Anand Kutre and Chittaranjan Shetty, two engineer-turned entrepreneurs from Bengaluru, aim to make this world a better place for the disabled population. They have impacted the lives of many such people coming up with a technology helpful for them. Their product – TurnPlus – transforms the seat of a passenger vehicle to disable-friendly enabling a comfortable journey for the disabled. Shetty speaks to Jestin Abraham about Turnplus, their future plans and how they intend to improve the lives of the thousands of disabled population in India offering technological solutions.  

What is TurnPlus? How do you help immobile people?

‘TurnPlus’ is a technology we apply to make the seat of a car disable-friendly. Technically, we customise the seat of a passenger vehicle applying the swivel mechanism. The customised seat could be slid and turned with ease. This is really helpful the customers with special needs particularly those facing difficulties in mobility. This feature is even helpful for pregnant women, elderly people and those suffering from medical conditions such as arthritis.

How did you get into this idea?

India has to go a long way in becoming disabled-friendly. Many of the public spaces are inaccessible to the disabled. Even in the major cities of the country. These people have to rely on others to meet their needs. But the situation is different in developed countries such as the United States of America.

While working in Detroit, Anand found that all the places in the US were accessible to disabled people. Technology has enabled them to overcome their weaknesses. I had colleagues and neighbours who were disabled. We used to take them to all the places. Mobility was not an issue. But this is not the case in India.

Though we have over 2.7 crore disabled people in our country, even bus stations and railway stations are not disabled-friendly. This has limited the chances of disabled people. Realising this, we wanted to make a change offering a solution to reduce the difficulties of a large number of disabled people in the country. TurnPlus is our solution. Our product helps people with reduced mobility (PRM).

This is really significant. Particularly in a country which is home to 2.7 crore disabled people.

How many people use your product now?

We launched TurnPlus in April 2018. As of now, we have over 50 customers using our product in India. This includes a few medium-size Taxi aggregators in Bengaluru.

Where can a client find your equipment?

TurnPlus is available for people all over India. A prospect user can reach us at turn.plus@trueconsultancy.com.

What about the cost and durability?

At present, we modify the seat of a passenger vehicle at Rs 45,000 exclusive of the taxes. But this is inclusive of all the other charges. We also provide a warranty for three years.

Is this helpful for users of all age groups?

Definitely. There are no such age restrictions. TurnPlus is helpful for all irrespective of their age. Particularly those facing issues such as arthritis, multiple scelerious, paralytic cases, traumatic brain injury, stroke, backbone ailments, spinal cord ailments, knee-related ailments, amputees, polio cases, Parkinsons and all wheelchair users.

Is there any similar product available in the market?

There is no substitute for TurnPlus available in India. Ours is the only engineered and tested product made and sold in India. TurnPlus is also the cheapest compared to other foreign products available for substitution.

What are your next plans?

We are working on a list of products for people with reduced mobility.

1) Ramps – Portable lightweight aluminum ramps for both car and home use. We are planning to launch the product by the third quarter of 2019.

2) Turnplus electric – Electric swivel mechanism.

3) TurnPlus X1 – Swivel seat mechanism where the seat comes out the car and transforms into a wheelchair frame.

4) TurnPlus X2 – Swivel seat mechanism with the seat coming to reduce the ground level height. This would be completely electrical.

5) Automated Wheel Chair Lifts