In India, more than 50 percent of water cans in circulation do not meet government safety regulations. Add to that the hassle of calling the local vendor each time a can is empty! On the other hand, branded water purifiers are expensive and also involve an annual maintenance cost, making them prohibitive for a large section of urban residents.
Drink Prime has a solution. Their purifiers provide quality drinking water with none of the above hassles. That too at a much less price than branded water cans or the best water purifier.
Started in 2016 by Manas Ranjan Hota, Vijender Reddy Muthyala, Ankababu Pedisetty and Somesh Reddy Palyam, Drink Prime a young company that combines the best of IoT and water purification technologies with a unique ownership proposition. With them, you'd never have to worry about installation, relocation, maintenance hassles, or be bound by maintenance contracts or invest to upgrade your device every few years.
Drink Prime comes with triple layer filtering – RO, UV, and UF. An interesting feature is that it has in-built sensors which remotely monitors the quality and quantity of water dispensed, thereby ensuring customer’s get pure water each time. The data from sensors is relayed back to their servers through a Bluetooth module which syncs with the Drink Prime app on the customer’s phone, thereby keeping the customer updated at all times. The startup also uses this information to monitor the quality of the device and schedule proactive maintenance.
It took the team more than one year of intense work to design and build the smart water purifier solution. Manas, CEO and co-founder of Drink Prime, says, “Today, Drink Prime is one of the best water purifiers in its class, with smart sensors monitoring the health of the purifier. We believe its India's smartest water purifier.”
It was while working on developing Drink Prime, that the team realised that just installing a water purifier does not guarantee clean drinking water. The purifier system has to be in the best of the condition at all times. The RO purifiers need to be maintained frequently, based on the water quality and consumption. If the filters are not replaced on time, people could be drinking unhygienic water from their RO purifiers without realizing it.
Addressing this issue is their custom-built hardware bot. The bot is IoT enabled and connects with the Drink Prime servers through Bluetooth (Via the customer’s smart phones) as well as through WiFi. The bot monitors the purifier and makes sure that the purifier is healthy. In case of any issues, it intimates Drink Prime who get the issue resolved within 24 hours.
An interesting aspect of Drink Prime, is its business model. Customers don’t pay for the device but for the amount of water they use, through a monthly subscription model, starting with just Rs. 300 for 100L of water.
Manas, CEO and co-founder of Drink Prime, who comes from a corporate business development background with expertise in building and managing growth teams says, “We modelled our pricing structure such that, people only pay for the water they consume. Our customers get the device essentially for free with zero upfront investment, zero lifetime maintenance fees and with free upgrade every three years to the latest technology.”
Manas elaborates on the business sense of the solution, “The average cost of comprehensive water filter is about Rs. 20,000, add to that the annual maintenance which amounts to Rs 4000/- and the average life of a water purifier is five years. With Drink Prime, on an average, our customers save 40% to 60% on their expenses on water. And, if you are moving from one city to another, there are add-on installation expenses.”
Drink Prime began its journey as a startup that was delivering water cans as a subscription service to homes and offices. And, when they decided to work on addressing the root cause of making safe drinking water available to urban dwellers, they knew designing a high-end water purifier alone would not be enough. They had to make it reasonable too. That’s where their pricing structure makes the cut.
The product team works continuously to make the product even better, while also managing the day-to-day tasks related to the current product. It is here that Dell devices like laptops have come in handy. Most of their laptops in use are Dell devices, ranging from corei3 to corei7. Telling us more about why the startup has opted for Dell devices is Vijender, who is the CTO at Drink Prime. A Masters in Computer Science from IISc Bangalore, a researcher and a full stack developer with an inclination towards IoT, Vijender says, “We use really heavy software which needs a lot of processing and graphics. We use modelling software for designing our next version of the purifier, photos and design software for making various marketing collaterals, development tools for developing our mobile apps, websites and heavy workloads for analysing and generating customer reports. Dell laptops come with good inbuilt graphics and processors. They have the best price in the market for that kind of computing performance it offers, making it a great choice.”
Drink Prime is now its beta phase and the smart purifier has already been installed in close to a thousand homes. Manas says, “We are overwhelmed with the customer response. Most of our new customers are referred by our existing customers.” While, they have a presence only in Bangalore at the moment, they are seeing a lot of interest in their solution from other cities and towns as well. Now that they have a robust product which has won over their customers, they are looking to scale. And with their unique product and proposition, they sure will.
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