According to a press report, India’s Godrej Group has come up with yet another disruptive, frugal innovation. Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GPCL) has developed a mosquito repellent that works without electricity and costs just 1 Rupee (about 1.2 Euro cents). Ms. Nisaba Godrej, executive director of GCPL elaborated in an interview with Ms. Nupur Anand of the Daily News & Analysis (DNA, Oct. 7, 2013):
A report of the Associate Press appearing on the Internet site of India’s NDTV.com (October 6, 2013), says:
New York: Procter & Gamble executives say it was striking the first time they witnessed a man shave while sitting barefoot on the floor in a tiny hut in India.
He had no electricity, no running water and no mirror.
The 20 US-based executives observed the man in 2008 during one of 300 visits they made to homes in rural India. The goal? To gain insights they could use to develop a new razor for India.
“That, for me, was a big ‘a-ha,'” said Alberto Carvalho, vice president, global Gillette, a unit of P&G. “I had never seen people shaving like that.”
The visits kicked off the 18 months it took to develop Gillette Guard, a low-cost razor designed for India and other emerging markets. Introduced three years ago, Guard quickly gained market share and today represents two out of every three razors sold in India. The story of how Guard came to be illustrates the balance companies must strike when creating products for emerging markets: It’s not as simple as slapping a foreign label on an American product. […]
This report also underlines the “lead market” function of India for frugal innovations that has been researched by our team and has been dealt with in greater detail in our forthcoming book “Aiming Big with Small Cars: Emergence of a Lead Market in India” (Springer). We are organizing a symposium on frugal innovations to cover upcoming key questions on global growth in both emerging as well as developed markets through affordable and good-enough solutions and to disseminate the results of our research. Meanwhile interested readers might like to read our article “Assessing India’s lead market potential for cost-effective innovations“, published in the Journal of Indian Business Research.
According to a report appearing the Economic Times (Mumbai, Oct. 4, 2013), “India Inc’s rural champions have probably never had it so good.” A good monsoon is seen as having “kindled hopes of a turnaround in demand for key products”.
The ET report citing an unnamed study by the Deutsche Bank says: “At a time when the rest of India Inc is either groaning under heavy debt or struggling to sell in a sluggish market, companies with heavy rural focus are literally licking their lips in anticipation of a surge in demand in India’s villages and towns. Already, two-wheeler sales are inching up, tractor sales are booming and banks are hiring employees in far-flung regions, hoping to benefit from a monsoon that has increased the kharif area by 5% and water reservoir levels by 15%.”
The 7 firms examined in the study are Hero Motocorp, Emami, Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra, M&M Fin Services, and ITC. All of these companies can be regarded as champions in having mastered the “frugal challenge“.
In this report BBC reporter Anna Lacey looks into how “the most low-tech methods can produce good medical results” and dwells on how mosquito nets are now being used to repair hernias.
According to the report, an Indian surgeon, Dr. Ravi Tongaonkar, came up with the idea of “using sterilised mosquito mesh as a low-cost substitute for the expensive commercial meshes currently in use.” “His mosquito meshes work out around 4,000 times cheaper than imported mesh and he has used them to fix 591 hernias”, says the report.
And, apparently, they are performing quite well. “The only difference is the polymer used to make them,” says Dr Sanders, “but it makes no difference clinically.”
Apparently, India too is performing quite well as a lead market for frugal innovations….
Japan has launched the first in a new generation of space rockets, hoping the design will make missions more affordable.