Build an innovation sandbox (step-7): For Embrace infant-warmer the phase change material (wax-like substance) that melts at human body temperature and maintains it for 4 to 6 hours is the only non-trivial technological element. However, in a product like Tata Nano or GE’s low-cost EKG, the technological complexity is much higher. Hence, dozens of testing iterations are not enough. You need thousands of experiments. That needs a dedicated team and infrastructure investment such that experimentation goes from low-cost high-speed to low-cost high-speed high-volume. And you need to have this closer to customer base so that iteration with customer happens fast. Check out sandbox stories of Tata Nano and Wright brothers.
Govindarajan calls such a dedicated team Local Growth Team (LGT) in the context of a global MNC. Companies like GE Healthcare & John Deere created LGTs in India and China for frugal innovation.
Photo source: embraceblog.org