INNOVATION STORIES

Examples of low cost innovations in India

AUTOMOBILE INNOVATION - RENAULT KWID


Chennai, May 2015 - Renault introduces the Kwid, a small city crossover entirely designed and manufactured in India for the indian market. Hence, eleven years after the Logan launch, Renault embarks on the second phase of its low cost offensive. The Kwid will be commercialised end of 2015 in India at a price range of 3 to 400.000 INR ( ie 4.5 to 6 K€). This positions the Kwid in the entry range of the Indian automobile space, the largest in volume with 25% of sales. Featuring the look and attributes of the popular SUVs, ‘the Kwid will change the Indian market and the world market for good' says Renault's CEO Carlos Ghosn. Other lessons for Renault in India ? After a shaky start and several disappointments, Renault finally made a success of the Duster and now hopes to sell one million Kwid a year. The entry range of Renault - a business unit producing the likes of Logan, Duster and Sandero - is clocking now 40% of Renault sales worldwide, with margins superior to the other segments. India is really a learning experience for Renault: the senior executives who have spent several years in India now hold worldwide positions in engineering and manufacturing. Carlos Ghosn adds: ‘This is the difference between watching and playing a football match. Now, we're in it…. this car shows our faith in frugal engineering. There will be more to come. Obvioulsy, we are not going to stop our journey here'.

HEALTHCARE INNOVATION - FORUS HEALTH


There are forty million blind people in the world and 12 million in India, out of which 80 % could have been prevented. But the challenge of diagnosis is huge, especially in emerging countries where there is on average one doctor for 2.000 people or worse one ophthalmologist for 60.000 inhabitants. Forus' Health - founded in 2010 by Dr Shyam Vasudev Rao and K. Chandrashekar, two highly experienced technology executives from Bangalore - created 3nethra, a pre-screening ophthalmology device aimed at diagnosing the main causes of blindness. 3 nethra is inexpensive, portable, easy to manipulate, making it ideal for rural areas where the bulk of the cases happen. The device can be operated by a medical assistant, can diagnose in 5 minutes up to five common eyesight ailments and is connected to ophthalmology centres through a cloud software where real doctors can decide what to do. So far 2nethra has checked up 2,5 million people and saved from blindness more than 100,000. The product is now used in rural areas as well as in top hospitals and has made a debut in China also, showing the potential world impact of the solution. Forus raised 5 M$ in 2012 from Top VC firms like Accel Partners and IDG Ventures.

CULTURAL INNOVATION - JUGGERNAUT, THE MOBILE PHONE PUBLISHER



Jugernaut pretends to change the manner in which stories are written, published and read in India! Founded in 2014 by Chiki Sarkar, ex Editor at Penguin Random House, Juggernaut is a new publishing house which aims at offering books on three medias: paper, e-books and ..mobile phone ! “For us, the mobile is the new hardback,” says Durga Raghunath who launched Firstpost and headed Network 18 Digital before she took over as CEO of Juggernaut at the end of last week. Juggernaut is nurtured by a well known group of board members, including the writer Vikram Chandra or Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president of the prestigious think-tank ‘Centre for Policy Research'. The angel investors are also coming from the top of India's business community, led by Nandan Nilekani ex Infosys CEO and minister, William Bissell of Fabindia and Neeraj Aggarwal, the new managing director of Boston Consulting Group. They came on board recently with a first round of Rs 15 crores (# 2,25 M€). Juggernaut is attempting to put the mobile ahead of print, by leveraging India's phenomenal mobile boom. The digital savings will enable Juggernaut to offer formats neglected by print publishers, like the short story. By stepping away from traditional publishing, Sarkar sees Juggernaut as giving the author a third life: “There is the paper book, the e-book, but along with that, there is life on the phone.”




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