[Startup Bharat] This Bhubaneswar-based startup is resolving cold-chain infrastructure problems
Awareness of the need to strengthen cold-chain infrastructure in India became higher amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A stable cold-chain infrastructure is important to ensure better efficiency in the supply chain, be it pharma, health, agriculture, dairy, frozen foods among others.
Bhubaneswar-based MachPhy Solutions is developing cold-chain solutions to address these issues. Founded in 2017 by Pradeep Rout, Suraj Kumar, and Gaurav Anand, the startup has developed low-temperature storage and transportation devices.
The BIRAC and Dept of Biotechnology-supported startup is incubated at IIT-Delhi. The startup has also been working for last-mile vaccine distribution and blood samples collection.
[Image Credit: MachPhy Solutions]
Suraj and Gaurav left MachPhy in 2019 during the product development period, and the cold-chain startup is now being led by Pradeep.
Speaking to YourStory, Pradeep said the journey started in 2014 when he realised that the cold-chain infrastructure for transporting polio vaccines was not up to the mark.
After completing his engineering course from Bhubaneshwar in 2016, Pradeep launched MachPhy to solve issues in cold-chain infrastructure.
“In early 2019, we got incubated at IIT Delhi. We were also funded by the Ministry of Biotechnology through the BIRAC fund and multiple other funds. We are yet to raise any external funding,” he says.
Illustration: YS Design
Providing cold-chain solutions
MachPhy is involved in building low-temperature storage and transportation devices and caters to several sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, and food processing units.
Speaking about its product, Bio-Sure, Pradeep revealed that there are two variants: an active cooling system and an passive cooling system.
“The active cooling system continuously runs on electricity or battery backup and has its own hybrid cooling system. The passive one does not need any power backup or cooling system. It is designed using nanomaterials called phase change materials that can maintain temperatures up to even five days. The materials can maintain temperature to even -40 to -70 degrees Celsius,” he claims.
Pradeep clarifies that the materials are procured from other companies across India. However, he reveals that the startup has filed a patent for the hybrid cooling system of the Bio-Sure Active system.
While the passive cooling system is already on market and is in use, MachPhy is yet to launched the Bio-Sure active product as it is still undergoing tests and awaiting patent approval.
The Bio-Sure passive system is being used at two end-point hospitals for storage and transportation of the COVID-19 vaccine. The founder declined to share further details on the clientele, saying the product is mainly designed to ensure the safety of the vaccine even during door-to-door vaccination camps.
“Our products can maintain two to eight degrees and even -20 degrees, which is required by vaccines like Pfizer or Sputnik for short-term haul. We have already supplied to a couple of interested partners, which we cannot disclose right now. We have also supplied many in the sample collection segment where COVID samples are collected from door to door by these diagnostic units,” he says.
Apart from COVID-19 vaccination, the startup claims to be working with its channel partners in the diagnostics and agriculture sector. Pradeep says it has also built a personalised hybrid unit using the nanomaterial and the hybrid cooling system to help Nestle transport their cold coffees and beverages.
Pradeep explains that MachPhy works in partnership with IoT companies to ensure live tracking of its devices.
Last year, it also launched a UV-based sanitisation machine called Machshield to help businesses fight the pandemic by helping them sanitise commonly used products and documents in offices. The product is being used by businesses such as Tanishq, Bharat Petroleum Ltd, State Bank of India, NABARD among others.
Image Credit: MachPhy Solutions
Business and more
Speaking about the business model, the founder reveals that the company generates revenue from the sales of the products.
MachPhy claims to have more than 40 clients using its cold-chain solutions across sectors, including Nestle, Mati Farms, Soul Souk Farms, Endeavour Clinic among others.
According to a report by Expert Market Research, the Indian cold-chain market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.3 percent to reach Rs 2,865 billion by 2026. Several startups are working to solve the cold-chain segment issues in India.
Mumbai-based Tessol customises solutions for last-mile distribution and delivery to retailers and end consumers. Meanwhile, cold-chain aggregating startup Celcius is helping strengthen the network by connecting clients with cold-chain transportation and warehousing service providers.
“Our immediate short-term goal is to make a good impact with the vaccination drives. In the future, we want to become one of the leading cold-chain solution providers in India,” Pradeep says.