SmartIDEAthon 2023 showcases frugal innovators across India

Navi Radjou
2 min readSep 2, 2023

Congrats to Anup Paikaray, a frugal innovator from the Indian state of Odisha, who just won GITAM SmartIDEAthon 2023 for his clean-burning cook-stove for rural India.

Organized by GITAM Deemed University in partnership with Startup India and Northeastern University, Boston, GITAM SmartIDEAthon is a competition that recognizes & award innovators from across India in 4 categories:

1- food and health
2- toys for STEM (science, tech, engineering, and maths)
3- sustainable fashion
4- frugal innovation

Over 1,000 participants from top colleges and universities across India participated in the contest.

Info on GITAM SmartIDEAthon:

I was thrilled to learn that the highest number (nearly 500) of applications were received in the frugal innovation category, followed by the food and health category (310 applications). Read:

This shows that next-gen entrepreneurs across India are keen to leverage frugal innovation as a strategic tool to impact society.

As for Anup Paikaray, he won the winning pitch for his startup Newrup Tech Solutions which develops heat-powered air blowers to harness excess heat from Chulas or Tandoors (cooking stoves made from clay), converting it into rotational energy for an internal fan

His frugal innovation, named Chuliv, costs just Rs 500 ($6) !

Chuliv has the potential to redefine energy efficiency and impact the lives of over 2 billion women still cooking on traditional chulhas/mud stoves worldwide.

Paikaray got awarded Rs 2,00,000 ($2,400) in cash and a 2-week trip to Boston.

May Lord Jagannath — the Hindu god Krishna worshipped in Odisha — bless Anup Paikaray for developing a valuable frugal innovation that truly benefits society !



Navi Radjou

Indian-French-American Scholar in Frugal Innovation + Wise Leadership. TED Speaker. Based in France. Visit: