Emerging auto innovations at grassroots






Emerging auto innovations at grassroots: an  inspiring story of Nasirbhai


With the news of Maruti setting up  another plant in Gujarat, it is beyond doubt that Gujarat is emerging as a leading auto hub of not just India but may be, south and southeast Asia and eventually world. But there is a difference in the emerging properties of this hub which many may not have fully understood or appreciated. And that is the innovations in the road side workshops and by school drop out mechanics. Let me  share the  story of Nasirbhai who I met yesterday, thanks to Sam Panthaky.   Nasir Bhai  has created so many innovations and distinctions in auto service and design that we must create an Grassroots Academy of Auto Innovations around him. Honey Bee Network will back him up and ensure that his dreams come true in service of auto  companies, users and other engaged in the value chain.


If you have things in your hand to carry to car, you have to keep them on ground, open the door and then place those things inside. If you need to use an ambulance and only two people are there lifting the stretcher, then keeping door open while taking the patient inside is not easy.  There could be many other situations in which when you go close to the car, you will wish that door of the car opens itself.  Well, it is no more a wish, it has happened. And Nasirbhai ( 9227222266) having his workshop, M N Auto electric service,  near preyas high school, Khanpur, Ahmedabad,  has already done it. The door will open only with the specific key in your pocket. And once you switch on the car, it will get deactivated. It is not just the door which gets opened. Even the rear view mirror get opened which otherwise is in folded state. GIAN is documenting his innovation and patent will be filed very soon with the help of NIF. Then auto industry will be invited to license this technology so that Nasir Bhai gets resources to invest in his other innovations. He has many dreams and if fraction of what he dreams gets actualised, he will be changing the functionality of most cars in future.

He has trained about ten young boys in repairing electronic and other parts of the cars. How good he is in his skills can be gauged by the fact that many leading auto service stations dealing in variety of imported or Indian car brands  send Electronic control modules to him for repairs. Using a laptop, he repairs and then where needed, rewrites the programs in the chips. All this with education up to class four only.

When we asked  about training of next generation, he mentioned that one of his four sons, mushirbhai works with him. But he has already trained about ten young mechanics who are on his own. When he gets orders for various tasks, he distributes these among his former disciples without any consideration. He takes up those tasks which are challenging enough and he finds technically rewarding. He does not expect any share in the income of his disciples whom he patronises through distribution of orders. What a spirit of mentorship by a person who himself has struggled a lot to come this far. In a world becoming more and more materialistic, such a gesture of generosity is worth emulating. 


Right from his childhood, he was interested in tinkering with the things, he will reapir radio, tapes and slowly and slowly, became adept in repairing difficult electronic errors in various cars of various makes. His father is a maulana and teaches children about  traditional religious  scriptures.

When asked, whether he would wish to expand his mission to help other budding innovative mechanics in the region, he readily agreed. SRISTI   will keep a small social innovation venture fund with him. He alone will decide which ideas to invest in ( no double signatures, no committee of so called experts…) and we hope to trigger new functionalities bottom up. SRISTI will offer internship to engineering students of GTU with this Academy  through Techpedia.in, so that they acquire the sanskar of frugal empathetic innovations, generous spirit of sharing one’s knowledge and skills, and collegial learning. 

Let me share some more example of auto innovations. Prof. A.B.Patel and Y.L.Rao guided several projects on exhaust gas recirculation improving the combustion efficiency of the engine.  We have also faced the problem of opening the four nuts of a wheel one at a time.  Hamil, Nisarg kumar, Daval, and Sandeep developed a device costing  Rs.9000 which can open all the four nuts simultaneously in one fourth of the time under the guidance of Profs. Modh and Pandya. Piyush, Chetan, Ketan and Vijay have developed a turbo charger for two wheelers which improves the efficiency of the engine and save the cost.  Birendra kumar sinha from champaran ( motihari)  had a school opposite his workshop. The 12 hp diesel  generator he used in his iron grill workshop made a lot of noise and emitted smoke. This disturbed neighbours as well as the children. The school could not be moved away nor his workshop. He developed a pollution control device  which captures one kg of carbon every month from the exhaust gasses and reduced sound by almost half. The government\’s resolution to reduce carbon intensity by 25 per cent by 2020, will require changing the standards of gen sets. Attaching such devices must become obligatory. This will trigger demand for the device and at the same time economy will have lesser carbon intensity. Auto companies will find such a device very useful for meeting emission control standards. Some investors from USA are exploring the possibility of licensing this technology.


Sib Shankar Mondal, Gawhati, supported by NIF has developed a system of saving more than twenty per cent fuel in auto rickshaws by mixing  hot air with fuel, instead of cold air and several other design improvements. Dr Das, Faculty, IIT Gawahati helped in testing this technology and found the claims valid.


Hopefully, Auto companies will offer fair deal to him and other innovators for licensing various innovations so that more grassroots innovators come up and join hands with corporate sector to enrich India’s innovation eco-system.



Anil K Gupta