With ChotuKool, an innovative cooler, Gopalan Sunderraman, Executive Vice President at Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing and his team were able to profitably address a need of bottom-of-the-pyramid consumers in rural India. Case A presents the challenge and the approach used (in-market research) to identify the need and design a solution. To ensure ChotuKool’s go-to-market strategy is a success, G&B must get the finance model and distribution model right. Case B explains how G&B partnered with micro-finance institutions and empowerment initiatives targeting local women to address the finance and distribution model challenges. It also describes the non-financial impact that ChotuKool had on local entrepreneurs and consumers, as well as hinting at future avenues for growth.
1. Understand the power of in-market research and co-creation to identify a need and formulate a solution, especially when targeting bottom-of-the-pyramid consumers. 2. The difference between theoretical affordability and actual affordability; the former being ChotuKool’s low price (compared with conventional refrigerators), and the latter being the burden it still represents on disposable income for target consumers. 3. The importance of identifying partners early on, and getting them on board quickly to reduce costs and increase the chance of success. 4. Flexibility is key: no matter how well-articulated your strategy is or how robust your business model is, executional challenges will force you to adapt.