Piramal Sarvajal: A Social Innovation Delivering Safe Drinking Water to Rural India

Piramal Sarvajal: A Social Innovation Delivering Safe Drinking Water to Rural India
Case Code: BSTR506
Case Length: 14 Pages
Period: 2008-2016
Pub Date: 2017
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: Piramal Group
Industry: Health Care Industry
Countries: India
Themes: Business Strategy, Operational Strategy
Piramal Sarvajal: A Social Innovation Delivering Safe Drinking Water to Rural India
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


Water for All

Sarvajal was started by the Piramal Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the Piramal Group, in August 2008 as a pilot project in the Piramals’ native village of Bagar in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan. According to Dharamveer Singh (Singh), sales head of Sarvajal, “In 2008, we were brainstorming possible technological solutions to the problem of contaminated water. We also wanted to reduce the drudgery of women who travel long distances to fetch water.” An RO plant was set up in Bagar village and Sarvajal started with door-to-door supply of RO water. Subsequently, the social initiative was scaled up when its founders realized people were ready to pay for safe drinking water. Shah said, “If people are willing to pay, we thought there should be a business model for it.”.....


As on 2016, Sarvajal was reaching out to about 300,000 consumers daily, through more than 570 installations. Of these, 390 were purification units and 180 were water ATMs.....


Despite its success, the Sarvajal project had to face some challenges in its bid to deliver healthy water. Generally, users complained of low water pressure at the water ATMs. Ram Vir, who used Sarvajal water regularly, said, “It takes 15 minutes to fill one container....

The Road Ahead

According to industry experts, it was critical for Sarvajal to succeed in its mission. Analysts pointed out that Sarvajal must overcome the outdated mindsets of the irrational people in the villages who believed that they did not need purified water as they had been drinking water from wells and other sources for free for ages. By 2020, Sarvajal planned to deliver clean water to about 1 million additional households in India....


Exhibit I: Consolidated Profit & Loss Account of Piramal Enterprises
Exhibit II: Sarvajal Enterprise Management System
Exhibit III: Single Unit Community Solution
Exhibit IV: Sarvajal Water ATM
Exhibit V: List of Awards Received by Sarvajal

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