Monday, June 27, 2011
The 'Mitticool' revolution: Fridge for the poor
Mansukhbhai does not hug trees, protests or debates. He is a simple potter, with a big green innovation to his name: Mitticool, a refrigerator that runs without electricity. He retails Mitticool all over India for Rs. 2,500 apiece.
It took him four years to get the combination right, mixing and churning different types of clay in different proportions.
He hit the jackpot with an unusual addition of sawdust and sand, which makes the soil porous and the interiors cold.
His inspiration came from a tragedy that shook the entire nation: The Gujarat Earthquake of 2001.
''Journalists came and photographed our broken matkas. They referred to them as the poor man's fridge. I thought why can't we make a real fridge with the same cooling principle?" said Prajapati Mansukhbhai Raghavjibhai, Creator, Mitticool.
From manufacturing to packaging, to R&D Mitticool is a one-man initiative.
''It keeps the water cool. Vegetables kept inside it can last up to a week," said Prajapati Mansukhbhai Raghavjibhai, Creator, Mitticool.
Mansukhbhai sells 50 to 70 Mitticools a month. His biggest markets are Chennai and Hyderabad.
Under this brand name he is also producing water filters, pressure cookers, and non-stick tawas all made of clay.
Retail giants like Big Bazaar are wooing him, but Mansukhbhai is worried that it may push up his prices and the whole idea of Mitticool for the poor may fail.
Now with his new innovations he wants to ensure safe and clean drinking water for all.