From T-shirts and paper cups to unmanned aerial vehicles, the students of IIT-Madras seem to have left no stone unturned in their attempt to don the entrepreneurial cap. Some of the projects were put up by the students at the recently concluded Entrepreneurship Week held at the institution.
One of the most ambitious of projects was the Amrutdhara project, taken by an IIT-M student along with two other business partners. The mandate of the venture is simple: Do away with plastic bottles.
“Every year, millions of tonnes of plastic waste get accumulated due to the use of plastic bottles. Many of these plastic water bottles do not provide quality drinking water too. Reports show that many of them are of the same quality as tap water. Despite this, people are forced to buy it,” said Sandeep.
It is to put an end to this that the three-member team came up with the Amrutdhara project. Under the venture, a water filtration outlet is provided at public places where people can buy water at a cost of `3-`5 per litre. But unlike the plastic bottles, the water is provided in glasses that are washed and dried on site.
“The set up will also sell refillable bottles and provide real time analysis of the quality. If the water quality goes down a particular level, the machine will automatically shut down,” says Sandeep.
The economics of the project lies in the fact that even with the most state-of-the-art treatment system with reverse osmosis and membranes, the cost of treatment of water to package is estimated at 25 p per litre. The project, which won the runners-up title at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements’ (IIHS) National Students Challenge is now in the final stages of talks with the Puducherry government.
If bottled water is a menace, so are plastic cups. Mechanical engineering students of the IIT have come up with a project that would not only make selling paper cups profitable for the seller but also for the buyer!
“The idea is simple. Each paper cup will be printed with an advertisement. It will also have certain mobile numbers allotted by the advertiser. When the buyer sends a text to that number, he can avail discounts or other offers. So what we have is a win-win situation. Since we get to make profit through the advertisement, we sell the cups at half the price of normal cups to canteens or other sellers while for the buyers of the cup, it could mean getting discounts and offers,” says Nikhlesh, the second-year student who is part of the Admen company that took up the project.
The project has already fetched a turnover of `75,000 in 15 days, after being implemented 10 city colleges and an IT park.