These 4 air-purifier manufacturers are helping people breathe amid declining air quality
According to the US-based Health Effects Institute, India accounted for almost 25 percent of all air pollution-related deaths in the world in 2016. In fact, several reports also estimate that over six million people lose their lives every year because of respiratory problems.
Clean air has become a distant luxury for many in today’s modernised and industrial world. With India gearing up for the Diwali season and the coronavirus pandemic still not over, the need for clean air cannot be emphasised enough.
SMBStory lists four air purifier manufacturing companies that are fighting air pollution woes in the country amidst the declining air quality.
Himanshu Agarwal (L) and Bhanu Agarwal (R), Co-founders of Magneto CleanTech
Delhi-based Magneto CleanTech Pvt Ltd was founded by Himanshu Agarwal and Bhanu Agarwal in 2017. The company was launched to provide solutions in a sustainable manner and without compromising on the environment.
The year 2015 was a turning point for Himanshu. As India continued to fall behind the rest of the world when it comes to air quality, Himanshu decided to search for answers for the question that kept coming back to him — “Are we going to build a nation that has economic wealth in abundance at the cost of people falling sick?”
He noticed that air conditioners were practically everywhere and gave comfort, but caused health problems as well. Himanshu and his co-founder Bhanu decided to look for something new in the air purification domain and started manufacturing air purifiers.
When it came to developing a product, Himanshu and Bhanu started looking at some of the more successful and better technologies available in the US, and even went ahead with re-engineering their products. These efforts led to the invention of Magneto Central Air Cleaner (MCAC), a polymer-based product installed in air conditioners.
The USP of the product lies in trap-and-kill technology. “MCAC is a filterless magnetic air purification system. The technology helps to capture nanoscale particles, which are present in the air and are constituents of viruses, bacteria and other harmful substances. The MCAC neutralises and kills them,” Himanshu says.
Himanshu says that he was very clear from the beginning that they wanted to build a light and affordable model.
The product costs between Rs 80 and Rs 100 per square foot and can last up to around eight to 10 years.
Kartik Singhal, Director, Zeco Aircon
Gurugram-basedhas been a manufacturer of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) management systems since 1989. Founded by Ravi Singhal, Zeco Aircon manufactures products under four verticals — air conditioning, air purification, air distribution, and insulation. Amidst the pandemic, the company is garnering prominence for its air purification vertical that started in 2010.
Zeco Aircon clocks a turnover of Rs 300 crore annually and also exports to 15 countries, including Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, and the UAE. Its clientele includes the likes of Radisson, ITC Hotels, Fortis Hospital, The Oberoi Hotels, Hyatt, etc. Kartik Singhal, Director of Zeco Aircon, joined his father’s business in 2013 as a trainee engineer and learned everything from scratch.
Zeco Aircon’s air purification vertical manufactures air purifiers in about 19 product categories that can run for four years without any maintenance or recurring cost.
In January 2020, the company launched O2 Cure, a website for its B2C bespoke air purifier business. These air purifiers — which are manufactured at its Haryana, Bengaluru, and Mumbai plants — cost between Rs 400 and Rs 2 lakh. So far, Zeco Aircon has installed 12,105 air purifiers in India, including at Delhi and Hyderabad airports.
Barun Aggarwal, Co-founder & CEO, BreatheEasy
Delhi is in the eye of the pollution storm, as the city’s residents have to live with hazardous levels of particulate matter. When he returned to India 2010 from the US, Barun Aggarwal was baffled and wanted to do his bit.
He found it difficult to adapt to the city’s air quality. It was a wake-up call for Barun when he saw his three-year-old son wheezing while at Lodhi Gardens. “I found the condition alarming. As we came from a place where the air quality level was better, we could immediately see the polluted air taking a toll on our health,” he adds.
Growing from its roots in the 1990s, Barun’s father-in-law Kamal Meattle became allergic to Delhi’s air. His doctors told him his lung capacity was reduced to 70 percent and if he didn’t change the status quo, the air would kill him. At that time, instead of fleeing Delhi, Kamal sprung into action.
Using natural plants and a high-quality mechanical air filtration system, he transformed his office building in Nehru Place into a safe haven from the city’s increasingly toxic air. The Government of India deemed the Paharpur Business Centre one of the healthiest buildings in Delhi.
But the air quality outside kept getting worse.
Building on Kamal’s work, Barun set out to find the best portable air purifiers for India’s air pollution crisis. He and his team tested 28 different models across 15 stringent parameters for six weeks in his children’s bedrooms. The children stopped wheezing and BreatheEasy was born. The company was founded with a bootstrapped capital of Rs 10 lakh in 2013 and is incubated at Paharpur Business Centre, Nehru Place, Delhi.
BreatheEasy's solution is deployed in the homes of William Bissell, Chairman of FabIndia and KP Singh, CEO of DLF Limited, among others. It has also deployed its products in companies like Infosys and Wipro, and schools including British School, American Embassy School, and German School. BreatheEasy’s clients are spread across India including in Delhi/NCR, Jalandhar, Jaipur, Chennai, Hyderabad etc. The company has also undertaken various large projects in Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai, and clocked Rs 25 crore turnover in 2019.
Prateek Sharma (M) with Tushar Vyas (L) and Jatin Kewlani (R), Co-founders of Nanoclean
Priced at just Rs 10 a device, Nasofilters is a nasal respiratory filter that was developed by a team from IIT Delhi. It is the first commercial product by Delhi-based Nanoclean, which Prateek Sharma founded with Tushar Vyas and Jatin Kewlani.
Hailing from the western part of Rajasthan, Prateek, who is only too familiar with the dust storms in the region, saw an even greater need to create a product that was effective in fighting pollutants and was affordable, without being conspicuous like the other products in the market.
Nasofilters was, hence, developed using nanotechnology, which ensures there is a minimal drop in pressure while breathing and allows ease of breathing when wearing the respiratory mask.
Prateek and his team created nanofibres by reducing the thread diameter of a normal fabric by 100 times to filter out pollutants.
The affordable nasal filter has another major advantage: it is not conspicuous – unlike the rather large traditional face masks typically found in the market. Users simply have to cover their nostrils with the nearly transparent filter and wear this for up to eight hours. The filter is 95 percent effective in fighting the air pollution that is rampant across Indian cities, particularly at this time of the year.