Return to Previous Page

‘AASU’ Mallesham: Scaling Blues

CASE STUDY, ENTREPRENEURSHIP & STARTUPS
IIM Kozhikode, 10 Pages

Case Preview

‘AASU’ Mallesham: Scaling Blues1

 

Chinthakindi Mallesham (Mallesham) was born in a weavers’ community in Sharjipet village, Nalgonda, Telangana, India. His mother, Lakshmi, worked hard for the family. She even helped her husband, Laxminarayana, in weaving. She was involved in the making Pochampally sarees, especially in a critical preloom activity known as the ‘AASU. The AASU process requires placing silk thread of 12.5 kilometer long in a required pattern by moving hand across a steel or wooden frame of about 4 feet wide.

To make one saree, a person has to move their hand across the frame for about 9000 times winding the thread in a specified pattern according to the design on 41 steel pins fixed on the frame (Exhibit I). On a typical day in the process of weaving, Lakshmi used to perform AASU for two sarees and that involved heavy physical effort – about 12 hours of work and 18000 times moving right hand across 4 feet. By the end of the day, she experienced unrelenting backache and severe pain in her shoulder. Silk thread being very fine, it adversely affected her eyesight.

Mallesham at a tender age of 14 years, determined to relieve his mothers’ implacable pain. Observing the root cause of the pain to be the AASU process, he wanted to replace the physical effort with a machine. After working hard, carrying out lot of experimentation, and exhausting his savings and borrowing heavily, he finally invented a machine in 2001 (Exhibit II). This machine not only relieved his mother’s agony, but also changed the course of weaving of Pochampally sarees by reducing human labor, improving the efficiency, and increasing the income of weavers.......

 


 1 Sincere thanks to IIM Kozhikode for funding this project. The project would not have been completed without significant support from Brig (Retd). P. Ganesham, Founder President, Palle Srujana.

Teaching Note Preview

‘AASU’ Mallesham: Scaling Blues


Synopsis

Chinthakindi Mallesham (Mallesham) invented a machine (Lakshmi AASU machine) to substitute the physical labor involved in the AASU process, a critical stage in weaving a Pochampally Saree. He developed two variants – one with a microcontroller (electronic) and the other a microcontroller (Mechanical). Since he invented the machine in 2001, Mallesham sold about 760 units and affected several weaver families and their livelihoods. Mallesham now wanted to reach-out to weaver communities in his state and other states and countries. He was not sure of how to scale up his operations and reach out to several beneficiaries as many beneficiaries found it prohibitively costly. This case study presents the background of the innovation and innovator and helps the participant discuss various options and the process of scaling up of grassroots innovation.

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • • Understand the issues faced by a grassroots entrepreneur to scale-up operations for expansion to current and new markets
  • • Highlight the scaling-up choices available to a rural entrepreneur for expansion to current and new markets
  • • Help the participants analyze the scaling-up choices to arrive at the appropriate option

 

Case Positioning and Setting

The case study can be used for the Programs and Executive Development Programs to discuss entrepreneurship, rural enterprises, grass root entrepreneurs, rural development, Bottom of the Pyramid and rural marketing. The case study serves as an effective tool for participants to understand the core challenges in expansion of a grassroots entrepreneurial venture to current and new markets.

Mandatory Readings and Viewing

These are mandatory readings along with the case study:

  • • “Amazing Indians: Chintakindi Mallesham: Innovators of India”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIaSxspKGxI, September 1st 2015
  • • P. Uvin, et al., “Think large and act small: Toward a new paradigm for NGO scaling up,” World Development 28(2000), pages1409-1419
  • • P. Uvin, “Fighting hunger at the grassroots: Paths to scaling up,” World Development, 23(1995), pages 927-939
  • • A. Gupta, “From Sink to Source: The Honey Bee Network Documents Indigenous Knowledge and Innovations in India”, Innovations 1(3) (2006), pages 49-66
  • • Faculty instructor can consider using the PowerPoint provided along with the Teaching Note (Annexure (TN)-I: Scaling Up Grassroot Innovations) as summing up the theoretical takeaways on scaling up grass root innovations

 

Assignment Questions

  • I. What led Mallesham to innovate AASU machine?
  • II. What is the market reaction to AASU machine?
  • III............

 

..........................

$4.57
Rs 0
Product code: ENTP-1-0019, ENTP-1-0019A

Abstract


Chinthakindi Mallesham (Mallesham) invented a machine (Lakshmi AASU machine) to substitute the physical labor involved in the AASU process, a critical stage in weaving a Pochampally saree. He developed two variants – one with a microcontroller (electronic) and the other a microcontroller (mechanical). Since he invented the machine in 2001, Mallesham sold about 760 units and affected several weaver families and their livelihoods. Mallesham now wanted to reach-out to weaver communities in his state and other states and countries. He was not sure of how to scale up his operations and reach out to several beneficiaries as many beneficiaries found it prohibitively costly. This case study presents the background of the innovation and innovator and helps the participant discuss various options and the process of scaling up of grassroots innovation.



Pedagogical Objectives

  • To understand the issues faced by a grassroots entrepreneur to scale-up operations for expansion to current and new markets
  • To highlight the scaling-up choices available to a rural entrepreneur for expansion to current and new markets
  • To help the participants analyze the scaling-up choices to arrive at the appropriate option

Case Positioning and Setting

The case study can be used for the MBA Programs and Executive Development Programs to discuss Entrepreneurship, rural enterprises, grass root entrepreneurs, rural development, Bottom of the Pyramid and rural marketing. The case study serves as an effective tool for participants to understand the core challenges in expansion of a grassroots entrepreneurial venture to current and new markets.



This Case Pack Includes:
- Abstract
- Case Study
- Teaching Note & Supplement (**ONLY for Academicians)
$4.57
Rs 0

Related Products

There are no related products to show here at the moment.




Request for an Inspection Copy

(Strictly for Review Purpose, Not to be Used for Classroom Discussion/Trainings)