Within a year of launch of the ‘Nano' car, a price-point breaking product aimed at the common man, the Tatas have now launched another people's product, a nano-technology-based water-purifier that needs neither electricity nor running water.
The gadget purifies potable water at 10 paise a litre and is aimed at rural India where water-borne diseases kill lakhs of people every year. The price is pegged between Rs. 499 and Rs. 999.
“Our chairman Ratan Tata had initiated the idea of developing the product mainly for the rural masses who have little access to safe drinking water,” said R. Mukundan, Managing Director of Tata Chemicals, which is readying itself for a national launch of its ‘Tata Swach' brand of water purifiers.
He said that a lot of enquiries were being received from countries in Africa and large parts of Asia. Tata Chemicals sees merit in tying up with a local company in those countries for launching the product. However, at present, the priority is to provide safe water in rural and semi-rural markets. Six lakh units of the product have already been sold and the figure is expected to touch a million by March 2011.
Tata Chemicals is now planning to expand its present one-million-units capacity of Tata Swach (which is made at its Haldia unit here) by setting up a new unit. The location would have to be close to a rice-belt, Mr. Mukundan indicated, saying that the likely investment was of the order Rs. 50 crore. He was optimistic about commencing work on the new unit by this fiscal. Machinery is to be supplied by group company Titan Industries.