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Janajal: SafeWaterForAll

JanaJal: A boon for the nation


Equitable access to safe drinking water in a sustainable manner and at an affordable price has been a long-standing problem faced by most countries around the world. JanaJal has worked relentlessly to try and address this problem and change the way safe water is perceived to be the privilege of only a select few. Affordability remained the biggest hurdle that required to be overcome.

This was only possible by eliminating all unnecessary costs associated with drinking water such as the cost of a single-use plastic bottle, labeling, logistics costs, and reseller margins while at the same time, protecting the essential nutrients in safe water was critical.

Rapid urbanization and aging pipelines have further aggravated the decline in water quality. Untreated water is now known to also be a carrier of the Covid-19 virus as declared by the United Nations.

Lack of clean water harms health, productivity, hampers economic development, and pollutes the environment; all of which are essential to protect if the generations of the future have to inherit a healthier environment and ecology.

JanaJal has helped evangelize the unpackaged, branded water space by harnessing technology at various levels to drive optimization and efficiency at the operating level for not only its installations but the sector at large. Its proprietary IOT based technology platform called JJSUITE is now being offered as a unified technology platform for all existing decentralized water treatment plants so that consistency in quality, quantity, and transaction management can be implemented.



CLAPS

JanaJal was founded in 2013 with such services focus by its Founders, Dr. Parag Agarwal and Anurag Agarwal who between themselves aspired to build the world’s largest safe water-sharing economy by 2025. All JanaJal Water ATMs have IoT based systems supported by JJSUITE, a unified technology platform with proprietary IOT controllers and sensors that help manage every plant remotely in real-time.

The company has also developed JanaJal WOW (Water on Wheels) a custom electric vehicle for providing last-meter connectivity and delivery of safe water to the doorstep of households. This mitigates the need for increased accessibility and helps drive sustainability for every stakeholder in the value chain through constant and transparent access to data"


Safe Water is also an integral part of the implementation plan of every Smart City initiative in the country. Delhi alone has nearly 800 listed unauthorized slums that do not qualify for a legitimate piped connection to meet their daily water needs. Hence a decentralized safe water distribution initiative is the need of the hour and supported by respective state governments.

The company possesses a strong ability and track record to work with various government departments and agencies across town, city, and State levels. The key to the success of such projects lies in execution. Today, it has delivered millions of liters of safe water to beneficiaries. The Company's proprietary JJSUITE technology platform, IOT controllers, and sensors support operations of existing decentralized water treatment plants. The company has a presence in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa.


With the approval of JanaJal WOW as one of the 5 technology approved under Jal Jeevan Mission and Swachhh Bharat Mission, JanaJal proudly stands recognized by the government of India for its USD 90 billion projects. Its technology-agnostic approach includes creating opportunities with SMART (Sustainable, Measurable, Agnostic, Resilient, and Timely) technology, It stands as India’s no one social enterprise delivering safe water to the society.


Establishment of a dream


Water is a fundamental human need. Approx. 1.8 million people die every year of diarrheal diseases like cholera. Tens of millions of others are seriously sickened by a host of water-related ailments—many of which are easily preventable. Although United Nations considers universal access to clean water a basic human right but access to safe drinking water remains the privilege of a selected few.

In India, bottled water caters to only 5 % of the population leaving 95 percent of the population depending on tap and other sources. JanaJal entered the unpacked water sector with a clear mission to make safe drinking water affordable for those who cannot afford the cost of bottled water.


Driven by the need for sustainability in terms of operations and maintenance the JanaJal water ATM concept was developed to ensure consistency in the quality of water and bring in operational efficiency during the water treatment process. A consumer has the liberty to walk up to a water ATM with their container 24X7 and procure their desired quantity of water on payment of nominal charges which ranges from Rs.1/per liter for non-chilled water to Rs. 5/per liter for chilled water.

During COVID times, technology was further upgraded to touches the delivery of safe water using a QR Code with a mobile application.


The concept stands validated by local administrative bodies, State and Central government, and above all consumers, who are willing to pay a nominal cost to receive this invaluable resource that directly ushers health and wellness in the lives of their family and loved ones.


Achievements:


JanaJal has touched the lives of millions of Indians by becoming India's leading "dedicated water services" Company during the past 8 years. The company aims to deliver One Billion liters of safe water in India by 2022.

JanaJal WOW (Water on Wheels) was listed as the Top 500 Global Tech Start-ups at Slingshot 2020 in Singapore and more recently, selected as one of 5 technologies by the Government of India under the Jal Jeevan Mission to make safe water available to every household in India by 2024 under the “Har Ghar Jal” initiative. JanaJal has won over 40 awards during the past 4 years for innovation and demonstrating a sustainable business model in the social sector.

These include Best Automated Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award 2017, Tech Icon 2018 at Safaigiri Awards by India Today Group, Best Water Distribution Solutions Provider - South Asia, 2019, and Brand of the Year 2020. They have also received several recognitions for their contribution to SDG 6 of the United Nations and are a Vanguard Member of the Million Lives Club, a US-based organization that acknowledges social enterprises that have benefitted over one million people and have the potential to scale up to benefit one Billion in the future.


The Founder’s Journey


Dr. Parag Agarwal was born, raised, and educated in the historical city of Pune. Entrepreneurship was in his blood since childhood. At the age of 15, he joined my family's business and went on to become an entrepreneur after completing his Bachelor of Commerce from Pune University.

A renowned technology evangelist, he has worked with emerging technologies since 1994 across diverse sectors and regions in the world. In 2010, he shifted focus to the water management space and was able to secure some of the largest 24X7 water supply consulting projects in India. At one stage in his career, his technology and technical collaborations extended across 22 countries around the world.

He noticed the gap in demand and supply of safe water, especially the fact that there was no alternative between bottled water of one liter at Rs.20 and free. This was an area that needed disruption by eliminating all unnecessary costs and processes in the water treatment and distribution chain. The cost of drinking water was astronomical and he saw this as an opportunity to make a positive difference in the world. In pursuit of his vision, he relocated to Delhi and established JanaJal.


It became evident to him early on that doing this would not be a simple task. But while most viewed that as a challenge, he saw an opportunity. Along the way, there were several obstacles including a mindset that screamed openly that water should be given away for free.

But he stood his ground firmly stating that “for water to be valued, a value must be attached to water.” He built a sustainable, for-profit social enterprise to serve consumers across all strata of society with equal sensitivity. A collaborative approach that hinged on building PPP models with public bodies while creating a win-all proposition for every stakeholder involved in the implementation was developed.

The goal of these collaborations was to bring together the people with the right mindset, attitude, skills, and resources.


Current scenario of JanaJal


The use of cutting-edge technologies to optimize and drive efficiencies in decentralized water treatment is the need of the hour. An IoT-based open architecture platform like JJSUITE helps integrate and converge billions of dollars worth of existing water infrastructure that is largely under-utilized.

Having established JanaJal Water ATMs in different states and successful demonstration of JJSUITE platform for online monitoring of qualitative and quantitative data with data analysis, the next big move of JanaJal was focused on last-mile delivery of safe drinking water with a mission for Har Ghar Jal.

Therefore, the company conceptualized and pioneered the use of Electric Vehicles (EV) in the social sector by developing JanaJal WOW (Water on Wheels), a fully secure and technology-managed EV that delivers safe water deep into communities in a highly cost-effective and reliable manner. The JanaJal WOW has been recognized as the “Symbol of Innovation” in India by the Oxford University in 2018 and more recently shortlisted as one of the top 5 innovations in India by the Jal Shakti Ministry, Government of India.

It is poised to contribute significantly to the “Har Ghar Jal by 2024” mission of the Government of India. Over the past 6 years, the company has created hundreds of jobs, social entrepreneurs, upskilled individuals to help them secure jobs as water treatment plant operators, and above all, empowered women who are now able to use their time for economically productive activities while children can attend school instead of collecting water for their households.


JanaJal WOW is an IOT controlled three-wheeler fitted with a GPS monitoring system, controllers, and sensors to deliver safe drinking water in Ola/Uber Mode and generate qualitative and quantitative data for all stakeholders.

People have the option to place orders for safe water through the mobile app or receive water in fixed quantity every day under a contract. Option for cashless payments are available on JanaJal WOW and the technology platform can provide interlinking with national UID Aadhaar database whenever concerned state government decides to include safe drinking water under citizen entitlement through its public welfare schemes.


WKRC


Appreciating the vision and mission of JanaJal and wider reach to the community through JanaJal Water ATMs, Safe Water Network India, and USAID has enrolled JanaJal for establishing first-of-its-kind Water Knowledge Resource Centre (WKRC) at select Water ATMs in Delhi, Surat, Madgaon, Lucknow and Ghaziabad under Project SEWAH. This project aims for a collaborative effort among the small water enterprise implementers, civil, public, and private sectors to address the multidimensional challenge of urban water supply.


Through the WKRC initiative, JanaJal is penetrating deeper into communities and spreading awareness to help increase the rate of adoption of safe water as an integral part of their daily lives. The fact that a nominal cost for safe water can result in exponential benefit in terms of health, wellness, women empowerment, increased education for children is explained to the community. A nominal amount of expenditure on safe water must be viewed as an investment, is a message that is critical and now being proliferated through these WKRCs.


Their uniqueness


They work around three principles: Technology, Innovation, and Upgradation. JanaJal is a dynamic force in constant evolution mode and not a static entity.

They adapt and adopt technologies and best practices ahead of changing norms and consumer preferences.


Conclusion:


In the past few years, India has witnessed considerable growth in its social enterprise activity. A new breed of entrepreneurs is realizing that societal needs cannot be left at the disposal of government only and coming out with new ideas and innovations to solve social problems in every sector. There has been increasing recognition within India’s central and state governments regarding the usefulness of engaging or facilitating the private sector to address some of the country’s pressing developmental needs.


The water and sanitation infrastructure in India is under strain because of population growth and rapid urbanization; only a fraction of urban households have access to clean, piped drinking water, and more than half the households in rural and urban areas have no access to any kind of sanitation facility. The demand for clean water and sanitation services is expected to increase in the future and significant investments and interventions are necessary to meet these needs.


It is estimated that waterborne diseases have an economic burden of approximately USD 600 million a year in India. As per the US-based ImpactableX report carried out on JanaJal, approximately 136.8 billion people stand to gain from various safe water delivery models of JanaJal by 2024 resulting in a saving of USD 191 million in terms of the medical cost.


Therefore, If creating social value is the primary objective of social enterprises with economic value as a by-product that allows the organization to be sustainable and self-sufficient then JanaJal stands out with impeccable leadership, a well-crafted vision, and a mission to revolutionize the water delivery sector. It has proved that it is possible to run a company that prioritized the wellbeing of the community, the environment, and every stakeholder l without sacrificing profitability.


Founded: 2013
Industry: Drinking Water
Company size: 50-100 employees
Headquarter: Singapore
Corporate Office: Noida
Type: Private Limited
Website: https://www.janajal.com/