Dr. Vibha Tripathi
Founder & CEO, Swajal
Over 50% of India’s population lack access to clean drinking water, says a UNICEF report. It is further estimated that waterborne diseases pose a huge burden of around USD 600 million, each year, for the country’s economy.
With a vision to make drinking water equitable and making sure every person gets healthiest possible water without littering the planet, Swajal was founded in 2014. "We contribute to the health of society by ensuring that the water people drink is free from germs," says Dr. Vibha Tripathi, Founder & CEO, Swajal. "The enterprise was started solely to fulfil the needs of drinking water for poorer section of society," she adds.
Swajal serves water that is mineralised and purified with ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis (RO) technology. The company has set up unique water ATMs that dispense drinking water at extremely affordable rate – INR one for a litre of normal water and INR two per litre for cold water.
The enterprise has till date, dispensed over 5 million litres of clear water to rural villages, schools colleges, hospitals and railway stations in over 18 cities across the country. Through internet of things, RFID and solar energy to deliver clean, drinking water, Swajal has served over 50 million travellers and over 5,000 families.
"Access to clean water is still a dream for many and children bear the most brunt of water contamination. Apart from building adequate infrastructure, we need to also focus on water harvesting methods to address the issue in the long run," says Tripathi.
Swajal sources water from various water bodies, such as ponds, rivers and wells and then purifies it through an extensive nine-step purification process. It is then dispensed through the water ATMS to areas that need it the most. The enterprise works closely with Government of India and also offers a franchise model for local vendors and shop owners. The enterprise offers a considerable 80% cost reduction in comparison to other water purification systems and 60% more efficiency than standard RO (reverse osmosis) systems.
Reminiscing the journey that Swajal has had, Tripathi feels they have "miles to go." However, she is confident of building a legacy where here "business would be the epitome of responsible action – a company that symbolises steering wheel movement in thought processes of coming businesses."