Latest edition of Dev 360, my fortnightly column in The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle ( combined circulation : 1.4 million).
Superbug and Suresh Kalmadi notwithstanding, there is some good news as Independent India begins its 64th year. Face to face with a crisis, this country often comes up with a creative solution.
Four not-so-well-known and randomly selected examples from diverse fields show that “cheap” is not always crass or conniving. Each case has an element of “disruptive innovation” — a term coined by Harvard academic Clayton M. Christensen. Each has, at its core, a simple, transformational idea that improves a product or a service in ways that the market does not expect. And each holds out hope for millions at a time when that commodity is in short supply.
After Tata’s Nano, there is the pe oples’ fridge. For a little more than Rs 3,000, India’s poorest ho useholds can now have a re f r igerator. Manufactured by corporate group Godrej, “Chotukool” has already been test marketed in parts of Maharashtra. The formal launch will take place during the festive season later this year. Ch o tukool is designed for places wh ich have erratic power supply and for those who have never had a fridge and who want to ha ve cold water, store vegetab l es, mi lk and left over food. This po r table, top-opening unit wei g hs only 7.8 kg, uses high-end in s u l a tion to stay cool for hours and can work on battery as well as in v erter. Sa njay Lonial, a Godrej official in v olved with the project, told me that those who have bo u g ht Cho t ukool are using the pr oduct not only at home but also to make money. The tiny fridge is he l ping owners of paan shops, vada pav centres, wayside groc e ry stores and flower vendors to sell additional items like cold wa ter. In the countryside, villa g e rs — the potential buyers — will also act as marketers, earni ng a commission per fridge sold.
Erratic power supply has inspired another innovation — the Nano Ganesh…………………
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