To be a woman in India is to be put under the scanner from day one. There are norms to conform to, expectations to fulfill, manners to be maintained, and dreams to be forgotten.
Typically, Roshail Agrawal’s story is one of tough decisions. She always knew what she wanted in life. That was the easy part. The hard part, was to navigate the same choppy waters that every Indian woman must, in order to follow their dreams.
Brought up in Chhattisgarh, Roshail’s first big decision was a career one. Blessed with a keen business mind and an eye for the artistic, she was given the unpleasant task of choosing between the two. What went on in her head only she knows. What we know is this:
Sometimes, a creator knows no stronger urge than to create. Roshail felt it, and before long, she was on her way down the road less travelled.
A year into her creative journey at Pearl, Roshail was introduced to The Global Goals. An ongoing project with an aim to achieve sustainable development. She was always a firm believer of design for the greater good – the world, its peoples, and the environment. This was an opportunity to let fly at the many issues that had almost held her back.
Putting a price on stereotypes.
Ask any Indian homemaker, and they will tell you that, aside from their trusty kadhai, the pressure cooker is a kitchen utensil worth its weight in gold. Roshail knew this. She also knew that the going rate for the average pressure cooker was Rs.1200 – a big ask for people in lower socioeconomic brackets.
Price point was just half the problem. The other half, was stereotypes. The Indian woman (working or otherwise) is expected to prepare three square meals a day for her family. Whatever Roshail intended to do, it had to hit several large and unsightly birds with one stone.
Everything but the kitchen sink.
After days of research and tinkering, Roshail created Heat Up. A utility cooking device, designed to save space, time and power. At the risk of looking like a product catalogue, here are its features:
Equally useful as a container, pressure cooker and kadhai, Heat Up ups its utility a notch by saving power. Using a standard heating coil, it uses less power than most electric cookers and appliances. It comes encased in a terracotta shell, making it cool to touch and safe around children.
Today, Roshail aims to price Heat Up between Rs.600-700, making it available to a much larger section of society.
The moral of the story? Follow your dreams, fight the good fight, inspire others – the list goes on. For us, the real takeaway was Roshail Agrawal, her dreams, her desire, and her willingness to be a creator.