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Arunachalam Muruganantham: India’s Social Entrepreneur And Menstruation Man

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While a majority of men and women in many urban cities of India still consider the menstrual cycle a taboo, this man from Coimbatore changed the perspective of millions of women in rural India. Arunachalam Muruganantham, also know as PadMan, in an effort to impress his wife decided to produce sanitary napkins himself. Little did he know that a few years down the line, his whole world would be turned upside down, from almost getting a divorce to becoming the first man to wear a sanitary pad.

The initial idea seemed simple enough. Buy cotton, cut it in the size of a regular pad and wrap it using a thin layer of cotton. However, the feedback he received from his wife was devastating. His homemade pad was useless and she would rather continue using old rags. He did not stop there. He first enlisted his sisters to test his pads. When they refused, he visited a local medical school and asked the girls studying in those colleges. When they also eventually stopped helping, he created a makeshift uterus using a football bladder and goats blood to test the sanitary napkins himself.

When the neighbours started complaining about a foul smell and stained clothes, his wife left him and went to live with her mother. But, it was no longer about helping his wife anymore. Arunachalam was on a mission to produce low cost sanitary pads for all the girls and women in his country.

A school dropout from Coimbatore, Arunachalam challenged an age old taboo and changed a fiercely competitive industry with his cheap and affordable good quality sanitary napkins. After years of research, lots of sacrifices, a great deal of hard work and the willpower to succeed, he successfully created a low cost machine for the production of sanitary pads. His easy to use machines, priced at $ 950, created a revolution in India challenging the $ 500,000 imported machines. More than a decade later, his single product has helped employ more than 7000 women in rural India, selling 1,300 machines to 27 states in India and 6 countries.

However, the man behind the ‘Second White Revolution’ is still as humble as ever. Startup Stories had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Arunanchalam Muruganantham about his surreal journey. Speaking about his experiences and his journey, he says, “I feel grateful for what has happened so far it is what has made me what I’m today.” Despite changing the lives of over 3.5 million women in rural India, Arunachalam feels there’s still a long way to go. “Awareness is missing. But things do have changed compared to 2 decades before.. still a long way to go.” He further adds, “Menstrual hygiene is totally connected to a women’s health and lifestyle. Sanitary pad does play a role. We have over 80+% women not taking care of themselves. A lot of efforts needed to make them use hygienic practice.

However, Arunachalam feels the Government can help boost this movement forward. “Tax has increased the price of pads. But still. Cost is one side of the coin. Government can make it tax free – the loss they might incur is not a loss at all as making pads affordable and accessible will make more women healthy – that is a greatest asset of the nation. Women strong – country strong.”

We could not agree with him more! India is a country that has seen some extremely powerful women in the leading roles. Nevertheless, like they say, there is strength in numbers and only when men and women work together, will this revolution be validated.  It takes a lot of strength, courage and determination to take such a brave step forward. Startup Stories wishes Mr. Arunachalam Muruganantham all the best for his dream of making all the women of India use sanitary napkins.

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How Do IPL Franchises Make Money

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How Do IPL Franchises Make Money

If there is one thing that every Indian and every cricket fan waits for all year, it is the Indian Premier League, which is the world’s biggest cricketing league.  Professional cricket players from all over the world vie to get selected by one of the eight franchises which compete in the league.  The entire league is a star studded affair and Indians manage to forget their differences and band together for all the time the league is aired.  Each franchise boasts of a loyal fan following who have supported their teams through thick and thin ever since IPL was inaugurated in 2008.  While the entire league is a melting pot of entertainment and competition, have you ever wondered how the franchises make money in IPL?  In this article we will decode the business models behind the IPL teams and how they earn money.

Franchises need to bid for players every year before the start of the IPL season in an auction.  Each franchise has a maximum spend limit of Rs. 80 crores to buy players in the auction.  Apart from buying players each franchise also needs to bear the cost of travel, support staff and logistics.  The following are the different avenues from which franchises earn money.

1) Sponsorships

Franchises earn a major chunk of their revenue from sponsorships, but they do not get the money from sponsorships directly.  The IPL governing council gets money from sponsors and in the case of this year it is from Dream 11, which is the title sponsor while VIVO was the title sponsor last year.  All the money which is earned from sponsorships is divided into a ratio of 60:40 with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) retaining 40% of the sponsorships.  The remaining 60% is distributed among the ten franchises.  BCCI owns and operates the IPL in India.  The ratio of distribution might change in the coming years depending on the decisions taken by the BCCI.

2)  Media rights

Broadcasting companies bid for the media rights and the winning bid will get to air the IPL on their channel.  Star India bagged the media rights for IPL with a bid of Rs. 16,345 crores for five years (2018-2022.)  The money from media rights are also distributed in the 60:40 ratio with BCCI keeping 40% and the franchises getting an equal distribution from the remaining 60%.

3) Franchise sponsors

Each franchise has its own dedicated sponsors which pay a huge amount of money to the franchise.  The logos and names of the companies which you can see on the sporting attire of every IPL team are actually the dedicated sponsors of their respective franchises.  The profit from dedicated sponsors depends on the deal the franchise has made with their sponsor. The income generated from dedicated sponsors might differ from team to team.

ALSO READ: 5 Cricketers Who Are Entrepreneurs

4) Sale of tickets

Each franchise can choose a home ground from the available venues in the BCCI roster like Sunrisers Hyderabad, choosing Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders choosing Kolkata.  Only the home franchise can fix the price of tickets for the matches happening in their home ground.  Bigger stadiums with large seating capacity earn the most from ticket sales.  Kolkata Knight Riders home ground Eden Gardens has the highest seating capacity in India and therefore KKR earns the most from ticket sales.  

5) Merchandising

Each franchise makes some money by selling official jerseys, caps, wrist watches, souvenirs etcetera.  The merchandise is sold through the official franchise websites.

6) Prize money

Franchises battle it out in a long season to become the winner of the IPL season.  The winning team also wins a hefty prize money which is an additional source of revenue.  In 2019, the winning franchise won Rs. 15 crores while the runner up won Rs. 10 crores.

IPL is a big stage for franchise owners to earn their revenues as well as the perfect opportunity for players to make their mark and win big auctions.  This is how franchises earn their revenues from the IPL.  As this year’s edition is off to a flying start, IPL has been a blessing in disguise for millions of Indians in the gloomy times we currently are experiencing.  

 

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Six Innovations By Elon Musk

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Six Innovations By Elon Musk

Elon Musk is perhaps the boldest business leader, thinker and entrepreneur of this generation.  Elon Musk dabbled in multiple ventures over the years and most of them might seem like they are straight out of a storybook.  Elon Musk’s perseverance to achieve his dreams have paid off and he now owns several highly successful companies.  Elon’s ambitions are bold as he is determined to send humans to Mars, offer highly subsidised or free internet to the world and develop the world’s fastest mode of transportation with his ventures.  

We give you six innovations conceived by Elon Musk which prove he is a true visionary.

1) Tesla

Tesla is a car manufacturing firm which mainly focuses on cars which run on electricity powered by batteries.  The company name Tesla, is a tribute to Nikola Tesla who was an electrical engineer.  Elon Musk’s Tesla pioneered the concept that electric cars can look and feel like premium cars as well as powering their vehicles with powerful artificial intelligence which lets its drivers to sit back and relax while the autopilot does the driving.  Tesla cars are only sold online as Elon Musk believes a traditional dealership will have conflict of interests while selling electric vehicles.  Tesla is the first automaker that sells cars directly to consumers while the rest use independently owned dealerships.

2) SpaceX

Space X is perhaps the most ambitious undertaking by Elon Musk as he believes colonising Mars is the future of humankind.  SpaceX is also short for space exploration and has drastically reduced the costs of undertaking space missions as Elon Musk figured out a way to reuse the rockets.  Unlike most rockets, which are expendable launch systems, since the introduction of the Full Thrust version, Space X’s Falcon 9 is partially reusable, with the first stage capable of re entering the atmosphere and landing vertically after separating from the second stage.  This feat was achieved for the first time by SpaceX in December 2015.  A 2011 NASA report “estimated that it would have cost the agency about US $ 4 billion to develop a rocket like the Falcon 9 booster based upon NASA’s traditional contracting processes while “a more ‘commercial development’ approach might have allowed the agency to pay only US $ 1.7 billion (sic.)”

3) Hyperloop

Hyperloop aims to be the provider of the fastest mode of transportation on the planet.  Hyperloop is a sealed tube or system of tubes with low air pressure through which a pod may travel substantially free of air resistance or friction.  The Hyperloop could convey people or objects at airline or hypersonic speeds while being very energy efficient. In aerodynamics, a hypersonic speed is one that greatly exceeds the speed of sound, often stated as starting at speeds of Mach 5 and above.  Mach 1 is the speed of sound which is 1234 kmph.  The Hyperloop Genesis paper conceived of a hyperloop system that would propel passengers along the 350-mile (560 km) route at a speed of 760 mph (1,200 km/h), allowing for a travel time of 35 minutes, which is considerably faster than current rail or air travel times.

ALSO READ: Five Interesting Facts About Elon Musk’s SpaceX 

4)  Starlink

Starlink is a satellite constellation being constructed by SpaceX  to provide satellite Internet access.  The constellation will consist of thousands of mass produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO,) working in combination with ground transceivers.  SpaceX intends to provide satellite internet connectivity to underdeveloped areas of the planet, as well as provide competitively priced service to urban areas.   

5) Boring company

The Boring Company is a tunnel services company and Elon Musk cited difficulty with Los Angeles traffic and limitations with the current two dimensional transportation network as his early inspiration for the project.  Musk claims the tunnel trip will take five minutes, compared to above ground driving which takes 45 minutes in normal traffic to go from LAX to Westwood.  These trips were planned to be implemented by placing a car on an electric sled and traveling at 120 miles per hour (200 km/h) through tunnels.

6) Neuralink

Neuralink is a neurotechnology company founded by Elon Musk for developing implantable brain machine interfaces.  Neuralink announced it was working on a “sewing machine like” device capable of implanting very thin (4 to 6 μm in width) threads into the brain, and demonstrated a system that read information from a lab rat via 1,500 electrodes.  The company is centered on creating devices that can be implanted in the human brain, with the eventual purpose of helping human beings merge with software and keep pace with advancements in artificial intelligence.  These enhancements could improve memory or allow more direct interfacing with computing devices at broadband speeds.

While some of the companies and their vision might seem far fetched, Elon Musk is adamant on making them a reality.  Elon Musk and SpaceX successfully made history as being the first private organization to transport astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS.)  The entire operation from launch to docking at the ISS has been live streamed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and was watched by millions from all over the world.  Neuralink’s progress was displayed recently as a pig named Gertrude had a chip implanted in her brain which tracked her neural activity and was publicly displayed to everyone.  

We at Startup Stories hope Elon Musk will continue to push the boundaries of science and imagination for as long as he can and make an indelible impact on humanity.

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TVS Motor Story : A True Blue Indian Motorbike Company

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TVS Motor Story : A True Blue Indian Motorbike Company

India as a nation has a preference for choosing a two wheeler over a four wheeler.  It is quite easy to see the Indian roads packed with motorcycles and mopeds zipping away and snaking their way through the notorious Indian traffic.  Almost every household has some form of a two wheeler at home which they use for travelling with whole families .  The entire two wheeler market segment is flooded with gearless mopeds like Activa, Jupiter and budget geared vehicles like Passion, Splendor and Victor.  There is a vehicle for every economic requirement in India.  

The Indian market is majorly ruled by Honda, Bajaj and TVS all of which have a plethora of models available for the market.  Let us take a look at the story of TVS Motors, a true Indian company which makes vehicles for the Indian sensibilities.

Beginnings:

T.V. Sundaram Iyengar began with Madurai’s first bus service in 1911 and founded T.V.S., a company in the transportation business with a large fleet of trucks and buses under the name of Southern Roadways.   This is also the first company to run buses in Delhi and with their large number of buses, TVS quickly began to rule the transportation market in Delhi.  After the death of Sundaram Iyenger in 1955, his sons took over the business.

Sundaram Clayton:

In 1962, Sundaram Clayton came into existence.  This company was a collaboration of the Sundaram company and Clayton Dewandre Holdings of the United Kingdom.  Sundaram Clayton started making products like motors, bike brakes, compressors and other automotive products.  For about a decade, the company was engaged in the same work , they were manufacturing automotive products.

In 1978, they set up a plant to manufacture mopeds at Hosur, Tamil Nadu.  They began with TVS50 which was also India’s first two seater moped.  Sundaram Clayton then entered into a collaboration with Japan’s Suzuki Limited as a joint venture in 1987.  TVS and Suzuki shared a one year long relationship that was aimed at technology transfer for design and manufacture of two wheelers specifically for the Indian market.  TVS Suzuki introduced many models such as the Suzuki Supra, Suzuki Samurai, Suzuki Shogun and Suzuki Shaolin.

After a fruitful relationship, the collaboration finally came to an end in 2001 following which TVS signed a moratorium for 30 months during which Suzuki promised not to enter the Indian market with competing two wheelers.  TVS was then renamed to TVS motors.

Recent Past

TVS Motors entered the racing bike category with the Apache model and the budget and mileage friendly segment with the Jupiter series.  In early 2015, TVS Racing became the first Indian factory team to take part in the Dakar Rally, the world’s longest and most dangerous rally. TVS Racing partnered with the French motorcycle manufacturer Sherco, and named the team Sherco TVS Rally Factory Team.

In 2016 TVS started manufacturing the BMW G310R, a model co developed with BMW Motorrad after their strategic partnership in April 2013. 

TVS Motors also has a list of firsts in India which is to be the first to indigenously produce a four stroke motorcycle.  The list of firsts from the firm include: India’s first 2 seater moped – TVS 50, India’s first Digital Ignition with the TVS Champ, India’s first fully indigenous motorcycle – Victor, and the first Indian company to launch ABS in a motorcycle with the Apache RTR Series.

TVS Motors is currently the third largest motorcycle company in India with a revenue of Rs. 20,000 crores.  With a strong history and a proven track record for innovation and its commitment to making the lives of Indians better, TVS Motors will only look forward to releasing more models into the market and become the market leader in India.

 

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