Friday, January 17, 2014

Godrej' s GoodKnight - How a simple innovation helped in gaining the market share over 'All Out'

Back in 90's, I remember enjoying the Ad which shows a frog like machine gobbling up the mosquitoes and a man mimicking the action (Pop..Pop..Pop). I think, all the kids born in 80's did. The message was "Replace  the mosquito mats and embrace the liquid repellents" which is easier to use and more effective (Jyada aasaan aur jyada asardaar).

'All Out' launched in early 90s by Karamchand Appliances became the household name and was later acquired by US company SC Johnson in early 2000s. The brand enjoyed the success and leadership position for almost two decades until the game changer product launched by Godrej - Goodknight Advanced Active+. Within three years of its launch in 2008, Goodknight became the leader in terms of market share and left 'All Out' behind.

It is not like Goodknight was not there earlier in the market. The liquid vaporizers were launched under Good Knight brand in late 90s after the success of 'All Out'. What changed the fortune was understanding the unmet need and introducing a simple solution. 'All Out' offered a fixed rate of diffusing the anti-mosquito repellent. However, the number of mosquitoes are not always the same, like in evening time or during rainy season, the number is on a higher side. Some people live in areas where water storing bodies exist (like near the naalaas and a river) where number of mosquitoes is higher than average. Introduction of option of choosing between two modes (higher and lower rate of diffusion) was a simple and very effective solution that the Goodknight Advanced product provided to the consumer. The results are for everyone to see.

For around a decade, Goodknight liquid repellent was behind 'All Out'. It is good example of how introducing a simple incremental innovation based on unmet needs can change the fortune of the business. Their marketing was also of higher quality with a cogent message across to the consumers.

SC Johnson India has also responded and launched a competing product 'All Out - Power Slider' and provided a sliding option (essentially multiple options) compared to the dual mode option provided by GoodKnight. As a consumer, while I switched from 'All Out' to GoodKnight Advanced; I have not yet bought Power Slider. However, it will be interesting to see how a larger set of consumers respond to this.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Brotherhood in human beings!

It is disheartening to see Indian society divided into so many religions, caste and sub-caste system.

When did this all start? No specific answer but I am sure the society was not always like this. Indian ancient and most respected spiritual book series "Vedas" teach us -

श्रृण्वन्तु विश्वे अमृतस्य पुत्राः ।
Listen! You all are one, sons of GOD.

'Vedas' also teach us -

अज्येष्ठासो अकनिष्ठास एते सं भ्रातरो वावृधुः सौभागाय ॥
No one is better or worse than you, you are all brothers. Together, move forward for prosperity and happiness.

Somewhere, this thinking got lost. The more I read such stuff, the more I fall in love with the Vedic period.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Poem If - by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son! 
Rudyard Kipling

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Presentation on Innovation to students

I shared my thoughts with the students of MD University, Rohtak, India. I enjoyed giving it, hope the reader enjoys the presentation as well....

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wound Closure – 3 emerging technologies to watch

There was a time when sutures were the only product for closing wounds. Using sutures requires  considerable skill, is time consuming and painful. The search for easier to use technologies led to the development of staples followed by tissue sealants. Innovations are constantly taking place in this domain both by the key players and the smaller ones to identify new solutions. I have tried to bring 3 most interesting technologies to watch in wound closure domain.

1.    Interlockers

DermaLOC uses a rack and pinion locking mechanism for interlocking the edge of lacerations or incision. Once the device is secured, the strips can be snipped off. After closure, DermaLOC can be released for the evacuation of infected and non-infected fluid. DermaLOC can then be re-locked when medically appropriate.

See the links below for more details.

Zipline Medical’s PRELOC aligns the incision edges using the adjustable ratcheting mechanisms. The device is easily removed by simply peeling from skin.

See for details (

Chinese company Sichuan Lichen Medical & Pharmaceutical Technology product also uses ratcheting mechanism for closing wounds.

2.    Zippers

ExoPatents Marketing Ltd. - A zipper-type wound closer attachable to the skin around a skin opening and zipped closed to pull the skin opening closed.

See for details (US 7,591,835 & US 8,066,735)

HUMANITAS HILFE FUER AFRIKA -Wound zip fastener for attending to wounds, particularly in the area of fractures, intended both to secure fast wound care for fractures with accompanying open wounds and to splint the fracture, wherein the application does not have to be removed from the wound during x-ray.

3.    Closure patches

Wound closure device from a start-up company Microkoll comprises a flexible pad and an array of a plurality of microposts of shape memory material. Proximal end of the device is configured to be secured to the substrate and a tissue penetrating distal end. The posts have sharpened prongs protruding a distance through the polymer sheet and configured to change shape when exposed to different temperature levels.

Look US20110172760 for details.

Share your thoughts…..

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A dialogue between two agnostics

Somewhere in middle of chaos, out of nowhere, two persons who knew each other quite well started the conversation about God. Both Gautam and Ashok were agnostics but Gautam believed that God is there but was not sure of it. On the other hand, Ashok believed that God is not there but again had his doubts. Gautam had read some of the Indian scriptures and Ashok had read many evolutionary theories. Both however, did not completely believe what they read. They were still doubtful, still had questions and still analysed situations around them to conclude the existence of God. So two people, both not sure about existence of God starts talking with each other and let us see how the dialogue goes.....

Gautam: Hey Ashok, why do you say that nature is everything, God does not exist and humans should follow nature. I was reading an article somewhere arguing who should be the inspiration of human society, the nature or the God. The author was arguing that Nature teaches us that strong kills weak, tiger kills deer etc. which we can call the animal society. However, as humans, one should think beyond the animal society and should get inspired from God where Love exits. Humans should and can make their society filled with love and cooperation.

Ashok: Man is also an animal Gautam and when the resources will be less, automatically men who cooperate with each other in today's era will fight each other for resources and will kill each other. We still do not see lack of water, fresh air and agriculture land around us. In African countries, histroy tells us that tribes vanished fighting for limited resources.

Gautam: I guess you are right. Don't you ever believe that God is there and will protect us from such catastrophy. It sounds scary.

Ashok: Yes it is scary but that's what it is. You know very well that I am doubtful about God's existence.

Gautam: Yes, sometimes even I doubt His existence. Why He created this world? If He is there, why innocent people including infants get killed? Why Satanism exists at all? Why we can not see Him? Questions like this perplex me. Indian scriptures try to answer these questions but they do not sound very convincing. But tell me one thing; India has history of around 20-25000 years. Why no one challenged God's existence?

Ashok: I think people must have challenged but the majority must have dominated.

Gautam: Yes, I think Buddha tried to find God but could not find him but was surely enlightened by deep meditation. He was agnostic, wasn't he? Jainism however, goes on the lines of atheism. They do not believe in God, but believed in meditation.

Ashok: You mean both propounded to achieve the state of tranquillity.

Gautam: I am not sure, if tranquillity is the right word.

Ashok: Fine, tell me more about meditation.

Gautam: Well, we hear about meditation right from the start of Hindu philosophy. Vedas taught humans about it. They also taught humans that God created the nature and jeevatma (including humans) and we can reach Him by meditating i.e. attain Moksh. Later on, one school of thought came that we ourselves are God, we just have to realize this fact by meditation. The world we see around us is Maya, an illusion. These sects of people were called Vedantis. Later on Buddhism and Jainism also continued stressing on meditation but had different thoughts on existence of God. Now it comes to my mind that may be nobody saw God but all these years great saints through meditation reached a different state of mind which some of them called God and some called attaining Moksh.

Ashok: Yes, I think you are right. I have been a pharmacology student and have experienced effects of some neural drugs on my body. Boy, I have done every kind of intoxication, which makes me feel that teasing with mind can take you to higher state but we can’t call it God, can we? It is possible that saints concentrated their mind so much that they reached some sort of higher state which today's scientists are not sure of, but I doubt whether we can call it God.

Gautam: Yes, it might be possible. I have read that after enlightment, people are in such joyous state that nothing around them, good or bad, can affect their joyous state. Also, I remember Sri Aurobindo's philosophy now. He believed that what we see around us are normal human beings and humans will evolve into super humans through meditation. Krishna, he said was such a super human. May be every human being, saints who got enlightened became a super human. By enlightment, I mean that they attained such state of mind that nothing around them disturbed their joyous mental state. In Geeta, such state of equanimity has been termed as Nirwana.

Ashok: Yes, I think you can relate this to today’s scientists and mathematicians as well who are too involved in their work. They sometimes reach different mental state due to their concentration and devotion towards their work. And I have heard classical music singers also reach such higher state of mind while singing.

Gautam: Not to forget, the sufi saints like Bulleshah and saints like Kabir and Tukaram who reached higher state of mind through complete devotion and love for God. I think I can relate this observation to scripture knowledge.

Ashok: Like what?

Gautam: In Geeta, for e.g. three ways have been defined to reach God, which now we can assume this to be the higher state of mind. Gyan yoga, Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. Gyaan Yoga involves deep meditation, Karma Yoga involves doing one's duties without thinking about consequences and Bhakti Yoga involves complete devotion and love towards God. We have discussed examples of followers of each of these disciplines. I think things are getting in line now.

Ashok: Indeed! And I think in Karma Yoga, doing duties without consequences must have been stressed to remove any fear of failure so that mind can concentrate better on work.

Gautam: Yes, you are right. So we can conclude that there is some higher state of mind which has been attained by meditating saints, scientists and devotional saints. But (smiling), mystery of God continues my friend.

Ashok: It always will (smiling)! I personally believe that the concept of God must have come to de-stress people that there is somebody there to protect us, we need not worry.

Gautam: I don't know that but I know this for sure, sometimes it feels very relaxing to know that somebody up there is watching us and protecting us.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My white paper - Innovation for Growth and Role of Innovation Enablers

Accelerated innovation is less of an option and more of a necessity for growth. Fusing core products/technologies with unanticipated technological shifts has redefined the innovation process and has moved it beyond the environs of brick-and-mortar R&D labs.
Apple is considered one of the most innovative companies in the world today. Is Apple a strong technology innovator? Or, has it managed to transform itself by exploring innovations that are at the cusp of evolving, often unrelated, technologies?
In recent years, organizations are finding new ways to innovate successfully and frequently. Such organizations, often struggle with two key questions while embracing the culture of innovation. These questions are:
  • Within an organization, whose responsibility is it to innovate?
  • How can an organization constantly bring out new innovations, given the limitations of the internal R&D?
This paper aims to address the above two questions, and highlight the role of technology surveillance as an innovation strategy.

Download the white paper which I co-authored with Nitin Chaudhary.