AirOk is an IIT Madras incubated start-up incorporated in April 23rd 2015 with the vision to become a one-stop solution for any Air-quality related problems.
The company is designing and developing cost-effective and efficient green technologies for ambient and indoor air quality management in small and medium scale industrial environment, urban built environment and waste management facilities.
How did you come up with the idea?
During our project at IIT Madras, we have done a literature survey on what are the different Indoor air quality solutions available. We have identified the clear gap in terms of existing filter technologies (HEPA) and what it is not able to solve in terms of Air purification.
When we pursued on developing the technology that can be a comprehensive Indoor air quality solution, we have come up with EGAPA (trademark registered to AirOk) filter technology.
After seeing the results of our first test prototype, that was a eureka moment for us! We are confident that we have developed something unique which market actually requires
How does your platform work?
We engage with our clients is either by upfront sale or on an SLA (Service level agreement). Once we enter in a contract with our client we commit on what are the Indoor air quality levels we maintain in their premises irrespective of how worse is outdoor air quality. We design the solution based on the clients' requirement to maintain the levels of various parameters.
What were the challenges and How did you overcome them?
We have identified challenges that existing Indoor air quality solutions can solve the problem partially by eliminating a few parameters in the indoor air.
Our target was to develop comprehensive indoor air quality solution and we have developed unique patented filter technology for the same.
During this process, we faced challenges to validate the technology by a 3rd party organisation as it is the first of its kind.
Finally, we have identified a standard test protocol to validate the technology which has helped us to get into the market
How did you build the core team (co-founders and initial employees)?
As we come from IIT Madras background, our core-team and all our initial employees are a mixture of our batch mates and juniors who had mindedness to pursue the entrepreneurial journey
What has been your business growth till now?
First one and a half year of our journey has been product development and validation, till early 2017. Once the product has been validated by a 3rd party NABL accredited lab we have started raising funds for manufacturing and initial market entry.
By the end of 2017, we have successfully raised 2 million dollar funding which helped us to launch our product in July 2018. First 3 months after launch we (co-founders) were personally doing product demos at various office spaces in Chennai to understand the customer needs.
Based on those valuable inputs we have entered the Delhi market and there was no looking back after that.
We are near to touching one million Dollar in revenue this financial year with the 10x growth rate. The best part of our growth has been able to be profitable being a product company in such a competitive market.
What is the one thing that sets you apart from your competitors?
One thing that clearly sets us apart from the competition is our technical background. Our strength has been technology from day one. This made us partner with our customers more like their clean air consultant rather than a sales company.
We do both direct sales as well as through partners/distributors. We also do clean air as a service. We partner with corporate clients as clean air partner for a period of 5 years and provide solution as a service. We have done this already with several Fortune500 companies.
Initially, after incorporation IIT Madras Incubation cell has provided seed fund of 5 lac rupees which helped us developing several prototypes. Post that we have raised 2 Million USD from SAR group in 2017.
Funds are being used in product manufacturing, launch product into various markets and future product development. Within two years, we have grown multi-fold and became profitable and now planning to go for the second round of funding in the next 12 months.
In the future as well, we will be looking at air quality challenges that change with the season. During summers most corporates face CO2 issues whereas in winter PM2.5 problem gets intensified. So our strategy is to provide the technical support to the client to help him understand and make him aware of the change in their Indoor air quality.
V Deekshith Vara Prasad, Director & CEO
B. Tech graduate from the civil engineering department at IIT Madras, Deekshith Vara Prasad has worked on air pollution during his B.Tech project. He worked as a project associate at IIT Madras about a year after his graduation during which he worked with different companies like Hyundai to assess indoor air quality. He also worked in various Indo-german projects at IIT Madras.
Yasa Pavan Reddy, Director & CTO
A graduate of IIT Madras, Pavan Reddy has done his M.S by research in environmental engineering with his thesis on the application of low-cost sensors for air quality monitoring. He also has experience in various air quality, water quality and waste management projects. He has 4 research publications in different international conferences.
V S Krishna, Director & COO
An Integrated M.tech. graduate from the Civil Engineering Department of IIT Madras, Vanam Sravan Krishna has worked on the design of Control technologies for Industrial emissions. He has experience in Product Designing and fluid Modelling with Computational Fluid Dynamics. He has done various projects on Indoor and Ambient Air Quality testing.