Blatant extrapolation of the current population growth creates a vision of the current world with two major additions. Firstly, millennials added to the list of consumers and producers, secondly, a couple of state of the art inventions playing a key role to sustain the huge list of consumers. This inevitable growth complemented by a higher penetration of literacy will fetch society a considerable number of well-educated customers, impregnated with product conscious minds. The Startup culture spiked by innovation has roared its way through to provide the masses make-your-life easy products at cheap rates. However, it has mistakenly disguised the ability of the big players fueled by cash and cutting-edge machinery.
This article will highlight two products pertaining to two non-coherent industries, hoping to showcase the power of specialization leveraged by dedication towards novel innovations over a long period, under the canopy of resources provided by the respective giants of their own industry. To start with, we will state specific features with regards to the engineering behind the Veyron making it the fastest car on the planet, and carry on the spirit of innovation by commenting on the success story of one of the largest FMCG companies in the world.
‘Bugatti’ is globally known for giving birth to the holy beast called as Veyron, predecessor to the current model -Chiron. These beasts have the ability to quench your thirst for speed at 430 Km/H! nearly double the speed required for a plane to take off from mother earth/the runway. Chiron is the monster developed with a strict instruction from the makers – Do whatever it takes to beat the Veyron. Reading the above fact with a layman’s knowledge of car building makes one consider this task as difficult. However, ‘Difficulty’ is an understatement for the makers, one of whom comments in a documentary, “When you produce a car which exceeds the speed limit of 400 km/h, every single process is critical “.
ENGINE: To begin with, the team had to choose from the type of engine to fit inside Chiron- hybrid, electric or Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). An upgradation of the existing V16 ICE of Veyron was finally zeroed down after several brainstorming sessions. This resulted to a heart that generates a furious 1500 HP of power with stage wise turbocharging units that activate one-by-one as per cut-off torques. The W16 engine has a displacement of 8000cc!
TRACTION: “It is difficult to keep the car on the road when it is cruising at the speed of 400+Kmph. Compare that with an Airbus lifting at a speed of just 280 Kmph!” pointed the president of Bugatti. Apart from the conventional brakes, the Bugatti employs a retractable and self-adjusting spoiler! Whether the car is cruising or the brakes are applied, the angle of the spoiler changes as per the requirement. The spoiler can leverage the traction or the deceleration of the car as and when needed.
ART: Technical excellence is one face of the coin whereas beauty and stunning looks are the other when someone shells out INR 16 Cr (USD 2.O million) for a car. ” My friend designs 10 cars in a year and I design 1 car in 10 years!” says regrettably, the chief designer of the Bugatti. The design of the Chiron sends chill to the spine and incites goosebumps just by looking at its photo. The traditional Bugatti look was not missing from the otherwise inexplicably ultra-racy futuristic looks of this hot four-wheeler.
NO HURRIES NO WORRIES
The manufacturing facility or the area is called ‘Indica’ and is the most unique automobile manufacturing capability. Apparently, the technicians here never seem to be in hurry. There are no production lines in this facility, which was pioneered by Sir Henry Ford. Instead, the Chiron is assembled 100% by hand. This incredible assembly is like that of an aircraft!
After a painstaking decade of research and development, the Chiron stands with pride as probably the zenith of the ICE era. Although, the highest speed of Chiron is a trade secret, it is well past the top speed of Veyron i.e. 431 Km/H. Well, if you are really interested, you can take it for a spin at the Ehra Lessien (East Germany) track where it has been tested to its limit. The track is famous for the 9 km long stretch especially because it is not possible to see the other end of the road if you stand at one of its end, primarily because the road follows the curvature of the earth!
Let’s carry on the inertia of fascination by mentioning few salient features related to the making of laundry detergents. ‘Persil Powergems’ is the latest innovation by the FMCG giant Unilever launched across UK This year. ‘Chiron’ and ‘Powergems’ are undoubtedly Incomparable as products. But, the arena where these are comparable is the time taken to develop these miracles. A decade of innovation gave birth to these spectacular products!
The Powergems boast to be the breakthrough in the laundry category. Liquids and capsules are some of the other laundry innovations. However, none of them substitute the humble solid detergent powders. Made for front load washing machines, the ‘Powergems’ takes pride of holding 20 patents, making it almost impossible for the competitors to replicate this product. Consumers benefit with triple impact of fabric care, freshness and stain removal.
GOODBYE TO FILLERS
The USP of the product is the removal of all unwanted fillers that are otherwise present in other detergent powders. This results in a product which is more sustainable and gives lesser residue on fabric
UNIQUE SHAPE: The Powergems are lenticular in shape with an exciting combination of white and colored ‘crystals’. There are two variants- ‘Bio’ and ‘Non-Bio’.
PROCESSING: To produce this format of detergent, a disparate route of manufacturing is engaged. It wouldn’t be wrong to mention that one of the steps have even been inspired from the plastics or polymers industry. With complex equipment arrive complex processes which makes the lives of developers a lot tougher. But as the Technical leader of this project correctly says that “Although there were numerous challenges in this project, but, the good news is that the team finally overcame all the odds and delivered a great product”, it is the happy ending that matters the most!
There are three different SKU sizes of ‘Powergems’. It is manufactured in the Warrington plant of Unilever in UK.
These two products are the epitome of human brain testing its limits and challenging itself. It is easy to be a critic of such innovations and question its feasibility and extravagant pricing. But, these products are intended for only those consumers who value innovation and respect the hard work, science and technicalities that are foundations to such innovations/inventions.
The 2 products are the epitome of human excellence in terms of challenges and testing its visible limitations. A critic’s job can be considered as a facile effort having a complacent eye towards the effort behind the scenes, to subsequently question the product’s feasibility for its extravagant pricing. However, the population growth will be complemented by an increase in the number of customers owning an eye for detail and a conscience for hard work.
Humans are born with an innate nature to resist change in any form. This element of distaste had demotivated the innate nature of innovation shown by renaissance scientists, including Albert Einstein, and will go on to dwindle down the bubbling energy contained by the young minds of today. However, once the human mind is exposed to the benefits of change, it comes out of its complacent self, builds trust in the new and motivates the spirit of creation. The entire process of innovation has been aided by modern marketing techniques tailor-made to make the change more pronounced and acceptable,
So, next time when you see an innovation, try to embrace it with an open mind and understand why it was developed! And to all the people on the other side, KEEP INNOVATING!!