This Indian expat's unique robotics initiative aims to create a future-proof technology ecosystem

Making millennials tech savvy


Joydeep Sengupta

Published: Thu 1 Sep 2022, 9:19 PM

Bansan Thomas George, the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Unique World Robotics LLC, Dubai, and the managing director (MD) of Synergen Group India, is busy preparing to represent the UAE at the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) to be held in Germany from November 17 to 19.Unique World Robotics is among the qualifying teams from across the globe that will represent their countries in different categories, which is bound by a common theme — ‘My Robot My Friend’.

Earlier, the 33-year-old edupreneur successfully took part in the UAE WRO, which was held between June 4 and 6 and was organised by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK). Altogether, 512 teams had competed in different categories for seven national titles at the WRO, of which George’s outfit won in three categories such as Robomission (Elementary), Future Innovators and Future Engineers.

George has been rebuilding the technosphere in India and the UAE for over a decade. The passionate engineer has embarked on this journey to help prepare the millennials for a dynamically disruptive job market. He has architectured Unique World Robotics, which aims to take science, technology, research, engineering, arts and mathematics (STREAM) to the grassroots by creating a future-proof industry-ready technology ecosystem.

The genesis for marrying education with technology, which is also known as edtech, started in George’s native Kerala, India, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in electronics and computer Engineering from the Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam in 2010.

He worked for a company in Kerala for the next one and half years. “However, I was acutely aware from an early age about my career goals. So, I started a small business venture to train students in science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) and made some inroads into a few schools to create STEM laboratories in Kerala. Initially, it was difficult as there were question marks about what we were planning to do, but later those hurdles were overcome,” he says.

In 2013, George got his first big edupreneur break. Malayala Manorama Company, one of India’s largest and oldest media houses that has operations in print, TV, radio and digital properties, tied up with George and trained over 100,000 students till 2016.Buoyed by the success, George started a robotics research institute in Kochi, Kerala, that was spread over 6,000 square metres “to executive innovative ideas”.

George’s tryst with Dubai occurred in 2018. He came to the UAE to raise funds for his venture, and, as luck would have it, his investor gave him an office space next to his facility. “We opened our laboratory in Dubai and started exploring the market. Now, we’ve four campuses, 12 and nine trainers in the UAE and India, respectively. We have trained over 4,000 students in the UAE, many of whom have become National Robotic Champion here,” he says.

George has over 25 passionate edtech dreamers on his rolls. He has been creating opportunities for those who want to build a rewarding career in the edtech domain in the UAE, India and making forays into east Africa, such as Kenya. “We want to work with all the schools in the UAE and train students as part of their curriculum. This will enable students to start creating new products while in school. Innovation must start from school,” he says.

What about the funds to realise such an ambitious project? “We’re looking at an investment of up to $20 (Dh73.46) million to create a robotics industry. The fund will help build household robots that could do certain routine work and replace human interventions. Though we’ve the technical know-how, we’re hamstrung due to lack of funds,” he says.

George believes his fortuitous move to Dubai has given a new direction to his career path. “There is a synergy between Dubai and our work. For instance, Dubai is trying to attract foreign talents in STEM, and we’re nurturing these precocious talents in those fields. This synergy will lead to Dubai and by extension the UAE’s industrial transformation in the years to come,” he adds.

For the uninitiated parents, early coding, or precoding, offers children experiences that integrate communication, thinking, and problem solving. Children can be immersed in versatile activities that align with multiple areas, like math, problem solving, communication, and literacy.

Unique World Robotics is among the eight teams that have been selected to represent the UAE at the international WRO competition in Germany

in November.

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