(Proctor & Gamble's flagship sanitary napkin brand in India, "Whisper")
The menstrual cycle is one of the last things any man wants to think about - but this Indian guy created a machine to mass-produce low-cost sanitary napkins.
Capable of producing around 120 pads per hour, the machine Murugantham developed costs only about $2,500 — a tiny fraction of the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Procter & Gamble (P&G) spend on their plants. And while output of 120 pads an hour hardly offers much in the way of economies of scale, Muruganantham's invention has created its own business model for small “self help groups” of low-income women — creating jobs that earn them twice what they made as ordinary laborers.
Will Mr. Murugantham's machine and potential bottom-up, decentralized sanitary napkin production model provide employment for millions of impoverished women across India? Or will multinational corporations prevail in penetrating this untapped demographic despite higher production costs? Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of Globalization!