Roben is a multi-talented person with a knack to multitask across several verticals. He has an expertise in strategic planning, business development, management and negotiations. This has helped him climb the ladder of success. He is the name behind several organizations like roffe construction chemicals, igroupe, Neptune Engineering, and kkblr.com.
However, his true ingenuity camer to the forefront with Koochieplay Systems. It is a multinational conglomerate that manufactures world-class outdoor playground & outdoor fitness equipment, specialized safety flooring tiles & amusement park equipment. Roben aims to provide world class products, that meet all international standards in terms of design, safety, aesthetics and quality.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Our Solutions extend to all outdoor entertainment requisites of a commercial construction property [like residential condominiums, schools, resorts, clubs, malls, gas stations, fast food restaurants, public parks etc] ranging from our vast range of outdoor & indoor playgrounds equipment, our outdoor fitness gyms and our various flooring solutions [such as safety flooring tiles, wet pour EPDM, artificial turf etc]. Playground equipment has evolved from a few metal pipes being welded together to scientifically designed play equipment that provides children with fun, fresh air, and EXERCISE.
Today’s playground equipment includes complex multiplay systems that have various modules such as, swings, rock walls, climbers, monkey bars, balancing stones and slides just to name a few. A lot of thought and design goes into developing safe and most important fun playgrounds. Today’s playground systems are scientifically designed not only to ensure a fun but also to help develop various motor skills of the children using the equipment. Today’s playground equipment is designed to double up as an ‘outdoor gym’ that little children can use to ‘work out’ and develop their motor skills whilst still have fun.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
Koochieplay Systems began as a dream. The dream [after all everything begins with a dream] we have, is not about just making or selling playground systems like no one else does, nor was it just to offer a product that everyone would want, but to offer total solutions which would first of all include:
- Child Safety – which is our foremost concern.
- Meeting International Standards in terms Of quality, aesthetics, product life, design, planning & execution.
- Redefining & achieving a successful balance between safety, reliability, quality, aesthetics, & design excellence.
- Adding value to any project that would use a koochie play system.
What is your life mantra?
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Most initial entrepreneurial journeys are always stressful and a struggle especially when you are trying to change the way things are, nobody accepts or likes change initially, resistance to change is common and we did not receive any different treatment. When we introduced these world-class products we met a stereotype reception – “why should we use such products? why do we need internationally certified playgrounds? Why should we change? We are happy with what we having been doing for years….Etc..
How did you overcome those challenges?
The key word here is perseverance. Our entire initial years went in educating the key stakeholders of our industry on the need and urgency to insist on the use of products that are tested and certified to be safe for children. This took a huge amount of energy, patience, time, sweat and money. We had to conduct many workshops and share our experience on what internationally certified playground equipment are all about. We had to actually play a major role in changing the way this industry worked and now over a decade I believe we have managed to do so.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We are mostly self-funded and more or less debt free as over the years we have ploughed all our profits back into the business to fuel its growth. Our mantra to retain customers and also ensure growth is very simple “We deliver more than we commit as we are very passionate about our brand’s image. Our growth in itself has been used as our investments”.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
Attrition always comes at a high cost besides the loss of time on training people. We treat our team as strategic business partners [instead of mere employees] and always mentor / guide them to help them meet their goals. The top management is accessible to everyone in the company and we are all very involved with our teams right from the top to lower down. We are by far considered to be the numero uno brand in this space in India and hence we do attract good talent.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
That’s simple – Persistence, Focus and Sincerity
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
A good CRM is a must, once should upgrade this to a good ERP once scale is achieved.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
My obsession with perfection
Answer in less than 50 words
The world is full of great ideas, but success only comes through action. Walt Disney once said that the easiest way to get started is to quit talking and start doing. That’s true for your success as well.
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Getting complacent – Complacency tends to nip any potential for change in the bud and as a result when a change occurs, it’s a big shock to your system.
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody will.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
Expansion into the EME [Europe & Middle East] Regions, Greater penetration into the tier two and tier three cities in India and two new production facilities.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
Absolutely nothing, I would copy paste all that I did and I am doing.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Interlaken, Bruges, Beirut.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“The quality of your practice determines the caliber of your performance” – Robin Sharma