Navigating the Branding Battlefield: Unveiling the challenges faced by Innovative Small Businesses.

Shaping New Innovation

This article by Dr. Lalitagauri Kulkarni was originally published in Marathi in Sakaal Newspaper on 22nd Aug 2023.

Many brands like Xerox, Cadbury, Bisleri, LIC, etc. create their identity in such a way that the product itself is known by the name of that brand. People generally call any chocolate as Cadbury, photocopy as Xerox, water bottle as Bisleri and all life insurance companies as LIC. “Easy Dry”, created by an entrepreneur, is a brand that falls in the same category. This brand is a household name because of its simple and convenient facility for drying clothes. Mr Nilesh Gadgil, a Marathi entrepreneur, is the creator of this concept. Finding a place in the house for drying washed clothes is a daily necessity of the people. Even modern houses often do not have facilities for this. Identifying this necessity, Mr Gadgil’s father found a solution by using simple aluminium pipes and nylon ropes. This led to the inception of the brand, “Easy Dry”. His business story is a case study for small budding entrepreneurs. This business started in August 2000. Basically, this concept caters to the exact need of the customers. Initially, after introducing it through exhibitions, customers realised its importance. This facility not only preserves the beauty of modern homes but also fulfils the needs. Now there are dealers of “Easy Dry” in twenty six locations across India. “Easy Dry” was also awarded by the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce. In order to earn a name, one has to provide good service to the customer even after selling the product. The trust in a brand increases only by keeping the given word and time. Mr Gadgil feels that it is necessary for new entrepreneurs to recognize this and grow their enterprise with patience.
Despite the design patent and brand copyright of “Easy Dry”, others are selling their products under the same name in the market. This is a big challenge for them. Even on Amazon or Google, such products are famous under the brand name “Easy Dry”. Not only this, the government website for small entrepreneurs ‘GEM’ (GeM) also has many fake products with the name “Easy Dry”. They undergo losses due to this forgery. Also, the necessary provision and arrangement to stop this duplication is very passive. Even though entrepreneurs, small industries, start-ups are encouraged, in reality, do these entrepreneurs really show creativity? A lot of young entrepreneurs tend to spy and copy products that are sold on platforms like Amazon. There is no thought given whether that product is convenient for the customer in our country or not. These entrepreneurs are not entrepreneurs but only sellers. This is not true entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur is not just a manager. Among the many characteristics of entrepreneurship, the most important is ‘innovation’. An entrepreneur is one who takes risks and sets up a business-enterprise that benefits not only themself but also the society at large. The essence of entrepreneurship lies in coming up with solutions for people’s small needs, implementing them and making them commercially successful on a large scale. New ideas, innovations are often stymied upon right from school. Due to this, people undertake new enterprises only because no jobs are available. In this situation, small scale industries like “EasyDry” are becoming increasingly rare. It is imperative to create a nurturing environment that preserves the entrepreneurial spirit of such entrepreneurs.