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Car-making factory

Large Tool Manufacturer
Moving away from a use and discard approach

The hand and power tools industry in emerging markets is fast growing but is extremely fragmented and becoming increasingly commoditized with a proliferation of low-cost, undifferentiated products.
Our client, one of the world’s leading providers of tools, manufactures and sells high quality products. The Company approached us to help develop a strategy to capture the opportunity while avoiding a race to the bottom


We began by working to understand the various stakeholders in the ecosystem by conducting ethnographic research across various cities. We spoke to users of various types as well as distributors and to workers who worked at smaller sites and to those who worked at larger ones. The team investigated the end users’ personal journeys, digital life, supply chain, work environment and team compositions, purchase and usage behavior. We also focused on how they look and obtain employment - both temporary as well as permanent. Based on this, the team identified key insights about the end user and about what unmet and undermet needs they might have which could provide us with appropriate intervention points.

We synthesized this information to several opportunity areas for intervention. It turned out that while pricing was an issue, other issues such as repairability of tools, training, and awareness, were also important factors when deciding upon which tool to buy. The team ideated and did another round of ethnographic research to get quick reactions from end users. Based on the feedback, the team developed and detailed out 10+ different concepts for the Company to focus on. After much internal discussion we prioritized concepts and models which would be both profitable and sustainable. As such, we decided to focus on repairability concluding that saving a tool would be better for both the buyer as well as the environment. It would also be disruptive in a market focused on pushing a use-and-throw mentality.

We launched two new business models in the market including a mobile repair initiative and an at-work, on-demand delivery one. We ran multiple rounds of in-market tests and evolved the offering several times, and finally settled on a model which address customers’ needs and was sustainable for the Company. The Company scaled up the mobile repair option across markets and has set up a captive venture studio of its own in the US. 

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