Asking the right questions!

  • Asking the right questions!

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January 17, 2012

Giri Balasubramaniam, founded Greycaps India Pvt Ltd in Bengaluru in 1999. It is now the country's second largest quiz company.

“Greycaps began as the translation of a passion. When we were quizzing in our college days in the late eighties and early nineties we found that quizzing needed the infusion of fresh blood and ideas. For the audience, quizzing was also very difficult. There were two kinds of attendees—those whohad read up, and those who did not even understand the questions, leave alone know the answers. People found quizzes for the brainy, not for entertainment. Perhaps because in that era quizzing was largely confined to statistical data—remembering dates and numbers, per capita income, growth, production data etc.” said Balasubramaniam.

Therefore, he wanted to make quizzing entertaining, easier and more widely sought and enjoyed. Soon, Giri and some of his classmates began developing such quizzes. These quizzes, were more awareness based, they were about recent happenings.

Greycaps holds the merit of having held India's biggest business quiz—for Tata Sons in 2004 called Tata Crucible –the quiz formed part of the centenary celebrations of the Tatas, and has now become an annual event.

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Wood Worth

Imli Toshi Namo, a young innovator who grew up in Nagaland, spent his time roaming around the sprawling bamboo plantations and observing the grass being harvested and processed, before it was shaped into furniture or items of handicraft.

In 2006, Imli designed Arulepsa, the prototype of an integrated, precision-controlled, bamboo processing machine. Arulepsa processes five feet of highly finished bamboo per minute. That is approximately 25 times the speed of manual processing. "Even then, the finished bamboo that Arulepsa produces is far more uniform, better finished, well-planned and surfaced," according to Imli.

The prototype and its improvement cost him a total of INR 300,000 (US$ 6,725). He received funding from the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) and the National Bamboo Mission (NBM).

Imli says the first of the new machines should roll out by August this year. He is thinking of pricing them at INR 80,000 (US$ 1,800) each.

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Express Innovation

Satish Deb of Bhilai in Chhattisgarh, an inspired innovator, has revived the dying treadle presses with a cheap and easy conversion kit. He has converted the slow and foot-operated treadle press into a smart screen printing press, and has a US patent for his innovation.

Satish received his first patent on March 10, 1999 and now has five patents for various versions of his machine. The innovation successfully combines the technologies of screen printing with letter press machines. The cost of the Motek India Treadle press kit is about Rs 25,000 (US$ 550), against Rs 125,000 (a little more than US$ 2750), for a new offset press. Satish’s kit increases the efficiency of the treadle press at least five times, and makes the press versatile.

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The Coolest Little Refrigerator For Rural India

Godrej has developed a low-cost refrigeration solution, ChotuKool, to cater to rural households in India. To popularise this 7.8 kg eco-friendly refrigerator in rural India, Godrej is partnering with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and micro-finance institutions and collaborating with self-help groups.

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Cloud Surfing

Mumbai's Rajesh Jain, 41, founded Novatium, a Chennai-based company that makes NetPC. The machine is based on cheap cell-phone chips and without the hard- disk drive, extensive memory and pre packaged software that add hundreds of dollars to the cost of regular PCs. Instead, NetPCs are little more than a keyboard, a screen and a couple of USB ports - and use a central network server to run software applications and store data. Novatium sells the NetPC for only US$ 155.

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A Space Odyssey
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Studsat, for student satellite, has been designed and built by 45 engineering students across 10 colleges in Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Studsat, the tiny satellite, carries a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) camera and four small solar panels mounted for power supply.
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The New Life of Pi
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The well-designed Pi is a pretty smart reader. Sleek and handy, the device fits into the palm of your hand and holds more page-turners than the average bookshop.
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The above articles have been taken from IBEF's publications.

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x IBEF : India Brand Equity Foundation