Startups fight COVID-19: How this Mumbai startup re-engineered its product to fight the pandemic
The COVID-19 outbreak posed several challenges to the Indian startup ecosystem. However, there have been a few positive outcomes as well, as the pandemic has been a catalyst for many companies to refocus and reimagine the way they work.
COVID-19 has also heightened the importance of cleanliness, maintaining hygiene, and staying healthy. It has bolstered the demand for disinfection services to keep surfaces clean and safe from microbial contamination. Mumbai-based Sicora Technologies is addressing this demand.
Yash Jain and Geeta Tolia, Co-founders, Sicora Technologies [Image Credit: Sicora Technologies]
Founded in 2020 by Yash Jain, and Geeta Tolia, Sicora provides an antimicrobial surface coating named Dr Nanoxa for sanitising surfaces and keeping them safe from bacteria and viruses, including Sars-CoV-2. The coating will be effective for 30 days and will require re-application post that.
Speaking with YourStory, Yash explains that after application of the coating, it forms a thin transparent film on the surface, which ruptures the bacteria and viruses.
While the company was formally launched last year, its journey began back in 2018 when Yash realised the serious health conditions caused due to UTI, especially after his cousin was diagnosed with it. He began working on a nanotechnology-based product for disinfecting UTI bacteria.
“Sicora was first involved in developing the solution to disinfect UTI bacteria, especially in public washrooms, and maintain hygiene to improve health conditions. After two years of research and development, we were looking to formally launch it in 2020 and that is when COVID-19 hit the world. We immediately re-engineered the product to fight against the coronavirus and then launched it in December 2020,” Yash says.
Image Credit: Sicora Technologies
Keeping surfaces safe
The co-founder reveals that the product has been tested at Biotech Testing Services, a NABL-accredited lab. According to the test report, Dr Nanoxa has been found to be effective against bacteria and viruses, including E.Coli, Salmonella, and Sars-CoV 2, among others.
At present, MU Ideas (affiliate of Mumbai University) incubated Sicora Technologies is involved in the manufacturing and sale of the product to its channel partners and also trains them on how to apply the coating. The product is designed to be applied on commonly touched surfaces such as doors, knobs, handles, elevators, toilets, etc.
“The product should be applied after taking all the precautions and wearing PPE gears, and should be sprayed from a distance of 1 ft. Once applied, the surfaces need to be wiped using a microfiber cloth. Post this, the surface should be left untouched for at least 10 to 15 minutes,” Yash adds.
He also explained that Dr Nanoxa can keep the surfaces safe for at least one month and thus eliminating the need for applying it regularly.
Dr Nanoxa has been pilot tested in several public washrooms, hotels, and restaurants.
“A total of over 150 housing societies, 21,572 lives, and 7,369 families were impacted and bio-secured during the startup’s Dr Nanoxa 30 day drive in western suburbs of Mumbai,” the co-founder adds.
Speaking about future plans, Yash reveals that in the post-pandemic situation, the company will be considering working on antimicrobial paint in order to keep houses, offices, and other areas disinfected.