Over-reliance on groundwater and water contamination from aging water pipes and poor handling of wastewater is contributing to a global water crisis. Unfortunately, tap water in some places is not safe as it may contain harmful contaminants such as arsenic and lead. Some brands have seized this opportunity to help developing countries by devising a smart device which is capable of providing families with more than 300 liters a month of pure drinking water enriched with minerals and devoid of any harmful contaminants, generally found in tap and bottled water. In an exclusive conversation with the Financial Express Online New York-headquartered Kara Water’s Co-founder & CEO, Cody Soodeen talked about the water purifiers business and brand’s entrance into the Indian market. Excerpts:
What’s air to water technology? Also, Kara claims to be the world’s first 9.2+ pH Air-To-Water Dispenser manufacturer. How beneficial it is from a health perspective?
Air-to-water is technology that captures water from the air and renders it usable. Currently there are two competing technologies (refrigerant, desiccant). Desiccant technology uses zeolites, which is similar to volcanic rock, to capture water molecules in the air in tiny pores. The water molecules and zeolite are heated to effectively boil the water from the desiccant technology, killing 99.99% of viruses and bacteria in the air passing through, and catching the water in a reservoir. Refrigerant based technology uses cool temperatures to create condensation. The water drips down into a water catchment. Refrigerant technology lacks the ability to kill airborne viruses and germs – one major benefit of desiccant technology. In a post covid world, this makes desiccant technology superior to refrigerant products.
After entering the reservoir, the drinking water is infused with rare-health-benefiting minerals and ionized to produce water with 9.2+ pH and an ultra-smooth profile. Kara Pure’s water is constantly circulated over a UV light to ensure its freshness.
Our air-to-water dispenser is the only commercially available product to offer 9.2+ pH water, which is also called alkaline water. Alkaline water promotes an alkaline environment in the human body. Our alkaline and mineral rich environment can promote bone strength, boost immunity, regulate blood pressure, aid digestion, and improve skin health. Along with the rare mineral profile, Kara Pure alkaline water is amongst the best drinking water available.
What exactly is meant by “Atmospheric Water Dispenser” “Air-to-Water Dispenser”? And how will Kara Pure pioneer in India?
Atmospheric Water generators refer to our predecessors which are industrial machines created and designed without considering the setting in which the consumer will use them. Kara Pure is an air-to-water dispenser and was created with design thinking in which prioritizes user experience. Kara Pure will pioneer the way for air-to-water dispensers throughout India by bridging the gap between technology that seems like science-fiction and connecting it to the well-known concept of water dispensers.
Many homes in India have a water system that relies on groundwater. As a consumer, we are not as concerned that our water comes from 100km away as long as we have drinking water. Likewise, air-to-water may be captivating, but we want to promote the reliability of air-to-water over the technology. Even so, there is a sense of magic when drinking water is dispensed without a water line.
Many major cities in India, such as Mumbai and Goa, have high humidity year-round. Kara Pure’s process is pulling air in, that contains high humidity found in these major cities, into our system and outputting healthy water from the reliable humidity. The result, Kara Pure turns air into water. This is what we mean by air-to-water dispenser.
How is the Air-to-Water Dispenser different from Regular Water purifiers?
Regular Water purifiers depend on groundwater delivered through an underground infrastructure. Kara Pure sources our water from the humidity in the air all around you. This means our water is hyper local and does not require extensive treatment for consumption. We then infuse the water with rich minerals resulting in alkaline water, adding unique health benefits.
Kara Pure requires no water infrastructure in a building nor provided by the municipality. All the customer has to do is plug it in. This means Kara Pure’s water stays free of any metals or contaminants found in aging pipes.
According to you, how can India’s Water Filtration sector benefit from the optimal use of the Air-to-Water Dispenser?
Kara Pure purifies air water using an innovative heating process to eliminate airborne viruses, germs and other contaminants. Our customers benefit from our unique mineralization filters and alkalizers. In turn, India’s Water Filtration sector will benefit from access to this new channel for premium filters.
We manufacture Kare Pure in India, creating jobs and reinvesting Kara Pure’s success in India.
Why does Kara Water plan to enter the Indian market?
Kara water is entering India to address the adverse shift of policy for other drinking water solutions. India is a large market with a growing premium consumer and increasing water demands. With policy decisions to mitigate the negative effects of reverse osmosis (RO) on the environment and to prevent knock-off bottled water brands, which are at an all-time high, there is a great need in India for innovative and safe water technology.
As India continues to move towards name brand consumer products, Kara Water is positioning itself to be the brand that people want. The company plans to make its initial impact in the highly dense financial heart of India, Mumbai, and then plans to expand outwards across India. Kara Water wants to make air-to-water mainstream.
How different is the Indian market for water purifiers as compared to the USA? Plans ahead to meet the challenges, if any?
According to our data, consumers in India are more aware of water purifiers compared to the consumers in the US. While building a brand in an international country, you must be proactive in learning about your customer. Cody, the CEO, learned about cultural differences through growing up with immigrant parents from Trinidad while he was born and raised in the US. He and His parents often had cultural misunderstandings.
To develop Kara Water for launch in India, he was deliberate in partnering with local business organizations with local knowledge and contacts. Kara Water started with an accelerator hosted by Columbia Global Centers Mumbai to kick start their knowledge of running a business in India. They are working with DCF, a company introducing international products in India and providing outsourced services. They also partnered with Chimp&Z an Indian marketing agency with nuanced knowledge of launching a brand in India. Kara Pure’s design was born in America. That said, from manufacturing to marketing, Kara Water is an Indian brand and will continue to seek out local experts at every level to provide India with the best product that will meet their needs.
What is the scope and/or the India market size for your industry/domain where you are operating?
Currently we are focused on selling to the greater- Mumbai area where our target audience is over 500,000 customers. We originally thought women would be highly interested in our product due to its unique health benefits. Surprisingly, men who are business or organizational leaders or aspiring leaders have shown the most interest in the product for their home, offices, homes of their extended family, and other spaces.
How do you market and sell Kara Pure? (Please mention both online and offline channels, if applicable)
Currently, we are running a lead generation campaign over online marketing and selling through our customer success representative. Customers can find us at www.karawater.com or learn more from our social media page on Instagram at Karawaterinc.
How do you plan to introduce the brand in tier 2 and tier 3 markets of India as the product primarily caters to the premium segment due to pricing and services?
We are primarily focused on the tier 1 cities that we are selling into at this time. Expansion into tier 2 and tier 3 cities is in the pipeline. We plan to partner with an EMI service to allow us to open up sales channels into Tier 2 and 3 cities. This will increase our customer base by allowing people to pay over time without having to adjust our financial strategy.