2nd January 2020
The story behind rotibox is extensive. The idea for this product came upon us many years ago, and we’ve worked hard to create something truly unique. In fact, let’s take you for a walk down memory lane:
The year my mum first arrived in the UK from Pakistan, aged only 18, and marrying someone she had never met before the very next day. As she settled in to married life and the trials and tribulations of managing a home, the idea for rotibox was born. It was originally wooden and crafted by my own Dad to solve my Mum’s desperation for mess free cooking. Over the following years, Dad created more and more of these boxes, which subsequently appeared in all our family’s kitchens across the UK.
I left home and relocated to London. I was given a hand crafted rotibox by my Dad so I could make my own roti in my brand new home. This is where the first evolved version came into play- the folding lid was developed as it allowed it to fit in my new kitchen.
Over the following years, many friends commented on my rotibox, how brilliant it was and how much they would love one of their own. The idea of a business opportunity struck…
It’s New Year’s Eve and as the bells ring, I make a decision that this year is going to be different, that I’m going to finally take action and do something about the rotibox business idea I’ve had in my head for nearly 10 years. Then suddenly that night, my brother and I are designing the rotibox logo… (obviously always the most important thing to do when starting a new venture!!!)
I’m out for a birthday dinner with my closest friend discussing our dreams for the future and I realise I don’t have any! That I have never actually dared to dream! For me at the time, life was work, simply surviving as best as I could and then to retire then die. My friend convinced me to attend a course, which unbeknown to me at the time, was about to change my life…
Whilst attending the course, I learnt a vast amount and the biggest part I took away from it was how important it is to have the right mindset; that there’s only one shot at life, so make it count, have a dream and make it happen. Using this change in thinking I started reading up and attending Personal Development courses… the future was suddenly full of positive possibilities.
An unexpected Saturday night alone left me watching the movie ‘Joy’- I was inspired. That very same night, I sat down and wrote a project brief for rotibox and sent it off to numerous suppliers. One of these suppliers came back and the decision was made, I was going to do this, I was going to launch this product!
Whilst working with these suppliers, I decided to move away from the original wooden version and created the plastic rotibox you see today. I wanted to make something better than before that was truly unique. I liked that this would be more hygienic. I based the shape on my iphone and even drew around it for some sketches! After many, many months, phone calls, skype’s, emails and discussions we eventually got there… the sample was signed off, the moulds were made, we were ready to move to production!
Business life is full of ups and downs, which I learnt the hard way. Having taken a 3-month sabbatical from my full time job to launch rotibox. The rotibox sample arrived and it was not what I was expecting. It was not what I had signed off, in fact it was a disaster. The factory’s response was to “take it or leave it”. With a heavy heart, I decided to leave it, despite spending thousands. I wanted to launch a quality product which I could be proud of and this was not it. I took a week to wallow and then I picked myself up and started again. I wasn’t going to give up, so I wrote a new and improved product brief.
As luck would have it or even divine intervention, I was contacted by a factory in Wales who wanted to take on the project. The initial timescale was 3 days in design and 3 months in production… once again we were met with trials and adversity, at one point the project died as the designer could not give me what I wanted and I could not compromise on my vision. Eventually, after over 2 years, my engineer found the solution (an idea he had in the shower apparently!) Better late than never as they say...
The final rotibox design was signed off and production of samples began.
The moulds were ready and setup in Wales. I love that my product is made in the UK! Many more ups and downs were in store with machines breaking down and the product not being produced to the correct standard, but by December, we got there.
We’re ready, time to launch...