Kamlesh Nanasaheb Ghumare from Devarpada village in Malegaon looked at pitching his unconventional innovation on Shark Tank as a second chance to revisit his acting passion.
The last time he came to Mumbai was, like hundreds of others had from his region, to fulfil his Bollywood dream after attempting Mollywood (Malegon’s film industry) in 2017. But he was scared and terrified to live in the big city.
However, this time around, he felt more confident as he was going to display his innovation, a unique pesticide spraying trolley that he built over eight years.
Giving it his all, he introduced himself as Kamlesh ‘Jugadu’, with his arms stretched in the air like a popular B-town hero.
The 27-year-old managed to surprise the judges with his act but what impressed them the most was his solution to a problem that often goes unnoticed.
Hailing from an agrarian family, it was not hard for him to understand some of the common problems faced by farmers such as back pain, neck pain and eye irritation. Farmers endure these problems while spraying chemicals or pesticides on the crops.
“So, I mounted a pesticide spray on a bicycle that automatically sprays the pesticides when in motion. A simple solution that solves issues of farmers across India is what got me a Shark Tank deal of Rs 10 lakhs,” Kamlesh tells The Better India.
Unleashing His ‘Jugadu’ Side
Kamlesh was never studious and always liked making something out of nothing. As a child, he would use matchsticks, pencils, thread, stones and whatever was at his disposal.
As an adult, his curiosity to build something remained the same, except now his innovations were directed at solving his family’s problems.
Recalling one such anecdote, Kamlesh says, “Once it was raining heavily and I got drenched while I was driving the tractor in the field. It was a horrible day as everything including our crops had been damaged. Upset and irritated, I decided to at least solve the problem of drenching. I modified the tractor’s interiors and added a car seat, windscreen and roof.”
In another instance, he turned an old bullock cart into a dolly crane for a movie shoot.
It was in 2014 that Kamlesh started working on building a spraying trolley for his father from discarded materials.
“For several years, my father has been carrying a 25-litre pesticide tank on his shoulders. With age, his pain grew to an extent when he was unable to carry it one day. Seeing this, I started building a trolley that would be sturdy and flexible enough to be able to move around on an uneven field and in between all the soil. People called me ‘mad’ when I told them I could build it. They didn’t believe me because I was not an engineer,” he says.
Nevertheless, he kept at it and modified the machine various times to be able to come up with a model that he displayed on the reality show. The machine weighs around 26 kg and can carry 30 kg of weight.
A video of the fully-finished and working machine was uploaded on his YouTube channel ‘Jugadu Kamlesh’ in 2017. It has so far garnered 8.7 million views.
With the grant received, he will build similar models and further modify his original piece to make it lightweight and multipurpose.
Kamlesh’s fun-loving nature, earnest efforts and perseverance in building a near-perfect machine has gone viral on the internet. Since the episode’s release, his phone has not stopped buzzing. Offers from other investors, companies and farmers continue to pour in.
“I have finally fulfilled my dream of becoming a hero by solving an issue. Isn’t that what a hero does?” he asks, rhetorically. But we couldn’t agree more.
Edited by Yoshita Rao