Getting the right spin on innovation

The Vileda Turbo Spin Mop, available in many countries around the world, has a smart counterpart in India: the Gala Turbo Spin Mop. The story of its development is an excellent consumer centric example of Innovating Together at Freudenberg Home and Cleaning Solutions (FHCS).

The Vileda Turbo Spin Mop has been available since 2016, and in many countries in the Asia-Pacific region since 2019. The Indian counterpart – the Gala Turbo Spin Mop – is similar to the Vileda variant in many aspects. It was launched in 2020 and also includes a mop and a bucket with an integrated power spin. However, its mop cover and head are not round – like its predecessor and many competitor products – but triangular, which is perfect for corner cleaning. The microfiber mop also promises extremely high cleaning performance and it removes more than 99 percent of bacteria using only water.


Everything under control

"We also wanted to introduce a premium product of a speed pug in India and set ourselves apart from the competition with lots of smart details," reports Aishwarya Subramanian, Marketing Director for the Indian brand Gala. The triangular shaped mop, which consumers in EMEA have become accustomed to, and the over 99% bacteria removal claim, which scored particularly well with U.S. customers, were thus adopted for the Gala variant.

In some aspects of its design, the Gala Turbo differs significantly from the Vileda model: it has no foot pedal. The spin function on it is triggered by hand. "This is considered convenient and simple in this country and is well established. Usually, the cleaning solution that is first to market sets the direction for all future innovations," explains Vaibhav Narkar, Product Manager who is responsible for Spin Mop category in India. To match the hand mechanism, the Gala Turbo's bucket has a pull handle and a wheel at the bottom of the bucket to pull it from A to B easily and conveniently. Inside he bucket, there is a small peg on a rotating disc. The mop head can be adjusted on this as it spins in the water – just like in a washing machine.

Overcoming all kinds of limits

All market and consumer centric innovations at FHCS are the result of close collaboration. The regional R&D teams regularly exchange promising design ideas in the product portfolio and discuss which of them can be adopted or adapted for other  markets. The marketing specialists meet every two years for a global conference, and regionally every year. They discuss innovations and successful products. "It is important that marketing and R&D cooperate at the earliest possible stage of a new idea. It is just as important that local specialists are closely involved. After all, a successful product requires precise knowledge of the market and cleaning habits," says Camille Wong, Regional Marketing Manager Asia-Pacific. The Gala Turbo was launched just before the pandemic. "The domestic workers who normally do the cleaning were on lockdown. Everyone was cleaning their own homes. Hygiene played an important role. Therefore, the high cleaning performance of the Gala Turbo was attractive. But the even more important purchase criterion was the unique triangular mop head," says Subramanian.

Learning for the future

Everyone involved learned a lot from Innovating Together around Gala Turbo Spin Mop. "For the first time, we followed the global process that FHCS provides for innovation in all its details – including risk management. We also implemented the global specifications for production throughout," says Narkar. "For our supply chain management, it was incredibly enriching to exchange ideas with local colleagues. Such knowledge transfer can help to procure materials more cheaply and prevent bottlenecks," says Steven Cao, Senior Manager R&D Asia Pacific. Wong adds: "Working with so many people from different countries and cultures is extremely inspiring! Not only did we develop great solutions, but we also had a lot of fun working together as well.”