Forget Netflix! Subscribe To This Smart Water Purifier Instead DrinkPrime is providing IoT-enabled customized water purifiers on subscription to make clean, safe and healthy drinking water accessible and affordable to everyone

By Soumya Duggal

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Manas Ranjan Hota

Pure water is the world's first and foremost medicine, states a popular Slovakian proverb. Access to clean and safe drinking water in India is restricted to less than half of the population due to groundwater depletion, changing weather patterns, pollution and water contamination, among several other reasons.

"While water purifiers are seemingly the preferred source of safe drinking water, less than five per cent of India accesses them due to the hefty upfront investment and recurring annual maintenance cost. The water purifier penetration in India is in stark contrast to the 70 per cent TV penetration," says Manas Ranjan Hota, co-founder and COO, DrinkPrime. "By providing IoT-enabled customized water purifiers on subscription, we are making clean, safe and healthy drinking water accessible and affordable to everyone," he adds.

Currently, over one lakh users across Bengaluru, Delhi, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Hyderabad and Noida use DrinkPrime for their drinking water requirement at home, claims the company.

"DrinkPrime is highly mission-oriented: we are a drinking water solution provider, not a water purifier manufacturer. For us, raising funds is directly proportional to increasing safe drinking water access to the people in India. This just means one thing: our investors should be people who believe and support the mission," says Hota. Since its inception in 2016, the company has thus far been invested into by well known names like Omidyar Network Network India and Sequoia Surge, among others.

"If there is a startup that's trying to raise funds, here's one thing I'd like to tell them: focus on your goal and mission. When you meet the right people, you'll know and they will be ready to be a part of your exciting journey," Hota suggests from his personal experience.

The water purifier market in India stands at about $754.2 million in 2020. Every year, just close to 20 lakh water purifiers are sold, including both branded and non-branded ones. Further, within every five to six years, the quality of water noticeably deteriorates, implying that consumers have to upgrade their water purifiers twice in a decade. Considering this, how do the prospects of success in the sector appear to Hota? "DrinkPrime is not a part of the 30-year-old water purifier industry, we are disrupting the market by making customized water purifiers affordable and accessible to everyone," he states.

"We have observed that the water quality has been deteriorating in several areas. Based on water samples we collected from Electronic City in Bengaluru, we noticed that the total dissolved solids (TDS) level has gone up from 68 PPM to 1236 PPM in a span of just five months. We are witnessing water quality drop in other areas too," explains Hota. According to him, the traditional one-size-fits-all water purifier solutions won't be able to ensure safe drinking water given that the water quality is forever fluctuating. "By customizing DrinkPrime, we are providing the perfect solution to every household based on input water quality," he claims.

And what are the company's growth plans? "We are the market leaders in Bengaluru with 6000 installations every month whereas other water purifier seller brands make about 2000 sales on a monthly basis. We've grown by 330 per cent this year and are looking forward to providing safe drinking water access to more people in the cities we are in currently operating in," he says. DrinkPrime aims to expand to more cities and serve one million subscribers by 2026.

Soumya Duggal

Former Feature Writer

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