Published 06 Feb 2023

Interview with Movel AI CEO: 2022 Evaluation and Response to the Upcoming Slowdown

Interview with Movel AI CEO: 2022 Evaluation and Response to the Upcoming Slowdown

At the end of 2021, the robotics industry had grown significantly. The global robot sales of both industrial and service robots increased by 0.5% despite the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a variety of robotics startups had emerged. This data certainly makes companies in the robotics industry move positively in early 2022 to accelerate robotics adoption in other industries.

Movel AI, a robotics software, deep tech startup based in Singapore, comes with robotic navigation solutions enabling robot manufacturers to compete in post-pandemic global competition.

To garner more insight into the robotics industry we recently caught up with the CEO/Founder, Abhishek Gupta. Throughout this article, we will highlight what the startup has accomplished in 2022, the vision and predictions for the robotics industry, as well as how it anticipates the predicted 2023 slowdown.

What’s been keeping you busy lately?

“I think mainly it's more about fundraising and customer deployments. We deployed a full-scale palatial forklift deployment at Amgen, one of the world's leading biotechnology companies. Being a space-constrained area, the challenges were quite high and that's why we had to spend a lot of time planning and putting our software into the robots in that particular manufacturing area.”

How do you see Movel AI’s performance in 2022?

“In terms of business, we have grown twofold since 2021. Apart from that, we have expanded overseas and successfully acquired four major clients in Europe. Third, we have got some full deployments in places, such as Amgen, SIMTech, and Inditex.”

What challenges have you faced in the pursuit of the company's transformation and expansion this past year?

“Globally the market has been going down, and because of the upcoming slowdown, fundraising is becoming challenging day by day. So we have to speak to a lot of investors to make sure that we have the right amount of funds to expand the company.”

One of Movel AI’s highlights in 2022 was the successful strategic partnership with Kudan/Artisense in mid-2022. Can you share with us what prompted this decision and what is your strategy?

“When Movel AI first met Kudan/Artisense in March this year (2022), we realised that they are in a similar field. However, we noticed that they are fulfilling one of our tech gaps, the same way our technology covers theirs. Besides, them being based in Europe strategically also helps Movel AI to expand into Europe rapidly. Keeping this in mind, we decided to do a joint project together.

It's been going quite well. The results have been confirmed by our customers to be quite nice, and we'll have our first commercial deployment early next year.”

How do you envision Movel AI in 2023, what’s the first step toward accomplishing the vision?

“We envision Movel AI to again double the revenue of what we have achieved in 2022. So every year we are growing at 200%. To achieve those, the first step is to make sure we have a very good support and sales team. The next step would be to amp up the sales and support team.

Apart from that, we have to also work on our marketing efforts much higher, to make our marketing much more attractive to the customers. So that instead of an outbound sales, we are getting a lot of inbound sales.”

We foresee that in the robotics industry, there will be a tremendous shift from buying the Robot-as-a-product to using Robot-as-a-service

What’s your take on the predicted slowdown in 2023 and how do you think it affects the robotics industry based on your own experience and knowledge of the market?

“With the upcoming slowdown, a lot of companies would be trying to do cost efficiency and to implement something which is lower cost than what they are currently incurring. So a lot of companies would tend to go for robots, which is costing them lower than the monthly burn of the salaries they are paying to the people. We foresee that in the robotics industry, there will be a tremendous shift from buying the Robot-as-a-product to using Robot-as-a-service.”

So, you're saying that the upcoming 2023 slowdown might serve a positive sentiment for the robotics industry?

“Exactly, because there would be more use of robots. However, instead of using robots as a product, companies will start using Robots-as-a-Service. Thus, the work is being done while still saving money.”

Is there any type of robot you think will have a solid demand in the market by 2023?

“I think there will be a lot more demand for industrial and warehouse robotics. The end users might come from different industries, but they will use the robots for their own logistics segments.”

In 2023, are there any markets that you expect will grow rapidly?

“We foresee the Southeast Asia market to grow, such as Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. Apart from that, we see huge growth in the U.S. and European markets.”

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