard to make the saree. He observed his mother and identified that there are primarily five modules. He built first module in 1st year which instilled confidence in him to build the product. But he started getting lot of push back from his family.
Building first Product
As this is not normal in his circles, he started experiencing lot of push back from his family. They thought he is mad. All family members, relatives, members of his community and other villages. His family members desperately want him to stop the pursuit. But he did not succumbed to the pressure. At the end his family decided to get him married as typical Indian families think that after getting married a spoiled kid come to normalcy. He fled from home and reached Hyderabad, then joined a company in Hyderabad full time. While working full time, he continued his pursuit to build the final product. He successfully built 4 modules himself and then he hit road block. Then one of his friend asked him to go to Bala Nagar in Hyderabad and watch some of the small scale industries who work on mechanical motors. After observing them, he successfully completed final module and has the machine ready
Experience and Challenges – First product
His experience was ecstatic. He can only visualize his mother using the machine through out that sleepless night. In the morning he went to his village in an auto. He introduced the machine to his parents and asked them to give thread to demonstrate. They resisted and told him that you have wasted so much of time and money and we do not want to waste any more. Then he offered money to his parents for the thread and then he demonstrated. His parents were overwhelmed, his relatives, community members started flocking at his door. He was so ecstatic that after 7 years of consistent effort, he could improve his mother’s life. By the year 2000, he got his first product.
He was able weave a saree in 1.5 hours which used to take 6 hours. Seeing this his relatives and community members told him to solve the pain of every one. He then started a plant and started manufacturing mechanical motor for 12500 INR. He ended up selling 300 such motors. As demand for steel have gone up exponentially, it is not viable for him to sell mechanical motor any more. He has to sell at least 26000 INR and suddenly there are no buyers. Then one of his friend suggested to make it electronic.
Transformation to Electronic motor
As per his friend’s suggestion he want to build electronic motor. Even though he is uneducated he went to Koti and bought few electronic books and dictionary to translate. He worked for few more years and converted the mechanical motor to electronic motor. Again in 2007 he started selling the motor at 12500 INR.
Then he realized only typical patterns can be weaved by his motor. He thought if he can work further he can add more patterns. Again some friend suggested him to started coding. He went to Koti and he was not even aware which book to buy. He managed to get 5 books which have more examples to practice. He bought a computer and started learning microcontroller programming. In his words, programming at microcontroller level is easier for him. He is able to build a new product which can facilitate the weaver to program new patterns.
He got the motor patented by National Innovation Foundation.
Now he says Facebook, Whatsapp etc enable them to digitalize their market place and sell the products directly to customers. Even before weaving the saree they are able to share the designs with potential customers to get them reviewed by customers themselves. In his words, the weaving industry of Pochampalli is reviewed. It is not same any more.
Awards and Recognition
If awards have life, they should feel privileged for them to be in his hands
- Tea with President. Abdul Kalaam
- 2009 got award from President. Prathibha Patil
- 2010 got award from Samsung
- Got his name in Time Magazine as one of 7 gross root innovators
- 2012 got award from Nabard
- 2016 Amazing Indian award from the hands of Shri. Narendra Modi.
- 2016 Stayed as guest in Rashtrapati Bhavan for 15 days
- 2017 – He got Padmasri award, one of the highest civilian awards
- I can experience his excitement when he talk about President. Abdul Kalaam and PM Shri. Narendra Modi
- Executive Director of Sri Nidhi college Dr. P. Narasimha Reddy offered him to come up and take classes to his students about all the 3 products
- One of the Telangana State Government executive requested him to visit the schools and explain how to handle failure
- There are few questions from the audience, but in the end he shared his contact number with audience to call him in case of any questions
Padmasri. Malleshanna highly deserve Padmashree and I admire Telangana State Government to nominate for the award. His journey is highly motivating and truly inspirational. Even after so much success, he is so humble. Every one who is in the room – organizers, audience, mentors, volunteers, guests equally enjoyed the session. He got huge standing ovation for the impact he have created for his mother, for his village and for the weaving community.