The derring-do of a man in India whose motto in life has been -"There are no ifs and buts. It has to be done" - saw him painstakingly invent a machine that brought in a world of value addition in the form of fuss-free embroidery: Rajkumar Lakshman, the Founder-Managing Director of Nantex Machineries Pvt Ltd, tells Richa Bansal how he came to turn adversity on its head, and what mistakes others should not commit should they venture on the same path.
When he was a child, he did not know from where he would get his first and only meal of the day. He lost his father at the tender age of seven. The struggles continued and after almost 18 years of working as a CAD designer he gave in to a daring thought gnawing his mind - design a machine that could control the fabric both in reverse and forward while doing the embroidery and with the same tension. He approached some Swiss companies. But there was no response. China told him that what he had in mind just could not be done. The thought had now become a fevered brow and he decided to dig into his savings of a little less than two decades.
When he ran out of money in the midst of the project, he borrowed from private financiers. An impressed former employer pitched in when he saw what was being designed and somehow a demo was scratched up. But all this was not enough, and nor was it enough when Rajkumar Lakshman finally mortgaged the only roof over his head. Nothing deterred him, and he continued to work on it bit by bit and it was another four-and-a-half years before he could make the complete commercial fully automated machine - the world's first vertical embroidery machine.
This fully automated computerised electronic embroidery machine can attain speed up to 400 rpm, occupies very less space and requires minimal manpower. But the most unique and beneficial aspect of this invention is that while current technology allows embroidery to be done width-wise, this machine has been devised to do it along the length of the fabric.
Although the machine has since gone into commercial production, giving a turnover of ₹3 crore, Lakshman is still looking for investors. "Embroidering a knitted or mesh fabric was a nightmare. But in our machine this can be done easily and with the look that is required. Furthermore, this machine is capable of giving some value addition in knitted fabrics.
It is so versatile, it can embroider any type of fabric, be it garment, lace, home furnishing, curtains, carpet etc. We have received enquiries from India. My video on Youtube has given me customers from Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Argentina and Brazil."