Pivot and Persist: This cleaning service startup now disinfects homes and offices
started life in 2010 as a home cleaning service provider.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Bengaluru-based startup has shifted focus to providing disinfecting services that can keep people disease-free and safe in homes, offices, restaurants, and other spaces.
Founded in 2010 by Nishant Prasad, Clean Fanatic provides a retentive anti-microbial coating service that keeps surfaces disinfected for 30-90 days.
Nishant Prasad, Founder, Clean Fanatic
Speaking to YourStory, Nishant says he was always keen to provide disinfecting services, but the sector never really took off due to lack of demand. That’s why his startup focussed on deep cleaning services. The startup is currently bootstrapped.
“However, in January, we started getting a lot of queries for office disinfection services. Soon, we began disinfecting services using available US EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency ) green disinfectants,” Nishant said.
The founder explained that while available disinfectants kill microbes, the duration that the surface stays germ-free is extremely short. Additionally, when it dries off or is not applied in the requisite quantity, there are high chances that microbes can stay alive on the surface.
Nishant aims to bridge this “disinfection gap” with his startup’s long-lasting solution.
How the CF 90 Shield works
Nishant explains that Clean Fanatic has been working with its manufacturing partner, Gujarat-based Zydex Industries, an eco-friendly chemical producing company, for producing the anti-microbial coating: CF 90 Shield.
The patent-pending coating, when applied on surfaces, forms spike-like structures at a microscopic level; these can “poke” through bacteria and viruses, destroying them.
Credit: Clean Fanatic
“The CF 90 shield is a retentive ‘anti-microbial’ technology that works on several surfaces such as wood, steel, metal, ceramics, etc. The chemical consists of silane bonds, which when applied to the treated surface creates a positively-charged gel layer. At a microscopic level, it forms spike-like structures that can poke and burst the lipid layer of the enveloped viruses or the cell wall of the bacteria,” Nishant says.
“Bacteria and viruses, which are mostly negatively-charged, get electrocuted due to the positive charge of the silane layer. The combined action of this biostatic layer reduces the transmission rate of viable microbes from the treated surface,” he explains.
However, the chemical cannot be used to disinfect things such as leather or glass as it can cause spotting.
The founder cautions that the solution is yet to be tested against the current strain of the novel coronavirus, but has been tested against the family of viruses, including SARS CoV-2 and MERS-CoV (both negatively-charged).
According to him, most harmful viruses and bacteria are negatively-charged and so can be destroyed via the coating.
“The best way to apply the coating is through ultra-low volume (ULV) fogging machines. For places inaccessible via the fogger, hand application can also be done with precautionary measures. The active agent used in the coating has been certified by Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), and the chemical has been certified as a non-toxic substance by Haffkine Institute Mumbai and National Toxicology Centre, Pune. Thus, the coating is absolutely safe and won’t cause any damage in case of human contact,” Nishant says.
He adds that the coating is expected to last for 30-90 days, depending upon the usage of the area. For instance, the coating on doorknobs may erode faster than a showpiece as it is touched on a regular basis. The coating is water-resistant and cannot be washed away easily in case used to disinfect bathrooms.
Speaking about the application process, the founder said the chemical was initially tested on all the surfaces to check for any reaction. Once cleared, the surfaces need to be wiped down with water and soap, which helps the coating adhere better.
Credit: Clean Fanatic
Business and more
According to Nishant, Clean Fanatic has already provided the coating service in 15 companies, including restaurants and mom-and-pop stores across Bengaluru.
Speaking about B2C consumers, he clarifies that the company has not yet marketed the solution for home application as they are waiting for the concept to take off and for market demand to increase.
This application of the anti-microbial coating can cost between Rs 4 and Rs 5 per sq feet. However, prices decrease if larger areas are to be disinfected.
The startup provides a minimal amount of coating to clients so that they can apply it themselves manually in places like doorknobs that see maximum use. Clean Fanatic also uses UV Lamps, UV Box, and UV Robot to provide UV-based disinfection for small-sized offices and households.
According to a report by 6W Research, a New Delhi-based market research company, the Indian surface disinfectant market is expected to register high growth during 2020-2026 owing to COVID-19 outbreak which increased the demand for surface disinfection. Apart from this, the government is also stepping up its efforts to provide quality health and sanitation facilities in rural areas.
Another report by TechSci Research reveals that the chemical cleaning market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15 percent to reach $9,655 million by the end of 2026 from $2,388 million in 2016. The report cites increasing infections, high rate of urbanisation, and increasing stringent safety standards as the major factors behind the growth.
Speaking about future plans, Nishant says the company is not looking for immediate funding. “Clean Fanatic is considering a franchise-based model to join hands with like-minded people and increase our reach.”
YourStory’s Pivot and Persist series spotlights Indian startups that are pivoting to seize new business opportunities, transforming their business models and offerings to navigate the current COVID-19 crisis.