Team Meraki from IISc set out to address a widespread, troubling condition affecting almost a fifth of adult Indian women at some point in their lives. Urinary incontinence is a distressing medical condition wherein a person is unable to control the flow of urine. Clearly, such an ailment causes physical pain, social discomfiture, and a lot of psychological stress to the person concerned. When the Meraki team conceived of their innovation as a treatment solution to this problem, they were certain that all women affected would rush to avail of it.
The team came into the I-NCUBATE program, confident that they had a ready-to-launch business. However, within the first few customer interviews, they realized, much to their dismay, that the top two or three segments of women they had identified as customers, did not care for their solution. To their shock, some of the women they met were not even looking to be ‘cured’. As they continued their customer
discovery in the program, the team gained several insights. For instance, that women who had the problem could be categorized differently – some who were reconciled to live with the problem and were not looking to solve it; some who wanted a fix to manage the problem; and some, who were looking for a cure. By the end of the program, they were able to zero in on which of the segments could be an early adopter for a potential solution and gather evidence on their specific needs and expectations on benefits that a solution should offer. With their learning and insights from I-NCUBATE, the team proceeded to develop their prototype and commence their clinical trials. The I-NCUBATE program has made Meraki more confident of obtaining funding and continuing their journey from the lab to the market.