Playing with Toys and Saving Lives – BEST Labber Jaspal Sandhu Quoted in New York Times


Playing With Toys and Saving Lives, New York Times, Jan. 29, 2014. Former doctoral student Jaspal Sandhu in the news. Excerpt: “Equipment destined for a productive life in a third-world hospital is equipment adapted for local circumstances, rugged, fixable locally, with available parts. That’s often not possible with highly complex machinery. But it is possible with smaller machines and devices. “This market has been neglected,” said Jaspal Sandhu, a co-founder of the Gobee Group, a social innovation and design firm. “There hasn’t been good design for this market. It was: find something from another setting, and we’ll sell it however we can.” Now, however, frugal design is a booming business. (In India, it is called jugaad, and it’s a major movement.) One of the first companies in the field was the Indian ophthalmic products manufacturer Aurolab, which made kits for cataract surgeries. “Around 10 or 15 years ago people started to pay more attention to it,” said Sandhu. “Companies started to look into those markets not as charity but as a market with real opportunities that needed to be addressed for products designed for them.”