Jayaashree Industries: Revolutionising Sanitary Pad Use in India
Arunachalam Muruganantham is a social entrepreneur dedicated to solving India’s menstrual health problems. He developed an unprecedented product: a low-cost, locally produced sanitary pad. In a paragon effort of frugal innovation, he reverse-engineered the industrial processes used to make sanitary-pads. The result was a small-scale, low-cost machine that could manufacture quality pads sold at a retail price 20% lower than the cheapest mass-produced brands. However, no one bought his pads until his wife began to sell them. Soon the two were unable to keep up with demand. This helped Muruganantham realise the importance of including women as stakeholders in the operation. His next step is to figure out how to scale-up to increase availability and access to the pads.
Through this case, students will understand the strategic importance of a firm’s activities at various stages of the value chain. Students will also gain an understanding of how bottom-of-the-pyramid innovation creates economic opportunity and market development for disadvantaged members of society.
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