Headquartered in London, nkd Life specialises in the design, development, manufacture, and sale of water purification and filtration technologies.
At a glance
Startup: nkd Life
Founders: Piush Soni
Year it was founded: 2017
Where is it based: London
The problem it solves: Water bottle with three-stage filtration mechanism that instantly cleans drinking water
Sector: Water filtration
Funding raised: Self-funded
“In the UK, 75 percent of plastic bottles end up in landfills where they can take up to 1,000 years to decompose, whilst in the Pacific, 90 percent of surface debris in the ocean is attributed to plastic,” highlights Piush Soni, Founder of nkd Life.
With an aim to address this alarming issue that is not only impacting the UK but all countries across the globe, Piush developed pod+, which claims to be the next generation of filtration with a three-stage process to clean and supercharge drinking water. Incorporating technology developed by NASA space programme, pod+ allows users to fill up water from the dirtiest lakes, rivers, ponds and puddles – in fact any source except sea water.
Firstly, the anti-bacterial technology filters upto 99.9 percent of all contaminants. Then, the layer of pure activated coconut carbon improves taste, reduces odour and chlorine without stripping the water of its natural minerals. Lastly, natural minerals ionise, raising the antioxidant level and slightly alkalising the water.
The brand’s technological manufacturing is based between the US, Korea and Taiwan. Only the final assembly of the parts is in China. The core technology for filtration is made in the US.
The company offers pod+ in a size of 585ml bottle that is available in six colours. In India, consumers can buy pod+ at a price of Rs 2,499 from Croma outlets, and Relay airport stores across the country. Online shopping enthusiasts can opt to buy pod+ via Amazon, Flipkart or Croma website and the company is also planning to partner with Reliance Digital stores to strengthen its presence in India.
Nkd Life claims that one pod+ filter can purify 300 bottle refills (equivalent to 175 litres of water or around two months’ regular use). The filter is priced at Rs 999.
Nkd’s journey began with extensive research into the world’s famous mountain mineral waters and found that the water in these regions were slightly alkaline, ionised and supercharged with antioxidants. Then the research and development team began experimenting with natural filtering methods to replicate this natural process within a bottle. This in itself posed a huge challenge – to create system that could filter to such a high degree, retaining absolute filter integrity all whilst maintaining a flow rate suitable for everyday use without electricity. Finally, it was able to create a filter system turning tap water to spring quality water through a clean and green purification process, without electricity.
Nkd believes that clean water is a basic human right and it should be enjoyed by everyone. For every litre of clean, safe great tasting water a consumer enjoys the company will provide the same for a child or family in need in underdeveloped countries through nkd Life movement.
The team behind nkd Life
Piush later roped in other members of the core team with whom he has earlier worked on various projects. The core team comprises of seven members including Piush (40), Richard Eve (38), Harry Singh (47), Nik Soni (44), Stewart Zimmerman (62), and Madhu Joshi (42).
Piush is a seasoned corporate professional, who has over 15 years of experience and has worked on many international projects across research & development, branding, marketing, engineering, operations and management. With 15 years of experience, Richard is the Chief Engineer/Designer at nkd Life. Harry is Global Sales Director of the company, who has over 25 years’ experience in the distribution of household name global brands. With over 20 years of experience in managing international trade, Nik is the Global Operation Director. Stewart Zimmerman is nkd Life’s US Sales Director, who has previously worked with Sony Electronics as a key sales professional and has an experience of 25 years. Madhu Joshi is nkd Life’s Director for India and has an experience spanning 25 years.
Understanding the market
According to report by Credence Research, the market for water purifiers in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.5 percent between 2017 and 2025.
The report highlights that the top four manufacturers account for over 66 percent of the overall market revenue. The leading players include Pentair Residential Filtration, LLC, Eureka Forbes, and Kent RO Systems. The research brings to fore that India being a price sensitive economy, manufacturers are focusing on developing low-cost variants and improving their product reach, opening doors for low-cost water purifiers to make inroads in both urban and rural markets. And nkd Life is looking to cash in on this opportunity with pod+.
Nkd Life claims that its technology is the main differentiator.
“All of our water filtration products have filters have a lifespan of 2 months. We therefore focus on retaining a customer with the highest quality product with the most effective filtration,” highlights Piush.
Plans for future
Currently, nkd Life is self-funded and is looking to raise funds. The brand that has entered the market only 9 months ago, claims to be at a nascent stage and feels it is early for them to think about revenues. The brand is monetising via sale of its bottles and subsequent replacement filters.
It has signed deals with retailers in the US, India, UAE and European markets. Going ahead, the company plans to aggressively grow its distribution base globally and is currently looking to increase production capacity for a launch across China and South America this year, two of the world’s biggest markets that have problems in accessing clean, safe drinking water.
One of the main focus points at the moment, Piush highlights, would be to strongly focus on the humanitarian sector.
The team recently held meetings with the United Nations and other organisations under the UN umbrella in Geneva, Switzerland where the company presented its new technologies for application in emergency disaster relief.
“India is projected to be one of our most important growth markets globally for the future and as such we have set in motion a very significant marketing, investment and product release strategy,” Piush says.