Case on Aravind Eye Care

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Your task is to present organizations assigned to your group, discuss them from the perspective of topics addressed in the Frugal Innovation report, and to discuss what, if anything, can be transferred and used in the developed countries. Alternatively, you may brainstorm about the possibilities how some business from the developed countries could work with and help these organizations.

About 40 million people in the world are blind and India is home to 1/3 of the world’s blind population. Yet, for many of these cases, it is preventable and treatable. In developing countries, the leading cause of blindness is attributed to cataracts, in which the natural lens of the eye clouds over time. This requires surgical
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V saw it as the fastest means to making an impact on the blindness problem that plagued India. As such, it was the cataract procedure that became the poster child for efficiency.

Smarter Use of People
Eye surgeons who worked at Aravind had productivity rates that were many times their counterparts in the developed nations. Each surgeon would have an average of 2000 eye surgeries a year as compared to 150 such eye surgeries done by an eye surgeon in the United States. Much of it could be attributed to the “assembly” line system for surgery. Patients were processed and readied in batches, with qualified nurses doing all the preparatory work, so that the surgeons could focus on what they did best, surgery. Each operating theatre, at any time, had 2 surgeons working on two tables each, with each having four qualified nurses assisting them at any time.. These tables were placed on either side of the equipment, such that once the surgeon was done with the procedure on one, he and the equipment would swivel to the other table. Leaving the qualified opthalmic assistants to escort the treatment patient to the recovery room and prepare the next patient on the free table. This assembly line structure ensured that the waiting times between surgeries were basically zero. Beyond this, these surgeons develop their own learning economies of scales in terms of skills, taking an average of 10 mins for a

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