An innovation is born out of necessity and a living example is the story of Mahesh Gupta. His two kids suffered the preventable disease jaundice. He became resolute to find a solution to it not just for his family but for all. His initiation which started off in the garage of his home is presently known to be a global brand with a whopping turnover of Rs 800 crore.
Mahesh Gupta left his well paid and secure job to pursue his dream of becoming an entrepreneur. He studied mechanical engineering and graduated from IIT Kanpur. He did his masters from Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun. Thus, with the reputed education, he started off working with Indian Oils in the sales department in 1978.
Mahesh decided to quit after working for seven years and refining his skills. He believed in taking risks and wanted to work on his own ideas. He put his savings of Rs 20,000 into SS Engineering from which he got plenty of patents.
The work was going well until Mahesh’s two kids got jaundice despite residing in a posh locality supposedly to provide the best of amenities in Delhi. He was agitated and reviewed all the water filters available in the market then. With his meticulous knowledge and understanding of mechanics, he was able to evaluate each product. He came to the conclusion that the ultra-violet rays’ technology employed for killing bacteria in water was not reliable and effective enough. It was incapable of treating the dissolved elements in the water.
Mahesh in the consequent six months began to work on different models and failed. At last, he discovered reverse osmosis technology which gave him the assurance of clean drinking water. He then installed this set up at his place and the successful results encouraged him to go commercial with it.
With an investment of Rs 5 lakh that he was able to save from his previous venture, he started out. The garage of his house was the office of Kent RO. He bought equipment and installation machines. The other purifiers in the market were priced at Rs 5,000 but Kent RO came around at the price of Rs 20,000 as they were providing with superior technology, unlike others which made the market price fair for the product.
Earlier the product was resisted, however, got sales through word of mouth. The high-quality delivery made the product well known amongst people who chose Mahesh’s hi-tech product and the sales for it began to increase.
Kent then went on to advertise the products and approached the famous star and dream girl of Bollywood Hema Malini to be the brand ambassador. The insistent marketing increased sales by 40%.
Kent presently has 40% share of the market in RO mineral. They have a turnover of over Rs 800 crore and have 2,500 employees. The goodwill made them branch out more segments of products such as air purifier and bed cleaners.
(Photo Credit: Economic Times, My B International, TOI)