Entrepreneurs have turned to innovations to join the fight against coronavirus

Alisha Shinde
Monday, 18 May 2020

COVID-19 has brought businesses to a standstill. But a few entrepreneurs have been innovating and making products which are relevant in the changing world

As we enter the fourth stage of the lockdown in India, we need many more innovations to cope with the current situation. Let’s understand one thing: The virus is here to stay and we need to learn to live with it.  
Several industries have already brought in a change in mindset and making products which can help society deal with the crisis. We talk to a few entrepreneurs to know more about their innovative concepts.

Focus on innovation

Speaking at a webinar by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sheetal Jain, CEO and founder of Luxe Analytics, emphasised on how global luxury brands took up the initiative to do more. “It was a crisis that took all the industries by storm and yet effectively got them working for the greater good. Luxury brands, all over the world, have come together to make innovative use of their manufacturing units to provide products that are relevant in today’s world,” says Jain.  


An affordable bed

Ayush Khetan, managing director, Khetan Corru Case Private Ltd, points out that his company has been in the corrugation packaging industry for over three decades now and have been working with leading FMCG and consumer durables, and other corporations such as PepsiCo, ITC, Flipkart, Carlsberg, among many others.
Even though we were listed under the essential industries, a few discussions among ourselves led to a product that would become more than just a concept,” says Khetan. “Over the past few weeks, we developed the Corrubed in our manufacturing facilities for our staff/ workers who could not make it back to their villages before the lockdown. So, it has been tested by real people and has proved to be efficient,” he adds.
“Along with our regular products, we pushed these beds too and were able to extend our help to many organisations, hospitals and quarantine centres to make more place for those affected by coronavirus,” says Khetan, adding that they took into consideration the inadequate infrastructure to deal with the crisis. The number of people affected by COVID-19 is far too many and the number of beds is way too less. This initiative can help healthcare facilities to provide the beds and help migrant labourers as well.
“Making use of innovation, this is simply our way of giving back to society,” says Khetan, adding that this is an opportunity for all businesses to reinvent and rethink. “When it comes to Corrubeds, it was possible only because of creative thinking. We had the resources and the manpower and we combined the two to make something in the same assembly lines. We just need to broaden the spectrum of our thinking and then anything is possible,” he adds.
They are currently producing 1,000 such units each day and have a capacity to push this to 2,500 per day within a span of 3-4 days.

A few features of the Corrubed

  • Water resistant (because of special chemical coating)
  • Sanitisation
  • Easy to assemble (in less than 4 min)
  • Easy to dispose (can be re-pulped, biodegraded, burnt)
  • Eco-friendly as it is made from paper
  • Can be scaled in production to volumes as high as 3K beds per day
  • Also, as per WHO website, the COVID-19 virus can last for 12-24 hrs on corrugated board/ cardboard and much longer on metal/ plastic surfaces.
  • The beds are great option for temporary labour accommodation/ quarantine centres/ isolation wards or emergency beds at hospitals, particularly in remote places. This water-resistant bed can take a load of up to 250kg and costs as low as Rs 1-1.2k.


The safe tunnel

To promote hygiene at locations that witness significant footfall, such as hospitals, gated communities, offices, malls and industries, MyGate has collaborated with Metalstreet to introduce the Hygiene Walkway, a low-cost disinfection tunnel that sanitises people at entry points of these premises. The product has already been installed at key locations across Bengaluru, including the entrance to a large hospital, a police station and a large gated community.
Shashank Ananth, co-founder, Metalstreet, says that his company is a B2B marketplace for metal trading in India, but the ongoing crisis has threatened the operations of many industries. “This was an opportunity for people from various industries to come together and join forces for the better good,” he says, adding that even though the concept is already up and running in many countries across the world, India needed a cost-effective product. This led to a low cost walkway tunnel. We are also working on adding a thermal thermometer to this tunnel to record body temperature. This idea was simply born when I came across an older gentleman telling a security guard who came close to him to take his body temperature. He said that it was defeating the purpose of social distancing,” says Ananth.
The walkway can also be customised to meet specific requirements of smaller facilities. “Innovation is bringing us together to fight the battle against COVID-19,” he says.
Hygiene Walkway and its benefits

  • Complements all other hygiene practices being employed at the premises
  • Uses an organic and anti-microbial solution to eliminate germs and viruses at the gate itself
  • Around 240 people can pass through the Walkway in an hour, thereby eliminating congestion at the gate.
  • Fully automated, requiring no additional manpower to manage or operate
  • Integrated with infrared thermometers for automatic detection of body temperature

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