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Social & Green Entrepreneurs

Social Entrepreneur Martin Wesian: On Wadi, an inexpensive tool that makes the process of disinfecting water, simple!

Team YS
24th Apr 2011
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Worldwide over two billion people do not have access to clean drinking water. Martin Wesian, the founder of Helioz GmbH, has developed a technical solution called Wadi, which provides an affordable and efficient tool to make the process of disinfecting water simple and safe. His product was developed in cooperation with ETH-Zurich(Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich), based on the well-proven SODIS method.Tell us about Wadi.

Wadi is an inexpensive and easy to use device, which indicates the microbial reduction in water through solar disinfection and thus ensures untrained users an adequate supply of drinking water.

How does your product work?

Just put the device on any PET bottle like a screw cap and put the bottle into the sun. Just wait. As soon as the display shows a smiley face, the water is drinkable. With its built-in solar panel, it is energy self-sufficient and totally service free for five years at least.



What is the status of the development and when are you planning your "go to the market"?

Currently we do the final microbiological tests with several labs in Vienna, Austria. Provided the results are positive, we will start the production.


What is your target market and how do you plan to market and distribute your product?

Wadi is designed to cater to BoP (Base-of-the-Pyramid) customers all over the world. There is a total market of 2.5 billion people without access to safe drinking water. We have already established contacts with partners and dealers in the respective countries. We are also seeking support of NGOs to build a distribution network in the informal sector through micro entrepreneurs to market and sell Wadi, so that these people are able to earn their livelihood by selling our product. We are also thinking about giving big companies the opportunity to brand Wadi to use it for marketing and launch their Corporate Social Responsibility programmes.


What is the target price for your product?

The price will be approximately 300 Rupees per piece.


When can we see your innovation coming to India?

We will conduct a detailed market entry study in the next three to six months focussing on India, including several field-tests. We are planning the roll-out of Wadi right after that. We are looking for distribution partners all over the country.


I thought innovations for the BoP only come from emerging markets. What motivated you to start this project?

I was always interested in social development and travelling. During one of my journeys, I caught cholera because of contaminated water. That's when I started conceptualising this.

We at YourStory look forward to seeing Wadi enter the Indian market! Please check out http://www.waterdisinfection.org/en/ for more details and tell us what you think about this idea. Feel free to write to us at feedback@yourstory.in

This article is contributed by Wolfgang Bergthaler, European face of YourStory.in

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