On NextBillion, we recently covered an editorial
from Arun Maira
of The Boston Consulting Group
in India. Maira wrote that the organizations which will succeed in BOP markets will be those which don?t merely down-size existing products but invest in developing innovative business models.Surinder Kapur?s column
profiles a striking example of this ? Cosmos Ignite Innovations
.Cosmos Ignite Innovations that produces low-cost lighting systems for developing countries was born
at the first offering of the "Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability" course at Stanford University. The mission at Cosmos is to help ?Removal of Darkness? for millions without light at the "Base of the Pyramid" (who are forced to use expensive & dangerous kerosene oil lamps in India & developing countries around the world). In remote India alone, 400 million people in remote India use kerosene lighting as their primary source of lighting.
Cosmos brought out Mighty Light
- a disruptive product targeted to meet a social need product ? with a highly innovative business model.
Mighty Light uses the latest LED technology combined with solar energy and is designed to be a waterproof, shockproof and multiple-function lamp that can be used as a room light, reading lamp or flashlight.
It uses a best-in-class 1-watt super-bright white LED bulb to illuminate and is capable of holding an eight-hour charge and designed to last an extraordinary 100,000 hours (up to 30 years on use of eight hours daily). It is cost-effective as it uses solar power to recharge and provides light enough to illuminate any room, especially helping the poor forced to use dangerous, polluting and expensive kerosene oil lamps.
While solar energy has been around for a long time, what is innovative is its use in combination with the revolutionary LED technology in Mighty Light, suddenly opening up a whole new market to more than 1.6 billion people without regular lighting around the world. Moreover, this is being done in a ?green? manner, contributing to climate change control.
The for-profit business model chosen by Cosmos will ensure that Mighty Light sustains the social change it is bringing in countries such as India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Cambodia, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Panama, Guyana and Colombia.
It?s heartening to see that instead of the traditional apathy towards darkness, this is a product that sustainably serves a real and urgent need.