Pivot and Persist: From instant isolation rooms to medical assistants, this company is building smart solutions for COVID-19
Since its inception in 2016, Bengaluru-based 10by10 has sought to build sustainable and smart solutions that not only benefit its customers but also the environment.
Founder of 10by10, Rajesh Kumar Das
In an interaction with SMBStory, Founder Rajesh Kumar Das says,
“10by10 is a multi-branched studio based out of Bengaluru that specialises in the disciplines of space, landscape, and product design. The studio provides holistic solutions, involving thematic combinations of wellness, welfare, sustainability, and technology.”
However, after the outbreak of COVID-19, as hospitals and quarantine facilities seemed to be running out of beds, 10by10 pivoted its operations to developing smart and sustainable solutions to fight the pandemic. The company first developed the ISO.POD (Isolation Pods), an instant isolation room solution that acts like a safety envelope protecting patients and healthcare workers against further infection.
Rajesh believes that the current demand for smart solutions against the pandemic could well be a market worth over Rs 1,000 crore. Several companies over the past few months have pivoted their businesses to build solutions that can help us fight COVID-19 like the CHHAT Foundation, SAMAM Portable, Needlab, among others.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
SMBStory (SMBS): Tell us more about the ISO.POD. How does it help patients?
Rajesh Kumar Das (RKD): As the coronavirus continues to spread, there is no guarantee that the infection will be contained within a quarantine facility. Further, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring that air transmission of coronavirus is quite possible in crowded indoor areas, safety, hygiene, and health are of utmost importance in these facilities.
The ISO.POD is a safety envelope, which can be placed on every bed, protecting patients and healthcare workers against further infections without a negative effect on their mental well-being.
The ISO.POD also won the D’source Corona Design Challenge Award in association with IIT-IDC, WDO (World Design Organisation), Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development, and ico-D (International Council of Design).
The ISO.POD comes in the size of 8’x7’x10’ making it compact, modular, and easy to duplicate and scale. Inspired by the Do It Yourself (DIY) methodology, the ISO.POD is portable and made to sustain wear and tear.
It has an aluminium pipe structure and is made of upcycled plastic polyester fabric, making it sustainable, economical, and an industrial solution at just Rs 15,000. As the ISO.POD acts like an airtight enclosure to every patient, it helps in curbing the spread of COVID-19.
Additionally, the use cases of ISO.PODs are not limited to just the pandemic. It can be an alternative to medical camps, disaster recovery centres, nurse and doctor chambers, etc.
We have used almost 208 plastic bottles to make the fabric of one ISO.POD, making it a 100 percent recycled product.
SMBS: How has 10by10 helped the environment so far?
RKD: 10by10 generates innovative, inclusive, and creative design solutions that bring forth a new dimension to environments, sustainability, and well-being. We focus on social welfare, creating awareness, and promoting sustainable practices in everyday life — whether it is in a residence or the workplace.
We have been instrumental in planting and transforming over 1,26,500 plants, 15,000 trees, 2,000 acres of green carpet, 105 green spaces, 17 smart products, 153 recycled and upcycled products, 11,31,800 kilograms of carbon offset in over five years, 10,17,25,000 kilograms of oxygen produced in over five years and counting.
Besides ISO.POD, we have come up with products like ISO.BOT — a portable, compact, smart, and adaptable medical assistant — which can support medical staff.
We have installed SEAS at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC), Human Organisation for People and Environment, Odisha, among others. We are also in talks with the Indian Railways and several government organisations.
While these products and designs have been conceptualised because of COVID-19, we expect them to serve a sustained purpose in the new normal as some of the current practices are here to stay.
SMB: What are some of the major challenges you have faced in the business?
RKD: When presented with an opportunity for a potential lifestyle change, people generally first show opposition before acceptance, which can hamper expansion.
10by10 suggests solutions and products synonymous to change in habits and behaviour, and is for the good of people, their surroundings, and the planet.
For the general crowd to align with the same thought process is time-consuming, but we believe it will bring about a positive change.
Our focus is more towards the social good and people's welfare. 10by10 believes in adopting an organic way to promote outcomes without compromising on the essentials to sustain a business. This makes our service inclusive and exclusive, resulting in a niche segment and target audience.
SMBS: What are your future plans?
RKD: Keeping the pandemic and the requirements for the post-pandemic future in mind, we have come up with products that are all well into the manufacturing stage.
- SEAS — A temperature detector to be placed at the threshold of a facility, which will take care of the safety and attendance, and raise awareness regarding one's health.
- ISO.BOT — An assistant to medical staff for the timely supply of medicines, food, etc. to every patient.
- ZERO X — A self-sanitising testing facility guaranteeing zero exposure between the tester and the testee.
- UVD (Ultra-Violet Disinfectant) — A UV-based sanitising unit for all fabric-oriented products to be cleansed to maintain hygiene.
- SPAC.CAPS — a foldable, portable secured safe zone, which can be converted into storerooms, medical rooms, or even nurse stations and DG rooms.
Additionally, we are also working on a social business vertical wherein 10by10 is acting as a catalyst between artisans and social enterprises and the end-user to encourage agritechpreneurs and village tourism.
We aim to incorporate design and product enhancement by connecting talented designers with social enterprises, giving the aesthetic and functional boost to the already existing beautiful art and craft products making them more irresistible, attractive, and bespoke to the general crowd and giving them a platform to market and increase visibility. In FY 2019-10, the company clocked a turnover of Rs 2 crore.