Rohan is the force behind Meshed: a highly sophisticated electronic masseuse. The innovative tech captures the professional experience of a real-life expert back massage in the form of a sleek chair: “every motion of a human pair of hands can be intimately replayed. Software that’s connected to the hardware further maps an individual surface to give bespoke massages as the machinery gets ‘to know’ the customer. As well as helping people repose, Meshed will help eliminate back pain.” Indeed, from being able to program the exact duration of time whether it is 20 mins or 2 whole hours, to the specific type of massage wanted – Swedish etc. – Meshed can deliver premium relaxation. The goal is to have the tech incorporated into every kind of chair so people can travel in interconnected physical luxury too: “we want Meshed available in offices, planes, cars and physiotherapy as well as the home. We would love to sell to a big automobile company to benefit as many customers as possible quickly.”
A modern-day Thomas Edison, Rohan also previously founded, Effie, a self-running iron which was eventually sold to Bosch. “Giants in the industry may approach you to buy because you have discovered something unique, valuably enhancing their existing product. This is mutually fiscally beneficial as a start-up. Either way, your product will be materialised and made available widely.” Rohan has always enjoyed big-picture thinking: “Usually, mechanical discoveries are incremental e.g., when trying to improve ironing, engineers may try to increase the pressure of the steam; I’ve always wanted to meet the customer’s fundamental need e.g., dispensing of the hassle of ironing altogether! Often new products on the market are a ‘better than nothing’ option but I want to give people the life-changing solution.” Going beyond solving the so-called ‘pain point’ then this electrical engineer completely overturns it!
“I’d love to continue to develop massage tech to help alleviate discomfort in other parts of the body too: the legs, head and feet. Let’s see where Meshed takes us: we’re still a growing start-up.” Rohan achieved a Masters in Electrical Engineering at Cambridge University, wanting to be an inventor from a young age: “my dad encouraged me to lay down a practical foundation explaining that there was no formal certificate in discovery! After completing my degree, I also worked for a product development consultancy designing products for the medical, industrial and consumer sectors. This ranged from creating industrial water meters and consumer face-care devices to thermal printers for medical in-vitro diagnostic machines. I needed this to achieve the grand imaginative breakthroughs of recent years. If I’d stayed in product development, perhaps I could be part of more diverse cutting-edge tech, but this way I’m able to create my own work, making a lasting individual impact. I enjoy gadgets that are dynamic and, above all, help elevate people’s lives.” Thus, Rohan not only demonstrates the nuances of contemporary discovery but also the universal mantra of millennial success: if you yourself can get excited by a service, this will at once move and be propagated by those around you. Sometimes the everyday is sublime.
Your focus seems to be Domestic Luxury. Is that accurate?
Perhaps in terms of generally what we do. However, we mainly focus on what’s user-friendly. I enjoy practical problem-solving that can be mass-manufactured. If we can drastically improve someone’s day to day, we will. As an electrical engineer, I approach this through physical means. However, most tech today is also material though we obsess about the digital and software e.g., Apple may have a lot of impressive apps but they are still operating through tangible laptops and phones etc.
So, concept and pragmatism are one and the same. Do you think you’ll one day have a personal brand that represents your ethos?
If it happens, the event will be gradual and organic. I don’t think you can realistically start out planning this. It’s best to focus on the current business and doing your best with that.
You were likely into gadgets and gizmos from a young age. What were some favourites?
Lego Connect! Also, any little robots that ran around and did. There’s a fine line between machines and AI and I enjoy exploring that too.
What advice would you give to other techie visionaries who are starting out?
It’s very simple logic that I was told: why you; why now? Yes, people may need a product but why should you build it at a certain moment in time. There could be valid personal reason e.g., domain expertise or being able to see something that others cannot.
Another related piece of wisdom is asking if you should build something instead of prioritising whether you can. The order is crucial. It will save you a lot of pain down the line. Does your device solve a problem that people want to pay for e.g., with my automated iron, I knew people would pay for dry-cleaning and hire others to do the handy work for them? I had aunties at parties chase up my idea once I’d told them. I had a specific demographic. Knowing this allows you to confidently create and scale up appropriately. Bosch bought my patented tech. I needed to know it was wanted.
Find out more about Meshed below…