The Prime Example of battery makers

Arunachalam Muruganatham, with no formal education beyond the 10th standard, worked for almost four years to create a simpler version of the machine and finally came up with an acceptable solution that works with electricity and foot-pedals. The machine breaks down the cellulose, turns it into the shape of a sanitary napkin and sews it with a fabric. This innovation has brought down the cost of sanitary napkins to about Rs 12 for a packet of eight. Muruganatham has refused to hand over the patent of this machine. Many states, such as Uttaranchal and Punjab have sought to replicate his machine. This surge in low-cost innovation is not unique to India alone. China has a number of companies whose cost-lowering technical innovations have garnered for them a large share of the global market. A prime example is the company BYD. A battery maker, it has taken the worldwide lead in producing low-cost lithium batteries. These batteries are now being used to manufacture cars with hybrid power systems. Cost of lithium cells, often the major hurdle in adoption of this green technology, is being lowered on the back of innovations pioneered at BYD. The resulting hybrid cars, reportedly now being exported to the US, will cost less than half the $40,000 price tag of the Chevrolet Volt. Other examples include the setting up of biogas-based latrines in the markets of Nairobi (Kenya), which help maintain hygiene and also provide biogas and fertiliser to farmers.


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