The fact is from day 0, we have found ourselves colliding with the status quo in the journey of making quality healthcare affordable for the bottom 90%. As we have been validating our thought processes and approaches from industry experts/subject matters we have gained massive conviction. This leads to introspection regarding what sets you apart from the status quo. In my view, there is no better answer than our direct exposure to the environment and the issues we aim to address. We have been on the ground since the beginning - Day 0. But then this is not the first time and here are a few crazy stories
Story-1: P&G’s Razor design for the Indian market
Around 2007, Alan G Lafley, the CEO of P&G, contemplated expanding the company’s presence into developing markets like India and China. The research and product design team initially believed they could design a suitable product for Asian consumers without observing users in action because they could find enough Indians in the USA and take their feedback. However, Alan insisted that the team visit India, meet actual users, and observe their habits before proceeding with Razor prototype development. The team was initially reluctant, deeming the trip a potential waste of time.
Nonetheless, the research and design team journeyed to India, spent several days with actual customers, and observed their shaving routines. What they discovered was eye-opening. In the USA the actual customers use an open flow of water during shaving with Razor. The razors of those consumers were compact in shape - that means flow (Pressure) was necessary to clean those razors. But in India, customers use still water - water in a small mug - and there was no way the Razor that was working well for USA customers could have worked for Indian consumers as well. This means they had to design a new Razor from scratch.
The research and design team designed on paper the new razor for Indian customers on the plane while coming back after the user research. And according to the team - this was the best thing they had done in a while. (WoW).
Story 3: SS Rajamoli’s Bees movie by capturing bees in his Fridge
In India, the eminent filmmaker SS Rajamouli undertook an unconventional approach when crafting his visually stunning movie, “Bees” (Makhi). He captured bees in his refrigerator and observed them for weeks or months to gain a deep understanding of their behaviour. This unique experience allowed him to infuse authenticity and relevance into the bee-related aspects of his movie. The subsequent success of “Bees” catapulted SS Rajamouli to worldwide fame, affirming the effectiveness of his approach. I think this approach could be one of the reasons he has been one of the successful creators who has been able to attract audiences from every corner of the world.
The fact is, without direct exposure to environments and problems - it is not possible to keep your biases away. And this is the reason, our approaches and thought processes have been different from the rest of the industries because we have direct exposure to the environment and problem - being on the ground from day 0.
This is a small part of my recent essay: Why is Direct Exposure to the Environment and Problems Important to Solving a Complex Problem? you can read the full essay: here