Sarvajal uses an innovative solution to provide clean drinking water across India. Sarvajal franchises their proprietary filtration equipment to local entrepreneurs who will then be responsible for operating the machines and selling the water to customers.
Piramal Water Private Limited is a for-profit business that was established in mid-2008 to find viable mass-market solutions to India’s drinking water crisis. The water is sold under the brand “Sarvajal”, meaning “Water for All.”
Piramal Water has it’s roots in the work of the Piramal Foundation, a charitable trust established by Ajay G. Piramal. The foundation initially piloted the Bagar Drinking Water Initiative as part of its Grassroots Development Laboratory in Rajasthan. The goal was to reduce fluoride contamination of drinking water in the Shekhawati region that had been linked to serious health problems.
The pilot revealed the enormous potential for market-based solutions to drive cost leadership, spur technological innovation and establish proper incentives to improve clean water access in India. The initiative was renamed Piramal Water Private Limited.
Like many water service providers, Sarvajal believes that local communities are best positioned to meet their own water needs. Their model puts this belief directly into practice using Rural Franchising.
Sarvajal recruits local entrepreneurs to sell water to their communities from Piramal Water-owned filtration equipment. They do this because:
Local entrepreneurs are offered the opportunity to become Sarvajal Franchisees only after a rigorous due diligence process. Franchisees pay an upfront fee that represents a fraction of the capital cost of the filtration unit. Water revenues are shared 60:40 between the Franchisee and Sarvajal. Most Franchisees will hire an Operator, a Driver (for delivering water direct to households) and a Helper for the Driver – each new Sarvajal location therefore creates on average three local employment opportunities.
Sarvajal was a winner in the Health, Water & Sanitation category in the Sankalp 2010 Awards.