ROBOT MAKER, the owner of Autobot robotic vacuum cleaner brand, has set a target to become the leader in Thailand’s smart home-appliances market within the next three years, said Thammasorn Meerat, the company’s co-founder and managing director.
He said that Robot Maker started its business in 2013 with robotic vacuum cleaner products.
“We are a Thai company. We do original design manufacturing and research and development of our products closely with our partner.”
Thammasorn said that the company sees an opportunity in the market for robotic vacuum cleaner technology, especially in Thailand where there are too many features and prices that do not suit Thai people.
“So we started sourcing and developing robotic vacuum cleaners with our partner, which is one of the top five in the world for manufacturing robot vacuums. We wanted to localise it in order to match Thai people’s behaviour. Today, we have five partners cooperating with us in research and development of our products. In addition, we have also set up our own R&D team in Thailand, with a background in robotics engineering, in order to conduct R&D and prototypes of new products,” said Thammasorn.
“Currently, we plan to only expand our R&D team in Thailand. For manufacturing, we still think that Thailand does not yet have a good ecosystem to support the development of smart home appliances and robotic products,” he said.
“The key challenge in the smart home-appliance market is technology. We compete with time. So we have to move fast and improve our product and service on a daily basis. Our strategy is to provide the best technology at a reasonable price and the best service. This will allow us to grow sustainably in the long term,” said Thammasorn.
Thammasorn said the company expects that within 3-5 years robotic vacuum cleaners and smart home appliances will enjoy average annual growth of between 30 per cent and 40 per cent. The target group of Autobot is those who do not have time for house cleaning and those with modern lifestyle with emphasis on saving time.
Currently there are 5-7 brands, global and local, for automatic house appliances. Autobot is ranked No 4 in the market and aims to be No 1 within the next three years. With after-sales service and warranty, Autobot takes care of consumers until the end of use. Customers can bring Autobot for free cleaning every six months to help prolong the usage up to 5-10 years.
The company has also joined hands with e-commerce giant Shopee to boost sales of Autobot robotic vacuum cleaners in the online market.
“The robot vacuum cleaner, or Autobot, has its key selling point as an intelligent electronic appliance for houses. The company has joined with partners from different countries to develop products continuously. Currently there are world-class products to respond to the needs of modern homemakers who have limited time for cleaning. Autobot helps save time and labour with IOT [internet of things] and AI [artificial intelligence],” said Thammasorn.
Siwagorn Siriwongpanupong, head of business development, Shopee Thailand, said: “Shopee is a choice partner for many brands to grow their business through e-commerce, and we are pleased to see the success and growth of Autobot on Shopee since they first launched in 2017.
“In the past year, the Autobot Official Store managed to achieve a 15 times growth in orders, and is now one of the most popular robotic vacuum cleaner brands among Shopee users. We look forward to even closer collaboration with them, and will continue to work closely with the Autobot team to bring users even more exclusive deals and promotions in the months ahead.”
As part of the collaboration between Autobot and Shopee, Autobot is taking part in the Shopee Brands Festival happening from March 1 to April 4. Users can enjoy up to 60 per cent off on Autobot products and look forward to additional vouchers via the Autobot Official Store on Shopee Mall.
In the domestic market, Autobot has invested between Bt50 million and Bt100 million for brand building, focusing on the online channel and social media.