COVID-19 Lockdown in India Leads to Entrepreneurial Innovation

Despite the upheaval caused by national and local lockdowns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, one of the unexpected positive outcomes has been the amount of free time.

When Indian doctoral student Rhea Shah found out that she would not be able to return to her doctoral program in the Netherlands, she returned home frustrated to India’s western state of Gujarat.

Shah told NPR, “I was grappling with helplessness, thinking about what I could do with my talent and the resources available.”

After days of being at home quarantined with her family, her interdisciplinary designer skills had a burst of creative ideas that could help both her community grappling with the pandemic and her family’s local business.

With COVID-19 rapidly rising in India, she developed an idea to create sustainable makeshift hospital beds using cardboard boxes, which are 100% recyclable.  Because her family owns and operates Aryan Paper Group, an industrial paper manufacturing business, Shah found herself perfectly position to help bring her concept to reality – just one week.

Shah’s design is very user friendly, a corrugated cardboard design that requires no tools, no fasteners, and no glue to assemble once delivered. Beds measure 6.5’ x 3’ x 3’ and weigh less than 25 pounds apiece. With their design, they can be stacked flat for shipping and stored easily.

Further, Shah’s water resistant designs allow for easy disinfection procedures and can support a weight of 440 pounds.

Each bed is retailed at $13 each and is less than half the price of even the most basic metal beds.  To date, Aryan has sold more than 10,000 beds and donated over 1000.

In recognition of Shah’s innovation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi listed Aryan Paper Group’s recyclable beds as one of the Top 21 Solutions/Innovations in the ongoing battle against COVID-19.“We wanted to help in this crisis, and so we are not making any profit from the sale of beds,” Aryan Paper Group Executive Director Param Gandhi told the Times of India. “The idea has also kept our company working which means we can continue to pay our staffers as well.”

Source: Good News Network