Global Themes

On Globalization & Venture Capital

Low cost innovation – The “Indian” Way

From last month’s IBEF newsletter:

Manoj Mondal is the inventor of the crank pedal – he successfully tweaked the pedal of a bicycle to an extent that it generates almost double the torque (force multiplied by the distance from the centre) than in normal circumstances. In other words, the speed of the bicycle increases from, say, 20 km/hr to 40 km/hr.

His feat has already made him the toast of incubators, the green lobby and a host of companies which are coming forward to adapt Mondal’s technology commercially.

Besides, Mondal’s invention is slated to benefit rickshaw-pullers as the Centre for Rural Development has shown keenness to convert 10,000 rickshaws into the crank pedal mode this year…Dr Pradip K Sarmah, executive director of the Centre for Rural Development is banking on the crank pedal “to reduce the drudgery of the 10 million rickshaw-puller of India” . The centre runs a Rickshaw Bank to cater to the urban poor, and already has an improvised rickshaw by IIT-Guwahati, which costs Rs 12,000 a pop with insurance, licence, uniform and the works thrown in. “Mondal’s invention will add speed to the existing force and cost Rs 100 extra,” contends Sarmah.

…Next, he’s working on a prototype where pedalling on a stationary cycle has the potential to dig a bore deep enough to make a drain, and construction major Escorts seems to have shown interest in the new technology, says Mondal…

While this is probably not something that a VC would fund (or that needs VC funding either), it is nevertheless a fine example of low-cost innovation that will make a material difference to the lives of millions (literally)…

Related Posts:

What counts as innovation?

September 18th, 2008 Posted by | Tech & Innovation in Asia, Technology & Innovation | no comments

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