The pride in Solutions for Masses

What the Chotukool and Swach represent is as important as what they are.

Chotukool is Godrej and Boyce's breakthrough nano refrigerator. The ChotuKool is like no other fridge. It does not have a compressor. It runs on a battery. Utensils and bottles need to be loaded into this 43-litre cool box from the top. It weighs only 7.8 kg and costs only Rs 3,200. And, of course, it is Candy Red in colour.

Swach is the Tata Group's water purifier priced for the masses. The Tata Swach – Hindi for “clean” – meets U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards, and doesn't require running water, electricity, or boiling. Tata's water filter grew out of a decade of research and development. It uses paddy husk ash as a matrix, bound with microscopic particles of silver to kill the bacteria that cause 80 per cent of waterborne disease. Tata Swach is cheaper than boiling water, cheaper than bottled water, and 2.5 times less expensive than Hindustan Unilever's low-cost Pureit filter. Tata will sell two versions of the 19-litre Swach container, priced at 749 rupees ($16.11) and 999 rupees ($21.48), depending on the material. The filter itself costs 299 rupees ($6.43). It will purify 800 gallons (3,000 liters) of water – enough for a family of five for a year – before it automatically shuts down.

These products are ones to be proud of. Because they take solutions to a set of people who are otherwise untouched by innovation and its fallouts (read, products and services). What the Chotukool and Swach represent is the ingenuity of private enterprises that consider masses a viable consumer segment. Viable in terms of developing innovative solutions based on a cost-driven business model, while guaranteeing profitability. Its also important to note that these innovations sprout sans any governmental help or interference. Goes to show why the best bet to rural development lies squarely on the shoulders of private enterprises that must be allowed to flourish in a manner unfettered.

Therefore its time we in India rethink our dependence on government. And design systems that allow for more private entrepreneurship to flourish. I can bet they will, and in the process create the kind of solutions that Chotukool and Swach are, so long as private, free (thank god for Indian democracy) individuals are allowed to tap into their own ingenuity.


Unknown said…
even middle class consumer like me who fall in
lifestyle segment- economy minded
would definately buy it.

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