boon, vibha tripathi, advait kumar

Dynamic Mother-Son Duo: Tackling Plastic Waste with Sustainable Water Solutions

India generates approximately 3.3 million metric tonnes of plastic waste annually, as reported by The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The United Nations indicates that only 9% of global plastic waste is recycled, leading to a significant amount of plastic pollution in water bodies. Studies suggest that by 2050, oceans could contain more plastic than fish. To combat this issue and enhance access to clean water, Boon, a global water-tech startup enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT), is addressing both challenges simultaneously. Founded in 2015 by Vibha Tripathi and Advait Kumar, Boon, based in Gurugram and Singapore, provides drinking water solutions for communities, rural areas, hospitality establishments, corporations, and others.

Boon developed its patented IoT platform, Clairvoyant, to manage its network of dispersed treatment plants. This technology was later adapted for hotels and offices, leading to the introduction of the “Zero Mile Water” concept. This concept replaces plastic water bottles with sustainable glass bottles. Boon primarily operates on a B2B and B2G (business-to-government) model, with 60% of its business coming from the hospitality sector, 30% from corporate clients, and 10% from its solar-powered self-service water refilling solution, WaterATMs. The startup operates in 17 Indian states, with an R&D center in Gurugram and teams in various cities. It serves over 300 clients, providing clean water to more than half a million people daily. Boon’s pricing varies but ranges from less than one lakh to several lakhs.

Boon is experiencing rapid growth at a rate of 4X year-on-year and expects to generate Rs 35 crore in revenue in FY23-24 and nearly 90 crore in the following year. The company also has plans to enter the B2C market by offering home water purification solutions.

Boon initially started as Swajal and introduced WaterATMs to address water quality and scarcity issues in villages. The company has deployed hundreds of WaterATMs in states like Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha. Boon has also partnered with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to provide clean drinking water at railway stations and collaborates with government agencies like the Department of Science and Technology, Trade Development Board, and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to offer affordable drinking water to communities in need. The startup aims to expand its clean drinking water services to underserved communities in Africa and the Sub-Saharan region in the near future.

Boon’s AI-enabled IoT water purification platform, Clairvoyant, enables stakeholders to monitor, customize, and analyze drinking water quality and quantity continuously. Boon’s water purifiers and dispensers ensure real-time clean water monitoring, and AI tools assess equipment health while sterilizing containers using WaterOZO Technology. The collected data from purifiers informs future design improvements. Boon offers three product lines: WaterSense, WaterCube, and ZeroMileWater, each serving specific purposes related to water purification and sustainability. By integrating IoT technology into its water dispensers, Boon facilitates real-time information for technicians, enabling proactive maintenance scheduling and minimizing downtime.

Through its NetZero Water Initiative, Boon claims to replace 22 plastic bottles every minute. Their water purifiers are reported to be up to four times more efficient than standard purifiers and can hold up to three times more minerals. The Zero Mile Water Initiative has resulted in a reduction of over 500,000 kilograms of carbon emissions, equivalent to the carbon absorbed by 26,000 average mature trees in a year.

The India Water and Wastewater Treatment Technologies Market is projected to grow from $0.92 billion in 2023 to $1.54 billion by 2028, with a CAGR of 10.78% during the forecast period. Boon secured $1.6 million in funding from RVCF Rajasthan Asset Management Company Pvt Ltd (RAMC) and a group of investors led by Pramod Agarwal, the former CFO of P&G’s global hair care division. The company has a presence in the Middle East and South Asia and plans to expand into Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines to address environmental concerns, eliminate plastic waste, and reduce the region’s carbon footprint. Boon anticipates investing up to $10 million in the ASEAN region, with an estimated revenue of around $50 million in the coming years.

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