Companies

Unilever test-markets water purifying sachets in India

Priyanka pani Mumbai | Updated on November 17, 2017 Published on June 25, 2012

BL26_WATER_PROBLEM

Consumer-durable major Unilever is test marketing low-cost chlorine-based Pureit sachets in India, as a part of the firm's global initiative Waterworks.

The parent company’s initiative, undertaken by its Indian arm – Hindustan Unilever, has started in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, where it is distributing free Pureit sachets to people.

The sachets could be an extension of its low-cost purifier brand Pureit.

The sachets can be dipped in a jar or bottle of water and left for a while before consuming. It is as good as boiled water, said a company official.

Though he declined to divulge further details, industry experts believe that depending on the success of these sachets, HUL might launch them in other States on a commercial basis.

In fact, after the success of the product in India, Unilever has decided to introduce Pureit to other countries in South-East Asia, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.

There are not many Indian players in the sachet segment so far. However, Aurangabad-based Prerna Laboratories makes water-testing sachets called “Jal Nirmal De Fluorider Sachet” for domestically removing fluoride from drinking water.

The sachet is simple to use and requires a container and a cloth strainer for treatment. Each sachet can treat 10 litres of water in three hours, said Mr Ravi Savant, Promoter, Prerna Laboratories.

The product could stir up the low-cost purifier market that has players such as Tata Swach targeting rural India. The Rs-3,500 crore purifier market in India is getting fiercely competitive with players such as Eureka Forbes, Panasonic, Okaya, Godrej and Bajaj vying for a larger share in the low cost segment.

Unilever Foundation has partnered with PSI (Population Services International) for the low-cost sachet initiative, as part of global efforts to target 800 million people estimated to be deprived of clean drinking water.

Mr Keith Weed, Unilever’s Chief Marketing Officer, in a statement said that, “Our aim is to provide safe drinking water to 500 million people by 2020 through Unilever Sustainable Living Plan. To achieve this we need to work in partnership.”

Waterworks, operates through a Timeline application developed jointly with Facebook, will connect people and communities in need.

In its initial stage, PSI will train 75 “Waterworkers” who will educate the people in Bhopal about the product and the significance of safe drinking water. These workers, locally employed by the company, will also share their experiences on Facebook to aware people across the globe.

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Published on June 25, 2012
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