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The winners of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge for the year 2014-15 are:

The Winner: SAANS – Every Breath is Precious

SAANS is an India based Medical Technology Startup, committed at developing cheap and affordable medical innovations projects for the critical unmet needs, the initial six-months were spent undergoing clinical immersion at tertiary care hospitals, ambulances and peripheral care settings, as a result of which, the product “Saans” was formulated.

Saans is a low cost and easy to use mechanical Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device, which is used to maintain a constant pressure, and constant air flow to keep the lungs of newborns and infants open during troubled breathing. Saans is vital for continuous breathing support for infants with troubled breathing during transportation to advanced care facilities and in temporary maintenance of respiratory support in instances where electric CPAP machines cannot work. The product being an entirely mechanical assembly operates without any power and could be used by an untrained person (usually parents/relatives) without any external supervision from a trained medical professional unlike electric CPAP machines. Saans will provide high quality, low skill respiratory support at a lesser cost.

1st Runner Up: GWWSPC: Godavari Women Weaver’s Services Producer Company

The business model adopted by this producer organization is strengthening of weaver base by collectivization and integrating the entire value chain involved in the handloom process. Since member weavers are the decision making authority for every activity in the weaving value chain, the margins added during each level due to the value addition goes to the weavers and members working for the producer company.

The key activities in the value chain process are:

  • Procurement of raw material – The raw material will be procured from National Handloom Development Corporation at subsidized rates for producers and in bulk, would be placed at the yarn bank.
  • Production of fabrics and value addition: Pre-loom activities will be done at individual clusters by skilled laborers at pre-loom shed, thus, decreasing the weaver time consumption. Work -sheds with looms will be setup for weavers to enhance their efficiency. The finished fabric is then sent to value addition units like embroidery and printing. This would enhance the market value of the produce.
  • Marketing: The marketing channels would be retail outlets, exhibitions and e-portals. Due to collectivization, the cost incurred per weaver for each process would decrease and each individual unit would act as an individual business hub and would also cater non-members of the producer organization.

2nd Runner Up: Ultra safe Ultra sound

Currently, 45% of the world’s population lives in societies with highly skewed male to female ratios. Sex selective abortion occurs at highest rates in China, Armenia, India, Albania, Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and South Korea. Such an imbalance in sex ratios further decreases the status of women in society. Female foeticide or the killing of female baby still in her mother’s womb is the primary reasons for such skewedness. 95% of pre-natal sex-detection occurs via the use of an ultrasound machine which serves as a facilitator for female foeticide.

Ultrasafe Ultrasound uses a patented technology that automatically prevents the identification of genitalia in live images produced by ultrasound machines. The technology uses customized image recognition software that detects and censors the foetal genitalia in ultrasound images thus preventing discerning of the gender of the child. The “Ultrasafe Ultrasound Box” can be retrofitted into existing sonography machines. The removal gender recognition capability from ultrasound machines will facilitate removal of strict licensing and monitoring norms imposed by the Indian Government enabling faster growth and penetration of ultrasound imaging technology in India and also removal of ban imposed on sale of portable ultrasound machines in India.

The winners of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge for the year 2013-14 are:

The Winner: MicroX Labs

MicroX Labs developped a technology to count the Blood cells. The Solution is based on upcoming technology of Lab on Chip and MEMS (Micro electro mechanical systems) which mintuarizes the instrument to less than 2Kgs, brings down the fixed price of the instrument to less than Rs12,000 and operating price of cartridges to less than Rs20 .All the reagents are pre-loaded in the cartridge itself making it easy to use with only 2uL of blood. Such instrument will give 14 parameter reports in under 1 minute. Owing to ease of use, portability and low cost such device will be a boon to the rural healthcare and can be used at point of care also.

1st Runner Up: Bodhi Health Education

The solution by Bodhi Health Education uses affordable tablet computer technology to train, monitor and supervise CHWs. This e-Learning content has been developed keeping in mind the low literacy levels of these health workers. Complex medical topics have been explained using simple, illustrative videos which connect to the bottom of the pyramid segment and their issues. The concepts are explained in regional languages and with minimum content to be read.


2nd Runner Up: Green Agrevolutions

Agrevolution entire business model is based on the gap between growers and consumers of food and agriculture sector. One side they provide support to growers during the production cycle and by doing so they also assure quality production as per the market/buyers demand. On the other side, they supply quality products directly to the end users without any intermediaries. Hence buyers get competitive price and high quality as well.


Four finalists of TSEC 2013 have been incubated at IIM Calcutta Innovation Park. A brief profile of these enterprises is given below:

  • Doctors For You (DFY) is a SAARC award winning humanitarian NGO in the health-care sector. DFY’s disaster relief and rehabilitation work has won it the British Medical Journal (BMJ) ‘Best Medical Team in Crisis Situation’ Award in 2011.
  • SwitchON-ONergy is a hybrid social enterprise start-up creating an ecosystem for the uptake of complete energy solutions to rural India. ONergy is a ISO Certified (TUV) for-profit venture, setting up last mile energy distribution and service networks.
  • Edwell Solutions Private Limited is already operating tuition centres in Chamba block of Tehri Garhwal district and Doiwala block of Dehradun district in Uttarakhand with a plan to add more 8 such centres in Uttarakhand by FY 2013-14.
  • Utopia is a Social Enterprise which has leveraged the automotive engineering & innovative design skills of its founders to create prototypes of low-maintenance, high-efficiency, low-pollution rickshaws specifically designed for Indian cities & towns.

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