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We’ll Be Foraying Into More Cities To Reach Our Customer Base Across The Nation: V Deekshith Vara Prasad, Founder & CEO, AirOK

In an interview with BW Disrupt, V Deekshith Vara Prasad, Founder & CEO, AirOK, talks about company’s business model, business, competition and more

1. Brief us about your business model like how did the idea come to start and how does it work?
 During initial projects after graduating from IIT Madras, we the founders realised that the existing filter technology, i.e.HEPA, had a few loopholes. The findings of a literature survey done by us manifested clear gaps in the air cleaning solution. Following this we introduced a patented EGAPA technology to provide a comprehensive air solution, for indoors as well as ambient. AirOK’s range of purifiers ensures a complete air cleaning solution.
 
 2. What are the unique key points of your company?
 The most unique factor about AirOK is its patented EGAPA technology. A determining factor of the air space in any premise is the level of CO2 concentration. The EGAPA technology helps maintain the CO2 level/Microbes which help in killing of bacteria and viruses up to 0.3 microns.

This Technology is made of special media that can absorb CO2 and many other acidic gases in the air. This technology has wide range of applications especially in all mechanically ventilated indoor spaces where there is no provision for fresh air to enter

3. How are you different from the existing competitors?
As mentioned earlier, it is our technology that makes us different from our competitors. Some of the best tech brands are into air purifiers, and all have some or the other speciality. But at the same time, there's a void when it comes to a comprehensive air cleaning solution. This is where we stand out of the clutter as our technology does much more than simply purifying the air.
 
 4.What is the funding status and monetization model?
 IIT Madras Incubation cell had initially provided a seed fund of Rs 5 lakh to help us develop several prototypes. Following that, we raised a few Million USD in Series-A funding and since then we have remained operational in the market.
 
 5. What challenges are you facing in running your business?
 Every business is facing a major challenge in the wake of the pandemic. The sales suffered due to the lockdown, but now we are back and set to foray into retail too. Vijay Kannan, the most prominent name in the air purifiers industry is also on board with us as the Chief Strategy Officer, who will formulate and execute a new comprehensive company growth strategy.
 
 Initially, we had faced challenges in getting our technology validated by a third party organisation, as it was first of its kind. Finally, we identified a standard test protocol to validate the technology which has helped us get the best products for our fellow Indians.
 
 6. How has been the people's response so far?
 The response to AirOK has been exhilarating and encouraging. And now with our foray into retail, we will be in a better position to judge the response of the consumers.
 
 7. What are the traction details (like users, app downloads & other achievements of the company)?
 We have a website in place to answer all our customer queries. It further explains why AirOK is the most advanced and better version as compared to other conventional air purifiers. AirOK has been spending a lot on its R&D from prototype to market release. From the past few years, AirOK has garnered an amazing response with high acceptance levels.


 8. How do you look at expansion?
 As mentioned earlier, we are coming up with a comprehensive growth strategy and that would cater to all related aspects such as increasing footprints. We will be foraying into more cities to reach our customer base across the nation. Our R&D is equipped to launch or enhance features every year to offer our customers the latest technologies.
 
 We are striving to be among the leading players in the air purification segment in coming years. The target that we have set for ourselves is capturing around 20% of the market share by 2025. We bank on our consistent endeavours towards technological advancement.
 
 9. What are your marketing plans?

 We plan to have a 360degree marketing plan, where our ambition is to educate our customers about the existing curse of indoor air pollution and its health implications, and how AirOK can help them combat it. We would like them to know why AirOk is the best solution which is customised for each customer's indoor needs. Also, we are available across all social media platforms where customers can easily reach us or call on our toll free to talk to our customer executives for their individual needs.

We want all consumers to claim their right to clean air. And this is the mantra we follow in our company's functioning as well. 

10. What has been the biggest learning so far?
The biggest learning is that if we want to bring about a change in any segment, we need to identify the existing gaps and work towards filling it. The aim should be to find the most comprehensive solution of any existing loophole.
 
 11. What is the market size and opportunity?
India air purifier market size stood at Rs 1400 crore growing at 40% CAGR. Therefore, there’s ample potential and opportunity in the given segment.


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