Swajal, India’s leading water company with innovative products like QR code tracked water bottles and remote sensing water purification systems, plans to increase its network by nearly four times to reach out to nearly 10 lakh people in 2018-19, including rural areas across India.
Swajal purifiers provide affordable water priced at Re 1 for a glass and Rs 5 per liter at these public places with high foot-falls unlike other high priced bottled water companies. Swajal Waters has, since its inception in 2014, installed around 200 water ATMs and purification machines. In rural and remote areas without electricity, it has provided solar energy-run purifiers. The company is the winner of several awards in India and overseas for providing affordable clean drinking water.
Dr Vibha Tripathi, Founder and MD, Swajal Waters Pvt Ltd, said “From the poor in villages, we charge only around 50 paisa per liter. We get assistance from companies under their CSR activities for this purpose. In the case of schools, we provide machines via donations.” The company owns all the purifiers in different sizes and purification capacities from three lakh to six lakh liters of water per day. It recovers the cost in three to five years, she said.
Since all its purifiers are IoT-based, Swajal Waters does not need operators to run the machines. Apart from purifiers, the firm also supplies 20-liter water bottles. Swajal provides advanced solar-powered water purification systems in India. It currently serves nearly 2.5 lakh people every day. Its partners include P&G, Gillette and Hershey.
The Swajal Water ATMs have a nine-stage cleaning process. They are also rugged and are built for all weathers. They have a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)-enabled card that can be pre-loaded for water payments and coin acceptors. The company has also introduced innovative products such as QR-code tracked water bottles and remote-sensing water purification systems.
Dr Tripathi said Swajal has been working with partners in rural India and urban slums and was initially supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP). The Swajal-designed machines are equipped with an online monitoring system that allows the company to monitor the quality of water and other parameters.
In a typical rural design, groundwater is pumped using d undergoes multiple stages. The acquisition of water depends on the area as it is derived from ponds, rivers and wells. Potable water is finally treated with UV light and an ozone generator as an extra precaution. The cost of this water is around one cent per liter (64 paisa).