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Pure Drinking Water 'From Air' Units for Home @Rs 1 Lakh: AKVO

But with no regulation or certification for Atmospheric Water Generators (AWG), companies cannot package and market these products says Navkaran Singh Bagga, Founder & CEO, AKVO Atmospheric Water Systems

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Say good bye to water scarcity at home or in your office. Kolkata-based firm AKVO Water System brings the 'Akvo Pod', an atmospheric water generator ideal for homes, offices and small businesses. This unit can make up to 50 liters of pure drinking water per day (apart from offering bigger machines for generating 1000 liters per day and more). The Akvo Pod, the company claims, uses a superior filter system that delivers pure and healthy drinking water at only Rs 2 per liter. "The only cost to operate the machine is its electric consumption making it a cost effective machine that uses the least amount of power to generate the most amount of water – with zero environmental impact," says Navkaran Singh Bagga, Founder & CEO, AKVO Atmospheric Water Systems.  

Atmospheric Water Generators (AWG) are machines that can produce water from air. They work on electricity and use the simple process of condensation and filtration to produce fresh and clean water which can be used as per one’s needs. No external source of water is required whatsoever. There are only a handful of companies that are offering such products, AKVO Atmospheric Water Systems being one of them.  

The landing cost of Akvo Pod, Bagga says, is Rs 99,000 including complete installation and change of filters once every year. The company is also offering a bigger unit with the daily capacity of 100 liters per day (lpd) at Rs 1.99 lakh, for home/office use. Even bigger units are also available for larger usage.   

Bagga says AKVO works on a simple plug and play method and consumes one unit of electricity to run for an hour. AKVO has now become India’s largest AWG manufacturer with over 200 machines sold in India and Gulf countries. 

The company says its products are designed to run at temperatures ranging from 10-degree Celsius to 60-degree Celsius with humidity factor of 30-80%, making it a viable model to deploy in coastal and hilly areas, especially in tropical countries that are rich in atmospheric moisture content. The machines are rated for different run times and generation capacities. For example, one model can run for 24 hours and produce 100 litres in ideal condition. It draws 250Wh of energy per litre of water generated which also reduces the stress on the grid when runs on power generated from localised renewable sources. 

Big Challenge 

There has been and will be multiple challenges, says Bagga. "We are facing a lot of challenges policy wise at the moment as till now there is no BIS Certification for AWG’s but BIS Certification is available for RO and UV filtered water. Although AKVO AWGs is way ahead in terms of the purity of the water, TDS levels yet we cannot package and market this water as there is no opportunity to apply for certification from Government. Secondly, the ever-growing dependence on underground water sources must stop. With more stringent policies which is the need of the hour unethical usage of groundwater and boring needs to be discontinued. The scale of AWGs in India is enormous and with the right guidelines," Bagga adds who holds an undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK and also hold an MBA Degree from The SP Jain Institute of Management Research. 

Currently, AKVO has a top line of a little over Rs 2 crore and with an expanding distribution network and new markets in the Gulf, it expects to hit its target of Rs 12 crore in the coming financial year. "We’ve grown 3x in the last 3 years. And for FY 20-21 we will continue our growth momentum," says Bagga.  

Successful Usage 

AKVO played an instrumental role in providing an alternative solution in water scarcity hit Chennai during the summer months of 2019 which drew global attention. The Greater Chennai Corporation had installed AKVO atmospheric water generator in its premises on a trial basis. The company is in talks with other big MNCs in Chennai to install the machine at its offices. Currently over 50 machines have been installed in Chennai across schools, residential complexes, private institutions etc. 

Over 44 AKVO machines have been installed at the Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium, with an order for over 350 more. To strengthen their proposition in the Middle East AKVO atmospheric water systems have also installed their new 300 litre machine at SEWA (Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority). DP World has already installed their first machine in their Dubai port. 

NTPC, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Haldia (6 machines running and providing water to 900 factory workers), Hero Moto Corp has installed one machine in its plant in Haryana, and other government bodies are also trusting AKVO machines in providing clean drinking water. Six machines have been installed in Lakshadweep Island as well in association with the local government. 

"We are also setting up a 50-litre machine at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai which will run on a trial basis," says Bagga.  

What's next for AKVO? "We are also working on a tabletop model which can replace bottled water at hotel rooms, reducing the plastic usage and also saving the environment," says Bagga.  

Cost Dynamics 

This water is cheaper than any RO/UV or bottled market water, the company claims. "While the RO/UV filtrated water wastes 4 litres of water for just 1 litre of drinking water, our machine has zero water wastage. The bottled mineral water which is marketed is available anywhere between INR 4.50 to INR 5.00 per litre and always has the cleanliness suspicion tag attached with it, while ours costs only INR 1.75 to INR 2.00 per litre," Bagga says.