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After Nano, Tatas’ water purifier at Rs 1000
MUMBAI, DEC 8 (AGENCIES):
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Published on 8 Dec. 2009 11:56 PM IST
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After Nano, ‘Swach’ sweep? The Tata group has taken the plunge to help resolve one of the crucial issues plaguing rural India - access to clean drinking water. Tata Chemicals on Monday unveiled a water purifier named ‘Swach’ under the Rs 1,000 price tag. Given rural India’s potential and the cut-throat competition in the purifier market, the affordable ‘Swach’ - manufactured using nanotechnology - is sure to create a buzz. Studies show that 75% of the rural population doesn’t have access to pure drinking water leading to high incidence of water-borne diseases and the group is aiming to address this issue through Tata Swach. Group chairman Ratan Tata said, “The social cost of water contamination is already enormous and increases every year. I hope it (Tata Swach) makes a mark in deterring diseases.” After taking a sip from a Swach unit, Tata on a lighter note said that he was delighted to know that “he was still standing”. Tata Swach is a result of four years of research and development by Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Chemicals and Titan Industries. While the software company brought in nanotechnology, Tata chemicals developed the concept using low-cost ingredients like rice husk ash and Titan designed the manufacturing process. Priced at sub-Rs 1,000 level, its USP is that it doesn’t need electricity - a vital challenge in rural India. Interestingly, Tata Swach will compete with its pricier cousin, Aquaguard, from Eureka Forbes, owned by Shapoorji Pallonji group. The constructions-to-consumer durable group is the single-largest shareholder in Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata group. Tata Swach will face stiff competition from MNCs like HUL’s Pureit and Philips as well as some homegrown brands. Tata Chemicals will be marketing the product using its vast distribution reach in hinterland.

 
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