Meet the husband-wife duo who has launched a FDA-approved multipurpose disinfectant tablet
Based in Mumbai, Aniket and Namrata Parikh have launched a multipurpose disinfectant tablet which is FDA-approved and recommended by organisations like WHO, UNICEF, and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many experiences, most of all shopping. Extra care also needs to be taken while receiving groceries and other essentials that are ordered online.
The World Health Organisation states that coronavirus can survive for up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, less than four hours on copper and less than 24 hours on cardboard.
Therefore, sanitising becomes a must to prevent infection. As sanitisers and disinfectants become essential in the everyday scheme of things, couple entrepreneurs Aniket and Namrata Parikh have cashed in on the opportunity by launching a multi-purpose disinfectant tablet.
It’s also worth noting that India is the only country to record single-day spike of 80,000 COVID-19 cases recently. There are 7,85,996 active cases and as of 9 pm on Tuesday, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Based in Mumbai, Aniket and Namrata took design inspiration from a tablet used for the hygiene of farm animals from his father’s company Trends Pharma Group, and decided to venture into manufacturing a disinfectant tablet once the first lockdown was announced.
Aniket (29) majored in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University, US, and was responsible for the formulation of Sanitab. He explains that each tablet contains 1.75 grams of Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC), which works as an active disinfectant when dissolved in water.
With its easy and multipurpose usage, the entrepreneurs explain that the product can be used to disinfect fruits and vegetables, and surfaces in homes and offices. The product can also disinfect untreated water without affecting its smell, taste, or colour.
They recommend using one tablet in a litre of water to clean and disinfect surfaces, 20 litres to clean fruits and grocery items, 200 litres to disinfect and treat drinking water, and use five tablets in a litre of water to disinfect dental clinic and hospital equipment, and to treat disinfection outbreak. The disinfectant is ready in two minutes.
The product has received major international certifications including FDA approval and EN14476-certified from US-based Microchem Laboratory. The duo claims that Sanitab is also recommended for use by WHO, UNICEF, the UK Department of Health, and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India.
The US Food and Drug Administration’s Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) has recommended the product to wash fruits and vegetables in the catering industry before preparation.
Navigating the market post-COVID-19
For the couple, developing and launching the product from scratch amid a pandemic was not easy. Namrata says, “We started Sanitab with a great idea and a tight lockdown in place. We decided to do it completely digitally.”
A psychology and marketing graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, 24-year-old Namrata helmed the marketing efforts of the startup that played a key role in driving sales online. She says most of the sales were garnered from social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.
Priced at Rs 450 per tube containing 25 tablets, the product is available on their website and on Amazon. Operating on a B2C model at the moment, pharma companies are showing interest through its B2B channel.
Recalling the initial months of ideating and developing the product, a major challenge posed by the lockdown was getting staff on board and unavailability of vendors. Still, the duo the family’s factory in Palghar in the outskirts of Mumbai to start the manufacturing process.
As the restrictions eased once the lockdown was lifted, it became easier to conduct the business. Despite the challenges, sales exceeded their expectations and the business broke even in two days of launching the product at the beginning of April 2020.
“The response we have received so far has been overwhelming and we hope the product continues to help people across the globe. We are now in the process of extending operations in Asia and the Middle East region,” adds Namrata.
At the same time, the entrepreneurs are undeterred by market competition. They maintain that while the market is crowded with sanitisers and disinfectants, “there are no competitors with the exact same product with the benefit of multipurpose use.”
Moving forward, they are looking to raise funds and diversify the product offering to stay relevant even in a post-COVID era.
Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan