DrinkPrime, Mapping Water Quality With its IOT Powered Purifiers

20 Dec, 2021 14:11 IST|Reshmi AR

DrinkPrime is a startup set up with the primary goal to making drinking water affordable and accessible to all. In an exclusive interview with Sakshi Post, DrinkPrime Co-Founder and CEO Vijender Reddy Muthyala Reshmi AR How DrinkPrime is looking to map India’s water quality with its IoT-Powered purifiers.

  1. What’s the basic idea behind DrinkPrime?

DrinkPrime, unlike traditional water purifiers, is a customised water purifier on subscription that uses the Internet of Things (IoT) to monitor water quality.

DrinkPrime is customised at three levels - there are four DrinkPrime variants with different filters to purify water of different qualities. We constantly monitor the area water qualities in a city using technology to customise the water purifiers. During installation, our technicians check the input and output water qualities to ensure that the subscriber gets clean and safe drinking water.

Using the IoT, we monitor the water quality received by our subscribers and proactively schedule maintenance checks for free.

Subscribers can use the DrinkPrime mobile app that is synced to their water purifiers via Bluetooth to monitor water purifier health and water consumption. The app allows users to recharge their DrinkPrime and reach out to the support team making a DrinkPrime subscription a completely hassle-free experience.

  1. What product variants are on cards?

Less than 5% of India has access to water purifiers. The majority of the population depends on water cans where 85% of the water in circulation is not fit for consumption.

We provide DrinkPrime on a subscription basis to make the customised water purifier accessible and affordable to the majority of the Indian population. Our entire approach to product development is not to have numerous variants but rather to simplify technology to give more people access to clean drinking water.

  1. What is the expansion plan in terms of geography?

We extended our operations to Hyderabad in 2020 followed by the National Capital Region (NCR) in 2021. We are in an accelerated growth phase and aim to get into 16 new cities in the next 36 months.

  1. How has been the business during the lockdown, despite the fact water is the basic necessity?

Similar to a lot of other startups, the COVID-19 first wave period was challenging for us - there were restrictions in the supply chain. We were even more concerned about the health and safety of our partners and technicians.

We utilised the time to de-risk our supply chain by finding original equipment manufacturing (OEM) partners throughout the country and extended our operations to Hyderabad.

To provide continued service to our existing and new subscribers during the lockdown, we got special permission from the government. We were one of the few companies that operated during the period. Our delivery partners and technicians were ready to serve our subscribers.

When the COVID-19 second wave hit, we were prepared for it. We conducted a vaccination drive to ensure the safety of our workforce and their family members.

We knew exactly what to focus on. Our month-on-month subscriptions went up.

We have grown 138% since the beginning of the pandemic. This is because DrinkPrime belongs to the essential services category - we provide people with access to clean, safe, and healthy drinking water, which is a priority during times like this.

  1. What role does technology play in water purifiers?

The water purifier industry is more than 30 years old. Yet, less than 5% of the population in India has access to water purifiers. More importantly, traditional water purifiers purify all water the same way. But every area has a different water quality. The one-size-fits-all approach is not an optimal solution to the drinking water quality problem.

At DrinkPrime, we use technology to map the water qualities in different areas to customise our water purifiers. Using the Internet of Things (IoT), we are able to constantly monitor the quality of water received by our subscribers.

The DrinkPrime mobile app plays a huge role in making it easy for our subscribers to use DrinkPrime and to monitor their drinking water consumption. They can recharge their DrinkPrime at the click of a button and even reach out to the support team in no time.

Drinking water is a basic necessity. The right use of technology in a water purifier will ensure safe drinking water for the users at all times and provide them with a hassle-free experience.

  1. You entered the Hyderabad market last year, how is the market doing since its inception?

We extended our operations to Hyderabad amidst the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. We had researched the water quality of the city before we decided to make the expansion. Our subscriber base in Hyderabad has grown by 112% in 2021 when compared to 2020. We have been very encouraged by the response in Hyderabad and are looking into options for expansion in and around it.

  1. What are the various trends you noticed in  Hyderabad, Bangalore & Delhi far?

We have seen steady growth in the three cities we are present in. The COVID-19 pandemic has made people realise the importance of accessing clean, safe, and healthy drinking water. More people have been subscribing to DrinkPrime so that they can trust the drinking water they get at home. This is especially true for families consisting of children. They don’t want to get the 20-litre plastic water cans because they can’t be sure of the water source and the storage conditions. We get to know this during the interactions with our subscribers. If you check our YouTube channel, you will understand the problems they face with water cans and other water purifiers.

  1. Currently you are in Delhi/NCR, Hyderabad & Bangalore. But the agenda & the mission you are working in the global. How do you ensure your mission will be successful.

Less than 50% of the Indian population has access to safe drinking water. The majority of the population depends on water cans for their daily drinking water requirements. But 85% of the water in circulation in water cans is not fit for drinking.

Consumers in India are highly price-sensitive. Making an everyday product like a water purifier affordable is not easy. There are so many components involved, technology being used, and hundreds of people serving our subscribers. Our subscribers do not have to make a hefty upfront investment to access DrinkPrime. They just need to pay the subscription charges. We proactively schedule maintenance checks and do filter changes for free.

We want to make DrinkPrime subscription affordable to at least 40% of the population in India. For this, we need to do everything it takes to bring down the cost. Every challenge is an opportunity for us. We are coming up with innovative features and product variants to further reduce the subscription cost because that is what will help us fulfill our mission.

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