Tyre Secure – Say No to punctures now

Tyre We all love to go on long drives with our family or friends. But a small tyre puncture can act as spoil sport for our mood. Tyre puncture is such a common problem for any vehicle owner and it causes a great trouble for the passengers. Be it an office travel time or leisure time, a puncture can create lot of issues. This problem was realized by Vikas Ghadage who is Founder and MD at Tyre Secure.

He has developed a sealant called Tyre Secure which can act as a fool proof mechanism for punctures. He has experience in mining industry and during that time he realized that tyre punctures occur very often on the fields. Due to this the projects are stalled and this causes delays and missing projects deadlines. Usually such industries are very time bound and delays due to such problems can lead to huge losses in time and money. He realized that sealant products were available in the markets which were imported mostly from UK or other countries. 40% import duty had to be paid on these products and thus the costs were high; generally around Rs. 2000/Liter. Thus tyre secure was developed by Vikas after extensive research and it is termed as the most advanced tyre sealant you can get now and it costs around Rs. 1200 /Liter. It is the FIRST and ONLY Sealant in INDIA to be tested successfully by Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI-Pune), an esteemed research and testing facility under the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Govt. of India.

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Tyre Secure, is a liquid (gel) puncture sealant that is injected into tubeless, pneumatic tyres that offers permanent guaranteed puncture protection for the life of the tyre. When a tyre that has been treated with Tyre Secure encounters a puncture; air pressure inside the tyre forces Tyre Secure into the wound forming an instant and permanent repair. It takes only a small amount of Tyre Secure sealant to repair a puncture, there is sufficient material left inside the tyre to remain effective against many more punctures to come! Additionally this sealant is environment friendly as it is biodegradable, non-hazardous and non-toxic.

Vikas mentions that the acceptability for this product is very high in India as this is very common problem faced by any vehicle owner. Moreover, tyre secure works on all types of tyres and hence it is used in all sectors of industries. Currently, this is sold as B2B product and have distributors spread across various major cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Nashik etc. They have their own manufacturing set-up in Baramati near Pune and soon plan to expand their units.

Tyre Secure surely is an effective product which can save lot of time as well as fuel costs. It also ensures safety conditions for the vehicle.

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AUM – A significant principle of Universe giving voice to the Throat Cancer patients

It is such a terrifying thought to lose your voice and not able to speak or communicate. We get so scared or feel worried if we are not able to hear our voice for one day due to sore throat. Imagine the nightmare a person must be going through who loses his voice due to throat cancer. This problem was realised by Dr. Vishal Rao who is an Oncologist and works with HCG – HealthCare Global Cancer Centre at Bangalore as in charge of Head Neck Services. He is of the opinion that ‘Speech and communication in our society forms not only a basic tenet to sustain life force, but also a right for freedom, peace, justice, and dignity.’

Dr.Vishal Dr. Vishal Rao feels that the patients who lose their voice due to throat cancer are basically because they cannot afford the prosthetics. This realization dawned on him when a throat cancer patient who was already operated and his voice box removed, came to him for treatment. He was not able to speak and could not afford voice prosthesis as they costs around Rs. 30,000. Dr. Vishal after this incidence along with this friend, Mr. Shashank Mahesh; developed a voice prosthesis which was very much affordable to the people. He made a device which costs just Rs. 50. It is an artificial device, made of silicone that is used to help laryngectomized patients to speak. He named this device as ‘AUM voice prosthesis’. This prosthesis gives them a rebirth into the world of communication which resonates and resounds all these aspects of creation.

AUM voice prosthesis

AUM voice prosthesis

They have applied for patent for this device and planning to bring it into the market as early as possible. They want to reach the needy in uncorrupted ways. Thus there was a need to blend the best standards with optimal functionality and best affordability. This was feasible only because they did not charge for their time and talent. Nor did several of the manufacturers, suppliers, engineers, physicists and technical experts who understood the intent of this product charged anything and came forward to spare their time and efforts. This is how they were able to make this product affordable at a very lower price.

It took them 2 years to develop this device while continuing their full time job and to work on mechanics of prosthesis. The key challenges they faced was their own cynicism and mental blocks about feasibility of executing this vision. Everything they assumed was not feasible only because they did not learn effectively from their failures.

Dr. Vishal Rao and team have received scientific and ethical approval to start using this prosthesis on their patients and conduct a study. To reach the needy they intent to reach out to all regional cancer centers as first step to help all the needy patients across country to be able to avail this device. They plan to conduct training courses to doctors/surgeons who are interested to help rehabilitate these patients as the technique is much simpler to insert these devices. Thus through Aum voice prosthesis Dr. Vishal Rao envisions that “even the poorest of the poor deserved the right to communicate”.

Automation to reduce labor costs – Silk saree polishing machine

One of the professors from PSG college of Technology in Coimbatore, happened to visit Elampillai near Salem where there silk sarees are weaved. The workers over there have to polish silk sarees before selling them. This polishing of silk sarees was done manually in that small setup. It required around five laborers, three to hold and two to polish, to polish a single saree. With this speed the weavers could polish only 40-50 sarees per day and it costs around Rs. 2500 – 3000 per saree to polish. The professor realized this problem and thought of taking this as a project.

Final year robotics and automation engineering students Abhinav Surana, T R Niveta Sruti, Ram Prasad D S and Krishna A were identified to do this project. The team again made trip to Elampillai to understand the process of polishing sarees. They recorded the whole process and decided to automate the process. They were aware about robotics and planned to design the silk saree polishing machine. They had some knowledge electrical and mechanical parts as well. Based on their knowledge and taking help from Production department for design concept, Abhinav Surana and team came up with a roller model for automating the polishing process.
Abhinav Surana
They designed a 2.5 meters long and 1.5 meters width machine which was based on sarees’ width of 1 meter. The polishing machine is designed based on two level roller system. The saree is rolled on one roller and then it unwinds and come onto another roller. Further it goes to foam roller which has neem gum and spreads on it. Neem gum is the main constituent used for polishing the saris. It gives the desired shine and softness to the silk sarees. The to and fro motion of the rollers spreads the gum evenly on the saree and helps to remove extra bit. Finally the saree is rolled on a wooden roller or a square block and dried under the sun. This automation allows polishing 250 sarees per day with just one labor. Thus the productivity has increased 4-5 times. The machine currently costs around Rs. 45,000 and the cost can be recovered within 3-4 months.

This is really a worthy automation created by students of robotics. They have been successful in getting a provisional patent for their idea which was applied through Scinnovation. Moreover the team has won the second prize at the Danfoss Innovator Project contest for this invention. However, this success was not an easy path. While conceptualizing their idea it was a challenge to design the machine. Since it was a completely new concept they had to start from the scratch and had to alter their design 2-3 times. Motor used for foam roller to spread the gum had to be designed based on special mechanism to make the processing simple.

Currently, this machine has been used only by the silk weavers in Elampillai. It is introduced in the market yet. Cost and time are the major constraints faced by Abhinav. The team members who have built the initial design have also split and hence it is becoming a challenge to continue its development further. Abhinav Surana wants to bring this innovation into the market but after making improvements in the current design and mechanism.

Lead Angels – An Angel for the entrepreneurs

Sushanto Mitra.JPGIt is really strange to think when an individual who promotes entrepreneurship has to go through the same process himself. It is like when an interviewer has to be on the other side of the desk. Mr. Sushanto Mitra, Founder & CEO, of Lead Angels had to face similar situation.

He was associated with SINE (IIT, Bombay) for five years; a platform to support technology startups founded by IIT Bombay community or is based on IIT Bombay technologies. He was involved in mentoring startups in their early stages to help them grow further. When he left SINE, he was saddened to be detached from the IIT family. That’s when the idea about creating an angel investing network for the IITians was conceived. He realized that along with funding, what startups really seek is mentorship and industry connections. To support this initiative he thought of starting Lead Angels, one of the first alumni angel network in India that has been founded by a team from IITB.

While this idea was shaping up in his mind, like other entrepreneurs he too was apprehensive about leaving a fixed income job. Inspite of being a mentor to multiple start-ups while at SINE, he was facing the dilemma of starting this new venture. Finally, during his visit to East Europe he met many angel investors and realized the potential of his idea. He figured, that for a population of 5.5 million in Finland there were over 500 angels providing investment support. So for a country like India with a population of more than a billion should have atleast a hundred thousand business angels. However, currently this market is under tapped.  That’s when he finally decided to start Lead Angel network along with his other ex-colleagues from IIT Bombay.

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The main aim of this network is to provide initial funding to new age start-ups and to provide them the network of investors who can guide them. Lead Angels have a partnership with Techstars, 10,000 start-ups, e-cell at IITB, TIE, NASSCOM  and many other such leading organizations in this domain. This platform helps students and early stage innovators solve problem of capital requirements, so that they can focus better on improving their ideas. Post investment, Lead Angels also helps portfolio companies connect with potential clients and partners.

Due to his past experience with SINE, Sushanto had the right knowledge, connections and experience of over 15 years in the startup ecosystem which helped him with Lead Angels. He had to put in efforts to gather investors and build up trust among them about the feasibility of his idea. However, this challenge was also tackled by gathering a pool of IIT alumni who were willing to invest in new ideas. This strategic thinking by Sushanto gave him confidence to launch his company and made it a success in short span of time with operations in New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai. Lead Angels has invested in 10 startups from 2014 onwards and has over 100 plus members majority of whom are successful entrepreneurs and senior executives.

Lead Angels has grown from being a just an angel network of IITians and is now expanding into the area of entrepreneurship education having jointly done some programs with Techstars. Sushanto already had faith in innovative ideas and new ventures thought by various students. However, after the success of his venture, Sushanto advices young entrepreneurs that: no dream is silly enough to throw away, of course, if your eyes are wide open.

Solar Ice-cream cart to beat the summer heat

Be it sweating summer in Mumbai and Chennai locations or scorching heat in North India, we all crave for some chilled juice or ice-cream during this time. But often we are faced with issue of coolness of the juice or melting ice-cream. Many a times we have to eat that melting ice-cream instead of the frosted one. This ruins the enjoyment of the chilled juice or ice-cream and leaves us more annoyed in the already heated weather.

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Similar issue was faced by Mahesh Rathi last summer while he was travelling to Delhi. Since it was the month of May, summer was at its peak. To his relief, he could see some ice cream vendors on the road side, so, he pulled over to enjoy an ice cream candy. He bought one orange candy from the vendor, but found it to be not completely frozen making small chunks from the candy falling apart. As he complained to the vendor and asked him to replace it, he apologized and said that he could definitely replace it but that wouldn’t serve the purpose as all the ice cream had similar condition. He further explained that it’s a common occurrence as the freezer starts becoming ineffective after 2 pm. Mahesh had no option but to manage with the semi-frozen ice cream as he could see it was no one’s fault.

This incidence left Mahesh wondering what could be done to solve this issue. He has been working in the area of renewable energy, and always pondered over the fact that there are products for heating systems using solar power but why is there no such equipment in the market for refrigeration (using solar power) as well. But this thought was not triggering enough to do something about it, perhaps because he never saw such a technology solving any real problem. When he faced this problem of semi-frozen ice cream, it really triggered him to work towards it. After a year of hard work, he finally developed this refrigerator which can harness solar energy to run itself.

This innovation which he calls as Smart Kart is really pioneering and based on renewable energy. He has the prototype ready and is preparing to launch this in market before summer of coming year with the help of some Crowd funding platforms. He also has plans to introduce this ice cream carts at maximum places in our country which will also provide clean, chilled RO water at very affordable cost to the common man. Also in future we can use this carts to sell fresh fruits, vegetables, fruit juices without maintaining any shop or infrastructure for that.

This innovation of Mahesh Rathi not only has solved problem of energy consumption but also has social impact of providing satisfaction to the customers. It will be very useful especially in rural places where the electricity is scarce and this will allow the villagers too, to enjoy the ice-cream. Sharing his vision and looking at his hard work, it also became his mother’s dream to make this project successful. She wanted to be the first one to buy the first ice-cream from Smart Kart but alas, he cannot fulfil this desire of her any more as he lost her in a road accident in August. But he pledges to fulfil this dream so that she will be proud of him wherever she is!!

Suicide proof ceiling fan – A life saver innovation

dr Dr. R S Sharma from Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) is a cardiologist and has almost 30 years of experience in research and teaching. Being a doctor by profession he was touched by the number of suicide cases being reported in India. Most of these suicide attempts are via hanging by the ceiling fan. The reality struck him when one of his patients reported that his son committed suicide after failure in 12th examination. The patient was repenting the thought of replacing the table fan with ceiling fan. They put ceiling fan in their house thinking their son can study better in comfort of air due to ceiling fan. Little did they know that the same device will claim their son’s life.

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This incidence led Dr. Sharma thinking on the mechanism of death by hanging. In human body, the cervical vertebrae-first bone in the spinal cord and the brain has an occipital joint between them. When a person hangs himself, the sudden jerk on the neck breaks the joint and blocks nervous system and breathing. It causes choking and then death. To address this problem of death by hanging Dr. Sharma thought of designing a suicide proof fan. He made an assembly with spring which can be fixed in the shaft that hangs the fan from the roof. This spring will act as suspension and if someone tries to hang it will come down. Once the weight is removed it will be restored to its original position without damage to the fan as well as to the human life.

Dr. Sharma had to do rigorous experimentation to build final design of the suicide proof fan. He had to take care that the spring should not come down with the weight of the fan or break while the fan is operating. He first did trial and error with welders and by hanging cement bag, then hanged a man with the shoulder.

He claims that the aesthetic of fan are not altered as he has used a hollow cylinder into which the spring can be fitted so that it is not visible. He sent his model to testing lab for standardization of the product and then came with a proper design and functionality as per the standards. Based on these standards he is planning to introduce his design to all the fan manufacturers. He plans to make this design mandatory by setting up standardization norms like the ISO norms for valves in pressure cooker. There is a need to have this innovation incorporated as safety standard just as air bag in car. Currently, 15-20 pieces have been created and used in psychiatric nursing homes in Chandigarh and his own house. Patent filing was done on 6th September 2013 for suicide proof fan and is pending grant. Dr. Sharma aims to spread awareness about suicide proof fan by social media and newspaper. He mentions that around 3.2 crore fans are manufactured per year in India and it should be mandatory to implement this device. This innovation has already been published in Journal of Association of Physician in India in section of bio-engineering in 2014.

It is really a useful anti suicide, suicide prevention and life saver innovation which can be used in hostels, classrooms, houses and hospitals.

Virtual Toll system an innovative idea for safer drive

A severe accident caused due to sudden obstruction on the road while driving back from Ooty triggered Tapan Kane to think about the road safety in India. He pondered upon the cause of the accident and realised that there are no accident prevention ways implemented in India. When he researched he found that there is a concept called Audi pre sense and Google cars which have radar system implemented in them to stop the car whenever an obstruction is detected. This helps prevents collision of the car thereby saving human life too. But these systems come at a very heavy price of around Rs. 7-8 lakhs and currently only the high-end cars have this system implemented in them. So Tapan thought why safety aspect is neglected in small cars and only people who can afford high-end cars are entitled for safety?

This thought process lead him to come up with an idea where the masses can avail the facility of driving safely. While working on this idea he thought that the hardware to build this system in India for small cars still costs around 10% of the total price of the car. So he had to come up with an innovative way to implement this idea. While navigating through GPS on his cellphone it strikes him that why not use mobile phones to implement this idea. So he designed a system like Drive Assist where the driver can get instruction on his mobile phone through the application installed. It is very handy as well as very cost effective.

He decided to implement this idea in a different way to pilot with. He realised that in India we have many toll system where the vehicles have to stop while speeding on a highway and this causes the driver to stop abruptly while on a drive. So he designed a virtual toll payment system which can directly deduct the payment from the user’s account. The driver does not have to stop at the toll gateway to make the payment. This system he claims works both online as well as offline through SMS. Virtual toll is a mobile application for payment of toll without stopping vehicle at toll plaza which will avoid traffic jams thus saving fuel as also leading to less emission thus saving the environment apart from ensuring that the toll collection operates on bare minimum infrastructure. He essentially wants to make our drive much safer with Drive Assist as also make the process of paying tolls smooth and hassle free.

In order to make this system live he is facing challenge to get government approvals. He has to go through all the approval process in the bureaucratic environment and facing challenges to get it approved. However, he has his idea patented and is not worried about getting it copied. We wish Tapan good luck to get his idea into the public soon so that we all can experience safer drive.

Innovation in farming process to increase the crop yield

Farmers are often faced with issue of low quality yield and loss of soil fertility. To address this issue Chintala Venkat Reddy, a farmer in Awal village in Hyderabad developed an innovative technique of farming to improve the yield of the crops. He used a simple technique to improve the fertility of the soil. Usually the upper layer of soil gets used up so much that it gets depleted of nutrients due to continuous production. However, no crops are able to reach the depth of 5-6 inches below the soil layer. Chintala Venkat thought of using this layer of soil to increase the fertility of the soil. He replaced the top soil of 4-6 inches with the subsoil which is rich in nutrients. This technique led to the highest yield of paddy 10.31 tonnes per hectare and 5.6 tonnes per hectare with wheat as against the normal yields of 5.0 to 6.5 tonnes per hectare for rice and 2.5 to 3.0 tonnes per hectare for wheat.

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Initially he experimented with wheat and rice crops but he claims that this technique is useful for all kinds of crop. All types of vegetables, medicinal plants or flowers can be cultivated with such technique which yields 100% better yield than the normal technique of aerating or plowing the fields. Chintala tells that this innovative technique has doubled and tripled the produce based on experience of various farmers. This process is very cost effective and any farmer can use it who knows the technique well. Hence the input costs are minimal and the revenue generation is higher due to increase in the yield.

This novel technique developed by Chintala Venkat has been cleared by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Geneva. He is the first farmer in India to obtain the patent for his novel innovation through WIPO and US PTO. He also applied for patent in another 30 countries. Now he is planning to register a trademark in his name so that the process can be recognized in his name. The main challenge faced by him is to market the process. Once the trademark is registered any farmer who uses this process can market their produce with this trademark and get good value for their crops.

This innovative technique can be used in any country mainly in tropical region like Africa, Philippines, Malaysia, South America and Burma who can benefit by exporting their crops produced by this process to other cold regions. These countries have benefit of healthy and plenty sunlight which is good for the crops produce. Also the subsoil holds natural water and has good holding capacity of water. So this also solves the problem of water scarcity. Thus this simple and yet novel process can help to solve the food problems in most of the countries.

Bhungroo to eliminate poverty and solve water problems of farmers

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Bhungroo meaning hollow pipe, is a critical tool for rural poor women. Without it they cannot blow the open stove to make their daily cooking to feed their family members. Considering the significance of this tool, Mr. Biplab Ketan Paul came with an innovative idea of Bhungroo Technology whereas Trupti Jain created a gender centric model of execution of Bhungroo. Bhungroo is a technical process (awarded in World Bank Development Marketplace in 2007; in 2014 by UNFCCC), which enables poor small holders to access water in winter and saves farmers from disaster and ensures food security in monsoon and lean period.

The idea of Bhungroo has its roots in Ahmedabad, where people face water crisis. Working across Gujarat and Rajasthan with underprivileged rural women she was pained to find how they needed to fight every day to secure water in all eight months of the year except the monsoon period. Not only that the farms in this area have to face drought situation in summer and winter and flood like situation in monsoon. Both the cases are highly detrimental for poor smallholding women headed households. They have to pick up compelled migration within most disadvantageous position and pushed into vicious cycle of debt trap whereas their family food security is wiped off.

Bhungroo technology aims at addressing these problems by providing water to the farms all-round the year. It has capability to provide nearly 1 million liters of water to the poor small holders in off season towards irrigation of crop. This also helps to reduce the salinity of the land by mixing the underground water storage with the saline soil. In monsoon Bhungroo saves farmers from excess water; in that case the excess rainwater gets filtered by Bhungroo and then that filtered water is stored at subsoil layer. In winter small holders can easily lift that stored water from subsoil storage and use for winter irrigation within a cost of INR 200/acres.

Bhungroo is getting executed in through commune cultivation (five ultra-poor women small holders) with a pre agreement that they will jointly manage their Bhungroo – share irrigation water among each other, contribute their labor in each other lands and work in tandem to achieve economies of scale. Bhungroo is unique solution which can be tailor made upto 12 designs as per the needs of the installation segments.

They had to overcome social, political and economic challenges to make this innovation a success. The main social challenge was acceptance in the community, gaining trust from small land holders and overcoming the traditional belief that male members can only earn and cultivate the land. Economic challenge was taken as an advantage as the penniless farmers could be easily convinced to accept this technology for the cultivation of their farms all-round the year. Otherwise they have threat of losing it to water sellers. Political systems had to be convinced to implement Bhungroo in various villages and to create Self Help Groups to educate women and men about the advantages of this technology.

One Bhungroo creates a minimum income of INR 4 Lakh from year one with added advantage of food security from those land which was unproductive till yesterday. It saves small holders from debt trap and also saves from land ownership loss. This innovation has really helped to empower the women in rural India and make them self-sufficient to maintain their own farm lands. It has solved two issues of women empowerment and water crisis with one invention. Government of Gujarat is promoting this technology to every farmer community and with this approach Trupti feels that it will take another 10 years to utilize the full potential of Bhungroo at Indian level.

Taparch giving eyes to the visually impaired

Whenever we think or see a visually impaired (Blind) person, only one thing comes to our mind – the white guiding stick. It is the identifying characteristics of a blind person. But soon identifying a blind person from a normal person will not be evident. With Krishna Sai Inkoolu’s innovation a blind person can lead an easier life without being dependent on the stick. He can walk easily now and avoid obstructions in its way with the help of a sensor shoe.

Krishna started working on this innovation right from first year of engineering college. Through his innovation he wanted to bring a change in the life of visually impaired people by using technology. This pair of shoes called as Taparch – meaning free walk, can help identify obstacles within a range of 400 cm. They have sensors fitted into them which can detect the hurdles and give a tap to the foot of the wearer. Krishna observed that the visually impaired people have good sensory realization in terms of voice and feel. So considering this, he invented TAPARCH that works on principle of “Sense of Touch”, and lets the user identify the distance and dimension of the obstacle ahead. The sensor in the shoes works on chargeable batteries which are charged up by mechanical energy generated while walking. This eliminates the efforts of a blind person to change the batteries.

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Using technical innovation and application of simple things like generation of mechanical energy, Krishna invented a design which can help the needy people. This has helped to make the shoe very user-friendly and easy to adapt. Krishna describes that ‘the life of visually impaired is made easier through this product at an affordable price. It will also lend them more confidence’. Usually many innovators face challenges in terms of raising funds and bringing the product into the market. After getting innovator award from FICCI in 2014, many investors have approached Krishna. But in case of Taparch, the main hurdle lies in making it available to the right people. Since the target segment is challenging who cannot see the product; the appeal or the awareness will be very limited. So the main challenge lies in making the visually impaired aware about such product which can help them. People related to them should help to get this product reach upto the needy.

Krishna Sai says that his only motive is to diffuse novel technology to the under-privileged section of the society. So what does the future hold for Taparch and Krishna Sai? He writes – So far we’ve tested the productivity of Taparch at National Blind People Association. Our next step is to scale the pilot at a national level.

Good marketing strategies by using various means of traditional media like Radio, audio promotions; government intervention to support the visually impaired can help Taparch and Krishna to achieve their mission. What started as a small project in a lab in Gitam University (Vishakhapatnam) has become a start-up to give sight to the visually impaired people.