Meet India’s Humane Robot Seller

Post pandemic, there has been a resurgence in factory automation but it should not happen at the cost of humans losing their jobs

Sonali Kulkarni, President and CEO, Fanuc India

It wasn’t the meeting that Sonali Kulkarni, President and CEO of Fanuc India, often called the ‘Robot Queen’, was expecting. On the hot summer afternoon of June 16, 2011, Kulkarni, who is also the great-granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, was in Delhi, meeting customers. Her third meeting that day was at Hero MotoCorp’s Gurugram plant. Hero, the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, uses Fanuc’s industrial robots and computerised numerical controls (CNC). Three cars pulled up on the porch of the factory; Kulkarni was standing on the steps. Brijmohan Lall Munjal, the late patriarch of the Munjal family that owns Hero MotoCorp, stepped out of one of the cars.