This Vadodara-based Startup Uncovers the Dark Side of Water
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The colour of water and all this hoopla around alkaline water got me interested in knowing more about this first Indian company manufacturing black water. Hollywood opened up to this concept a few years back when a few celebrities started endorsing and consuming this new beverage. Sharing more on this new phenomenon which attracted this real estate lad to explore more about the alkalinity of water, Aakash Vaghela, Managing Director, AV Organics says, “As a health conscious person, I was researching about alkaline water two and a half years ago, and started exploring options available in India. I came across articles by Dr Norbert Chirase, a PhD in health and wellness from Texas, USA, and got in touch with him. Today, he is the discoverer of core minerals that we use. I spent a few days with him in Texas on what these core minerals are and how I can use them. It was then when the idea of creating a business out of it was born.”
What's the Formula?
Currently, the company extracts these minerals in a deposited location in USA from where it is refined and then brought to India. With their own unique formulation, they infuse these minerals which are naturally black in colour, thereby giving the colour black to water. Sharing details of the current manufacturing facility, Vaghela says, “We created a small pilot plant in my house. We started creating the formulation that we wanted to make. It took about two to three months to create that formulation.”
After registering the company with DIPP in February 2018, Vaghela started working on the plant along with setting up the team. In June 2019, it started retailing with Pune as its first market, followed by Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Vadodra. Today the brand is present across Gurugram, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Goa, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Bikaner. Apart from being present across 1,000 outlets, it sells through the website and Amazon.
Backed by a lot of research, Vaghela went on to hire directors from the FMCG industry. Giving a shelf life of 12 months to the water also didn’t come easy. “It needs a certain kind of formulation, and that is what we wanted to crack. That’s why we are the only company in the country which manufactures this,” adds Vaghela. Currently, the brand is present in 18 markets, with 7,000 cases sold (one case has 24 bottles). The 500ml bottle currently retails at Rs 100. Since this is a plastic variant, the company aims to launch the glass bottle variant of 330ml for Rs 150. The nutrient water tastes earthy because of minerals and the Ph level of 9.
(This article was first published in the February 2020 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)