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Puneet Gupta, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Clensta International, in an exclusive chat with Mediabrief, speaks about the benefits of waterless technology, about how Clensta is pioneering in this space, the response of audiences, their growth plan and the opportunities for corporates and brands in India to participate in the country’s waterless technology revolution.

Puneet is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management (Calcutta). His expertise lies in B2B sales, procurement, marketing, vendor management, supply chain management, and contract negotiation with more than a decade of experience in the healthcare and defence sector.

Clensta International pioneers in ‘Waterless Technology.’ What is Waterless Technology, and how did the business come about?

While working closely with the defence personnel, I got the opportunity to understand the problems faced by them. The challenge of not bathing for days in places with extreme weather conditions such as Siachen, Kargil or Drass motivated me towards coming up with an alternative solution for them.

After extensive discussions with experts, I realized that, directly or indirectly, the availability of water or the living conditions of an individual are primary reasons for lack of access to something as basic as personal hygiene. This motivated me towards developing waterless technology products, leading to the establishment of my company called Clensta International.

As a responsible organization, we are committed to disrupting the hygiene market by producing an environment- friendly products that do not require water. Our products cater to varied sectors such as defense, healthcare, homecare, travel and space. Innovation is our core philosophy and enthusiastic response from customers motivates us to take a leap even further. Our mantra of ‘clean instantly’ is driven by our aim to create products that promote complete and instant Personal Hygiene without the use of water.

Tell us about its offerings, hygiene care solutions, and why should customers opt for them?

Clensta currently offers 4 major products –

  • Clensta_all-products.pngWaterless Body Bath – A comprehensive bathing solution for healthy hygiene maintenance without the use of water.
  • Waterless Shampoo – An easy application to remove dirt, dust, oil and greasiness from hair without the use of water.
  • Clensta Instant Hand Hygiene Solution – That offers instant 99.9% germ protection with antimicrobial, antiseptic with Prolonged Alcohol Retention (PAR) technology.  The antimicrobial activity of the Clensta Hand Sanitizers against 9 different microorganisms has shown good results as recommended by the WHO for hand sanitizer testing and is also FDA approved. It is an easy, one-stop solution that can be used to protect from 100 disease-causing germs.
  • Clensta CoV-Guard Protection Lotion – The product is a breakthrough advancement in the formulation of engineering chemistry with first of its kind Prolonged Antiviral Protection) Technology that releases antimicrobial agents i.e. reactive oxygen species (ROS) at a controlled level for 12 hours and in turn protecting from 99.9% disease-causing microbes (viruses, bacteria, & fungi) including COVID-19.

Dynamic changes in water availability and the problem of maintaining hygiene in water-scarce areas require effective solutions available on the go. Our innovative waterless technology comprises an easy spray formulation for complete body cleansing without the use of water to rinse off.

Our products are dermatologically tested, free from paraben, SLS and gluten proving it a safe to use formulation. The formulation of our products ensures a delicate yet effective cleansing process, maintaining the moisture of the skin.

The patent formulation has many benefits such as removal of dirt, dust, grease and odor, minimizing wet sheets and nurses’ uniforms, maintaining the pH of the skin, reducing washing times and ancillary costs and more.

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What is the kind of research and development that has been done behind this technology? Any other products in the pipeline?

Our product is the perfect solution in extreme circumstances of soldier stations as it helps in maintaining personal hygiene. It requires minimum space, and water is not required for its usage. Soldiers can take a bath and shampoo in the bunkers thus protecting themselves from any illness. For people who are bed-ridden or ICU patients, mobility is a concern.

A simple formulation which is free of alcohol, SLS, and any other harmful ingredients has been developed and can be used without water. It can be directly applied to hair and body, massaged and then can be dried off using a towel. The product removes dirt, oil, and grease completely.

The relative amount of ingredients and the ratio (weight/vol %) of every ingredient and its synergism makes our product different from a normal shampoo. Due to this combination the products are able to maintain the same level of cleansing effect without leaving the same high level of residue, which can hence be wiped with a towel/tissue without the use of water to wash it off.

Additionally, with low aquatic & soil toxicity, strong biodegradability with a lower rate of bio-accumulation. An extensive research & testing on efficacy, antimicrobial activity, stability, skin irritation has been done and approved by the third party for these clinical validations.

We have prepared our product using the ingredients that will break down in nature with high-rate acceptable concentrations, so that unacceptable concentrations of a surfactant or its metabolism are not generated in the environment.

The future plan is to develop a range of home care products including hand wash, glass & multi surface cleaner, car shampoo, instant stain remover, floor cleaner, dish cleaner, toilet cleaner, pigeon repellent, room freshener with germ protection formula and vegetable cleaner.

Embedded with specialized Enhanced Bioactivity of the ingredients to Degrade the microorganisms along with the Cleansing (EBDC) technology, wherein we have accelerated the activity and efficacy of the active ingredients using other excipients in the product formulation. Each product is technically engineered and formulated in a concentrated form where it can be further dissolved in a large amount of water to prepare the ready to use solution.

What kind of response have you received so far, and who is Clensta’s core target consumer?

Given in the year, our product is widely accepted in Army, Navy, Private and government hospitals in India like –

  • All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)
  • Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML)
  • Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO)
  • Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital (SSKM)
  • CK Birla
  • Metro Hospitals
  • 1MG
  • Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and more

Clensta has achieved wide appreciation for its innovation for waterless technology products since its inception. We have received appreciation form Honorable President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind for “Innovation that benefits all”.

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The market area is huge which includes defense, hospitals, adventure enthusiasts & travelers, Space, OTC & Home Care available at domestic & international scale. Our business is scaled from the aspect of B2B and B2B2C.

In terms of Distribution channel, we have a well-connected distribution network in place that works closely towards making our product available to various market segments and other market areas resolving issues related to maintaining hygiene.

We have served 500+ hospitals and 25000+ retails outlets & pharmacies. Further to reach customers, we are building the channels of online shopping through company websites and various e-commerce portals. The plan is to integrate B2B2C and D2C networks largely.

We’ve been working on the Make in India scheme to produce waterless technology products in the homeland providing employment opportunities not only to the daily wage laborers but also the manufacturing units to produce and export the same to consumer demands worldwide.

Our mission is to be an affordable healthcare provider with hospitals across India, to improve its environmental management, with a focus on hygiene standards and water efficiency. Healthcare organizations are typically some of the larger water users, so it’s imperative that they actively seek ways to manage it properly, particularly in water stressed regions of India.

How has the brand grown since 2016?

We aim to maintain waterless innovation for a better aspect of transforming awareness of good health, affordable cost, and less plastic waste into concrete action towards sustainability. We bring a broad range of expertise to advance knowledge in and application of cost reduction on single-use plastic products and work with experts to apply it.

The scalability of the product in the rural area is going to have an impact on the economy, as the employment of individuals ensures the maintenance of public demand. There is a rise in the requirement to match the public demand via man force. Thus, creating a chain of empowerment in the rural areas will scale the employment opportunity for all.

Since the overall thrust of the new national water policy is towards people’s participation at all stages, the highest priority should be accorded to the training of those who are to manage the water resources at all levels. The planning must sensitize all partners to the demands of a people’s planning approach to water resource development.

What we thought of an idea has grown into an innovative healthcare solutions company that has witnessed an upward curve growth since its inception. Within one year of commercialization, the company grew at a rate of 4x and targets to reach 10x with a growth rate of 200%.

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How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Clensta’s business?

India is managing the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic using unprecedented public health and economic measures. Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) exporters have been impacted more by the lockdown on account of COVID-19 pandemic as the sector accounts for over 45 per cent in the country’s total outbound shipments, according to trade experts.

There could be major strategies that could be deployed in the wage to support all the micro industries to retain their business. A wage support or subsidy package would enable employers to pay salaries and other statutory dues to daily wage workers, especially in such units.

It will be impactful that the self-employed MSME units be given the safety net needed to navigate this crisis. There may be room to compensate (subject to a cap) self-employed businesses who can prove a decrease in turnover.

COVID-19 is a crisis with an unforeseeable ending. What is clear though is that the government and businesses, both large and small will have to work together to ensure the protection of workers, be ready for risk-management in terms of phased re-starting of business operations and be prepared and open to structural changes in business activities.

What is the current market size, and what are the opportunities for companies working on waterless technology?

As far as the Indian ecosystem is concerned; the target market is worth 11000 crores (In INR). Considering the importance of the product, the market would increase multiple folds across the globe. The market area is huge which includes defense, hospitals, adventure enthusiasts & travelers, Space, OTC & Home Care available at domestic & international scale. Our business is scaled from the aspect of B2B as well as B2B2C.

Our revenue model is driven by selling off these waterless products. We follow a B2B sales channel for sales wherein the product is sold via a distribution network.

In terms of Distribution channel, we have a well-connected distribution network in place that works closely towards making our product available to various market segments and other market areas resolving issues related to maintaining hygiene. Further to reach customers, we are building the channels of online shopping through various e-commerce portals.

What are your marketing plans, and do you plan to tie-up with retailers, distributors in the future?

Our products are made for all the age groups as we believe good health and affordable costing and planet saving is the need for the hour.

We aim to maintain waterless innovation for a better aspect of transforming awareness of good health, affordable cost, less plastic waste into concrete action towards sustainability. We bring a broad range of expertise to advance knowledge in and application of cost reduction on single-use plastic products and work with experts to apply it.

The estimated revenue generated could go up to 2 million dollars and the conservation of water has amounted to 135 liters per person. We work toward making the business from innovation in term of revised delivery mechanisms. Our model is driven by cost-effectiveness (70% cost reduction). Our product is going to be a great motivation for all the families out there belonging to any financial class.

We have built a product towards where the unit economy is positive. We work on profit selling margin with responsible manufacturing to make a product better and affordable.

In terms of Distribution channel, we have a well-connected distribution network in place that works closely towards making our product available to various market segments and other market areas resolving issues related to maintaining hygiene. Further to reach customers, we are building the channels of online shopping through company websites and various e-commerce portals.

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What are some of the developments that can be expected in Waterless technology in the next five years?

Waterless technologies are not only the solution to solving India’s sanitation issue, but they are also key to water security. These waterless technologies have a promising future as they have the potential to revolutionize water usage especially, in the healthcare sector, with the use of innovation and scaling up of infrastructure.

The company is actively working on providing hygienic solutions with waterless technology in Homecare and Personal care range. Futuristic Clensta products are based on new emerging Technology i.e. EBDC where it stands for Enhanced Bioactivity of the ingredients to Degrade the microorganisms along with the cleansing technology.

In this technology, we have accelerated the activity and efficacy of the active ingredients using other excipients in the product formulation. Each product is technically engineered and formulated in a concentrated form where it can be further dissolved in a large amount of water to prepare the ready to use solution. The product portfolio includes a range of personal and surface sanitation products.

The key challenge is to build the customers’ trust and usher a behavioural change towards these products. Since our substantial customers are in the defence and healthcare sectors, ensuring the quality and effectiveness of these products is also our major responsibility.

Sustainability has, of late, become a new dimension for corporates worldwide. Corporates should come forward to foster a culture that promotes sustainability, ethical practices to make the planet greener for future generations. Bolstered by enabling policy reforms, the evolution of cutting-edge technologies and innovation, these waterless problems are a way forward to a greener future.

Also, there is no dearth of talent and fresh perspectives that will help businesses in these segments to evolve and grow continuously. We, at Clensta International, are poised to disrupt the personal hygiene space through our cutting-edge technological advancements.