228 week ago — 7 min read
When serial entrepreneur Uday Nadiwade happened to discuss the problems of hard water with his friend, Rajesh Saraf, little did they realise that this would lead to a business partnership. The duo has developed a low-cost hard water combating solution for domestic purpose which has super efficient features like zero water wastage, no electricity requirement, no plumber required for installation and no maintenance cost. Recently their firm Befach 4x Private Limited won the ‘Best Innovation Award’ in the micro enterprise category at the Telangana State Industries Awards 2019 and winner of the 2020 Retail Startup Awards.
In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Uday Nadiwade shares more about their business journey.
GL: Uday, congratulations on the recognition your business is getting. Share your business journey with us.
Uday: Thank you! It hasn’t been the smoothest journey, but yes, everyday has been exciting and fulfilling for sure. I started an IoT based business way back in 2010 (Student Tracking System). It was designed to inform mothers when their children will arrive home, etc. We acquired customers like Median School, Oakridge, etc. We had more than 6000 students on roll. However, the telecom network was so bad that at times, the child used to reach home and the SMS later! Subsequently, I started “Dial a Doctor” banking on telecom companies like Airtel advertising launch of 3G video calling. However, when we connected doctors to patients over video, the network was so bad, that doctors could not see or hear patients properly. We were doing this in rural places, so the network was even worse. I did not stop at this and worked on a few more business models like grocery deliveries, etc but I did not see long term profitability in them.
We addressed the hard water problem with a simple solution. Our solution is low cost (1/10 of normal cost), does not require plumbing, no manpower, no electricity and there is no water wastage.
However, all this took a good turn in our next project when my friend Rajesh Saraf and I accidentally met and discussed hard water problems in my house. We realised that hard water was a big problem and the current solution was very expensive and required lot of manpower and electricity to operate. We then did lots of trials and addressed the hard water problem with a simple solution. Our solution is low cost (1/10 of normal cost), does not require plumbing, no manpower, no electricity and there is no water wastage. It also lasts for up to a year.
GL: You are a relatively new business, what has been the most effective way of raising awareness about your enterprise?
Uday: For us it has been the customers who have helped us raise awareness for our product. Because of its ease of usage, low cost and long life, customers have recommended our products to their friends and family. As we started selling, a prominent Tamil news reporter published our innovation in their paper. After that we got publicity in online and offline media.
GL: What has been the most significant milestone in your business journey so far?
Uday: Last year was our first year of sales and we sold more units then the market leaders like 3M, Kent, etc. This year our focus is to increase capacity of manufacturing and service more customers across India. We sell across India but maximum in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra, MP, Rajasthan, NCR.
And of course, its wonderful to win the ‘Best Innovation Award’ at the Telangana State Industries Awards 2019.
GL: You are a Linker. Which offerings of GlobalLinker have helped you?
Uday: The Community and Knowledge sections on GlobalLinker are really useful. Community helps to connect with relevant people and build network. The articles in the Knowledge section are relevant to the MSME sector.
GL: As a serial entrepreneur, what advice would you give to a new entrepreneur setting up their first business?
Uday: Have a plan and execute it. Things may not go as per the plan, but it is still better to have a blueprint before starting off. At least 70% of the outcome will be as per the plan. You have to be flexible to factor for the remaining 30%.
GL: What is the next big thing on the business agenda for Befach 4x?
Uday: To reduce cost of drinking water bottle from INR 20/ litre to 20 paise a litre, we have developed a prototype of a product. We may require another 3-4 months to pilot launch this product in the market.
GL: We would love to know the person behind the entrepreneur.
Also read: V Arun Kumar, Director, Primark Garments
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Posted byMalavika Jaggi
Growing Business Units & Client Servicing
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