Best Ideas 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
Tide: Minerals for Everyone
Explain your idea in details:
The first man used the gift of nature freely. Today, we pay for every usage of that gift. Our gift has become a loan on which the interest climbs. Well illustrated by Indian mineral water industry pivoting on a fixed retail price where majority cannot afford it. The implications are clear: poor are not supposed to know the taste of mineral water. Yet, mineral water is better source of nourishment than plain water. It provides zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron - not luxury ingredients but essential for everyone. 2 liters mineral water can supply large part of daily mineral need - decisive considering the widespread mineral deficiency in India! However, where 76 million Indians can't get safe drinking water, the dream of mineral water for all remains that - just a dream. I never doubted the impossibility of this dream until that I noticed sparrows and people drinking alike from Swiss water fountains. Way of life for them, it was close to surreal for me - clean, free water! Inspired by the fountains but keeping in mind India's environmental pollution and space constraints, Tide offers a network of compact, enclosed mineral water vending booths. They aim to provide customisable mineral water as per regional nutrient needs to wide socioeconomic segment at a fraction of market price. Selling 'only the necessary' - water out of nozzle - implies another thing: zero plastic. So how will those who don't carry bottles drink this subsidized mineral water? The booths offer dispensable containers made of either polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) or seaweed, cheaper biodegradable alternatives to plastic. Tide addresses a pressing healthcare need sustainably and inclusively while automatically addressing parallel issues, e.g. plastic waste. Also, being 100% outsourced, Tide will be everyone's responsibility and everyone's benefit. So is why I describe it as a system that provides "Minerals for Everyone".
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
I chose to call my idea "Tide" to signify positive change. A "fresh tide", signifying accessible and affordable mineral water in a sustainable and inclusive ecosystem, will wash away the "old tide" signifying malnutrition, low access to clean water, and plastic waste. Tide hopes to positively impact sustainable development by: 1. Creating consciousness about the benefits of mineral water and guiding people towards choosing this source of nourishment whenever there is a cost effective choice. 2. Making mineral water accessible and affordable. India houses more people without access to clean drinking water than any other country. This is a major cause of diseases, malnutrition, and mortality. Introducing subsidised and accessible mineral water will be a groundbreaking step forward in public health and reducing inequalities. 3. Outsourcing every component of business, Tide will employ and encourage other practitioners of sustainability. 4. Providing customisable mineral water by collaborating with water plants of different regions, to ensure right nutrition reaches people. 5. Substituting plastic with cheaper biodegradable options such as PHA and seaweed, Tide will not contribute to plastic waste and even encourage PHA and biodegradable packaging industry in India. This is critical as plastic waste per day in India is 25,940 tonnes of which bottled water contribute significantly. Also, plastic bottles can affect consumer's health as they contain bisphenol-A and pthalates. 6. Saving public money on unnecessary features such as compulsory containers as in case of mineral water bottles, Tide will promote responsible consumption. 7. Being inclusive through its additional features - e.g. Tide plans to start its mobile application to collect redeemable coupons for its usage, with sliding scale system where value of coupon is inversely proportional to the income of user. Additionally, an alert button that can be dialed by anyone to signal when the water runs out will save time on checking and monitoring.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
With so many concerns being addressed by Tide, the collective support of multiple companies or units each expert in own sphere will be more efficient than undertaking to solve all these concerns alone. Thus, Tide sees itself as a 100% outsourced company with the following stakeholders: 1. Mineral water plants 2. Logistics companies 3. Vending structure installation support (engineers and construction workers) 4. System operators (for water refilling) 5. PHA units and biodegradable packaging units 6. Software engineers and designers (for mobile application development and cloud monitoring of the system) 7. Marketing companies 8. Physical office space providers 9. Government (for financial or policy support through its schemes) 10. Business managers, employees and investors 11. Consumers By outsourcing the best professional service in each operation, Tide wants to be a highly efficient, competitive, and reliable system. While target area is India, an opportunity to test Tide in a village will be the first step. For financing, I have thought of crowdfunding and angel investment. Venture capital is an option, too. But I'm exploring more options and hunting for guidance with regards how to finance the idea as it is not my area of expertise. Government schemes like MUDRA Yojana and Stand Up India are excellent options for entrepreneurs with little resources. To begin with, I'm looking for a team of people to support my idea and a few companies or industry units who are open to collaboration.
My name is Kashwin Sahaiya. I'm 24 years old and a resident of Delhi, the national capital where paradox is not hard to find. Be it our summers and winters, gap between rich and poor, or modernity against a backdrop ancient cultural heritage and architecture - contrasts exist in a natural harmony. I did my graduation in fashion design from National Institute of Fashion Technology, Mumbai. I have 3+ years full-time experience across general management, business development, and supply chain operations in a retailer, a fashion technology start-up, and a design label, respectively. I consider myself a permanent explorer as I'm always on lookout for new information. That's perhaps why I have undertaken many academic courses, freelance projects, and internships. I have an edX certificate in Statistics from Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. My internships range from being with a celebrity couturier to a national level juvenile children's NGO wherein I'm a fellow. Currently, I run a public charitable trust Silk Route alongside 2 other trustees. This was started in January 2018, but the idea was born in 2014 when I'd led a craft cluster intitiative in collaboration with Ministry of Textiles. Just as my idea of Tide focuses on 'access' of mineral water, Silk Route strives to provide fair market access to local artisans. My other interests include writing, acting, and traveling. I was once lucky to get published by Berg in an international journal through a global fashion writing competition wherein I received special mention alongside 3 winners. I was also a national finalist for Society of Dyers and Weavers Young Talent Search and I presented my paper on a waterless dyeing technology to leading industry experts . In future, I want to be a writer and entrepreneur. I want to start an organisation that will stand for inclusion.n