[Startup Bharat] This Nagpur startup is ensuring access to clean drinking water to people across rural India
Water is a necessity for life to sustain on Earth. However, the availability of clean and safe drinking water is a very big concern in India.
According to NITI Aayog, India is ranked 120 among 122 countries in the water quality index with nearly 70 percent of its water contaminated.
[Image Credit: Mineral Drop]
For entrepreneur Nadeem Khan, this issue was close to home. In 2017, while pursuing his engineering degree from Nagpur University, he suffered from typhoid after consuming unsanitary water and food.
He realised that several rural regions in his hometown lacked access to clean drinking water, which led to the spread of diseases.
To solve this problem, Nadeem, along with his father Shafik Khan, launchedin 2020. The Nagpur-based startup offers water purifiers, enabling access to clean and safe drinking water. At present, the startup has eight core team members.
“I am from Bhandara town near Nagpur, and I suffered from typhoid during my college years after drinking impure water outside. I realised the need to build something because clean drinking water is not easily available when you travel or are in rural areas. So, I built water purification solutions, especially for those living in rural areas,” Nadeem tells YourStory.
Water purification solution
Nadeem explains one of the main challenges in the existing RO water purification machines is that a large amount of water gets wasted in the purification process.
In fact, reports suggest that about three litres of water get wasted for every one litre of purified water by the RO machines.
Emunity Plus RO water purifier [Image Credit: Mineral Drop]
“We have built our products to ensure this water is not wasted. We have created another chamber in the machine, which purifies the wastewater and puts it back into the system. Our patented in-house zero-wastage water technology based purifiers save 20,000 litres of water yearly, and it doesn’t need frequent maintenance,” he says.
At present, Mineral Drop offers two water purifier products.
Its first product is a small-sized RO purifier called Blumineral, which targets lower-income households in rural areas, and is available for a very low price. Certified by ISO, NABl, and Ministry of Environment, the project is funded by CSR funds.
“The machine is a small-sized water purifier, which provides clean water at only five paise per litre. One filter can be used to purify 1,000 litres,” Nadeem claims.
The startup’s second product, Emunity Plus RO water purifier, comes with one year guarantee and lifetime free service.
“Mineral Drop has also been selected in Gurukul 100X.VC programme, which started this week,” he says.
Illustration: YS Design
Business and more
The co-founder says that users can purchase the products online through Mineral Drop’s official website or call them to place orders. The startup ships the machine directly to their house and also sends technicians to fit them.
While the Bluemineral purifier is available for Rs 200, the Emunity Plus RO water purifier is available at Rs 12,000.
“In the last four months, we have sold more than 100 RO water purifier across Nagpur, Bhandara, Ahmedabad, Punjab, and Mumbai. We have also sold over 10,000 units of Blumineral among tribal and rural areas across Nagpur and Bhandara, among other regions,” Nadeem adds.
The Nagpur startup was bootstrapped with an initial investment of about Rs 1,70,000. “We are now looking to raise funds to further scale up our business and products,” he adds.
According to IMARC, the global water purifier market reached $35.83 billion in 2020. Mineral Drop competes with some of the notable players in this segment, including , Eureka Forbes, and Livpure, among others.
Speaking about future plans, Nadeem reveals that the startup is working to distribute an additional 10,000 water purifiers in the rural regions. Besides, it is also looking to expand its presence to other cities in India.