The grassroots innovators

The grassroots innovators

Ankit Mathur (27)
MBA from IIM-A with a B.E. in mechanical engineering and a diploma in designing and implementing CSR and sustainability initiatives from Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute
Executed assignments in the areas of biomass supply chain development, designing rural market linkages (SEWA’s RUDI Bazaar), technology costing and selection
Neha Juneja (27)
MBA from FMS, Delhi with a B.E. in production & industrial engineering
Undergone training on climate change mitigation and adaptation at the SMHI
Adjudged as the Brightest Young Climate Leader 2010 by the Hindustan Times & British Council

THE COMPANY
Mumbai-based Greenway Grameen Infra (GGI) was founded in 2010 when Neha Juneja and Ankit Mathur felt the lack of reliable products that exacerbate poverty where bottom of the pyramid users rely on unsafe options that are detrimental to their health and productivity. Its first product Greenway Smart Stove is a result of co-creation efforts with user communities across five Indian states, where the design team of eight (including the co-founders) lived and worked with communities to align their technical goals with user requirements.

After 16 months and eight ‘near final’ designs, the final design was frozen. The stove is apt for preparing local foods such as Bhakri and Rotla, while delivering fuel efficiency and health benefits. In the coming year, GGI plans to expand its distribution network to 50 districts across India and also add new products to its portfolio, which would include more cook stove models and lighting products, and thus, grow its revenue by eight times.

THE INNOVATION

  • The Greenway Smart Stove is a single burner high efficiency cook stove designed as a modern replacement for traditional mud chulhas, which pose grave health and environmental hazards.
  • This patent pending design innovation uses no moving parts, delivers fuel savings up to 65 per cent and minimises harmful emissions of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and particulate matter.
  • With a high estimated annual death due to smoke from mud stoves, Greenway Smart Stove brings these emissions levels to well within WHO norms.
  • Manufactured near Delhi, it’s priced at Rs. 1250.
  • Concentrating in Karnataka and Maharashtra, over 5000 units have been sold since September 2011.

EXPANDING REACH

  • Conducting sales through institutional channels such as NGOs, corporate CSR initiatives, government institutions etc.
  • Bulk of its sales comes from direct retail via its distributor network that makes the product available in rural retail outlets
  • Its marketing team of seven moves around in the vicinity of these outlets to demonstrate the product and generate consumer interest
  • Marketing is demonstration based as they try to create awareness about the product and make a sales pitch