These Start-ups are combating Covid-19 With Grants from an Indian Billionaire
“Nothing is more expansive than a missed opportunity.” As this pandemic started spreading all over the country, Suhani Mohan Mumbai based entrepreneur saw a dire shortage of face masks. The Cofounder and CEO of Saral Designs, which develops ultra-thins Sanitary pad making machines that make high quality and affordable sanity pads, quickly reset one of her machines to make disposable face masks. The 30-year-old entrepreneur is also
manufacturing mask making machines.
Suhani Mohan and her co-founder Kartik Mehta knew, that they cannot do it alone and needed help so they emailed an Indian auto billionaire Anand Mahindra, who gave quick response to their email and connected them to the Mahindra’s engineers. Those engineers helped the due with procuring parts, fabrication, and assembling. Mask making machine was ready within 100 hours.
This start-up has made a million masks till now. These masks are designed with non-woven polypropylene and were sold to hospitals at a low price. The company has manufactured a fully automated machine, that can produce 80 masks in a minute and is looking forward to producing a million masks in a month.
The upgraded machine has cost 55,000 dollars that were provided by an Indian billionaire Harsh Mariwala’s Innovate2BeatCOVID initiative. He made an announcement of the initiative in March 2020 through his Marico Innovation Foundation.
Mariwala foundation and ATE Chandra Foundation (Founded by Amit Chandra the chairman and MD of Bain Capital Private Equity) has come together to make this initiative possible, and to offer a total grant value of RS 2.5 crores: Mariwala contributed 15 million and while Chandra contributed 10 million rupees with the reaming 100,000 dollars by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Mariwala believes that any crisis creates many new ideas.
The companies are selected by the board led by an Indian scientist Dr. Raghunath Anant, who is a former director of General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. The focus is one backing homegrown start-ups which can grow fast as soon as possible.
Mariwala explained that his role is to scale up the start-ups, obtain regulatory approvals, and assist in distribution and Brading. One of the third companies Saral is in the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) segment. Some awardees start-ups in the ventilator segment will be proclaimed in the upcoming week or so.
The second start-up is supported by Mariwala, the company called Log 9 materials from Bangalore, the company recently has got about $100,000 from the Innovate2BeatCOVID grant to develop a Unique multi-focal UVL (Ultra Violet Light) disinfection chamber called as Corona Ovens that can sanitize anything within 10 min.
The chamber size is similar to microwave that comes in 20 L, 30 L, and 40 L- with the help of it, you can sanitize shops, and home including masks, cell phones. With the help of the A33 L version, you can sanitize your groceries and eight N95 Mask.
The Corona Ovens price has between $140 and $ 190 and has already sold 1200 units-online. Now the log9 is coming with the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore to lunch new variants. For the safety and intensity, the ovens have been tested in IISc labs.
Log 9 Materials is a nanotech company, founded by Akshay Singhal, Kartik Hejela and Pankaj Sharma in 2015. These all have graduated from IIT Roorkee. The trio began manufacturing the product on March 24, the day India went into a nationwide lockdown and shipped their first oven on April 11. At the moment, the company produces 120 units per day. The oven has been developed and deployed larger variants for airport use to sanitize trolley, escalator handles, and many others.
“We are looking to develop a battery-based portable version for the food delivery segment and cabinets for restaurants and food outlets,” said Singhal, Log 9’s CEO “Direct exposure to UVC light is harmful, hence we have ensured no light can leak out of the box during operation. Medicines are also not recommended for disinfection since there is a possibility that it might alter the drug composition.” As per Forbes.
The third one start-up called Crea Worldwide has got funding $ 55,000 for the initiative, the company makes personal protective kits for healthcare workers, dentists, and the police force. The PPE Kits include a face shield, breathable hydrophobic polyester, parka and coveralls, use non-laminated fabrics. A kit can be used up to 12 hours even in India’s searing summer heat.
The Founder of Crea Upkar Sharma was in the business of making military defense gear, without wasting time, he moved to make PPE gear. His first kit was ready in less than a week and now makes 1,300 kits in a day. He has said that they would make 4000 to 4500 kits per day.
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