In-Depth Analysis | Industry Experts | Interviews

The Journey of NanoSafe: World’s first active copper based antimicrobial solution!

Published: April 10, 2023

As a startup, we would like to know about your startup journey?

I am Dr. Anasuya Roy, I am founder of NanoSafe Solutions, just to give my academic background, I did my PHD in IIT Delhi, with Prof. Mangala Joshi, who happens to be a professor at department of textile and fiber technology at IIT Delhi and I was also a dart scholar, so I did half of my masters at IIT Delhi, and other half at University of Stuttgart, Germany. So while we were doing the completion thesis for the last year of my PHD. So the research topic was around anti-microbial technology in polymer materials. So we were thinking that we already devised ways to make plastic, polymers antimicrobial, at that point of the time we did not have any business idea. But then we realized that if we are not the people who take this technology forward then it will remain as a piece of paper. So that was the basis of this startup journey. We started in October 2019, and we first started to generate revenue in May 2020. 

Can you tell us about your products?

So, what we have done is we have an antimicrobial solution based out of active copper which has the capacity to deactivate all kinds of microbes. And when I say all kind of microbes it includes bacteria, viruses, fungi and algae. If you look at other technologies in the market they are mostly anti-bacterial and at the most anti-fungal. But we go to length and we say this is four in one technology that is bacteria, virus, fungi and algae. So the fact that it is also the micronutrient technology. So the micronutrient technology in the sense that because it is based out of active copper. Active copper is an essential micronutrient which is required for growth and immunity. That is also a differentiating fact because silver as we know it is very toxic and it is predominantly used for anti-microbial technology. 

So having said that, we not only have application in textile, but also have a plastic and polymer vertical in which we supply master batches. These are concentrates of active copper with polymers so it has to be added during the melt compounding stage or during molding stage to make plastics also anti-microbial. 

What are some customer segments that your company serve?

We started our journey with an N-Safe mask, so this mask is 50 times reusable active copper imbibed mask. So this mask has the capacity to neutralize Sars-Cov-2 virus on contact. So just within 30 mins. Sars-Cov-2 viruses are killed by 95% and within an hour the 99% virus is completely wiped. And this is one of the very first masks to be launched during the first lockdown. If you can remember, Lockdown-1 was the most chaotic phase of the whole COVID pandemic when there were no other masks in the market. There were only surgical masks and N-95 masks and these were sold at a very high price. And we were one of the first companies to launch the mask which is 50 times more reusable which was a very big thing back then. And plus with anti-microbial effect and first movers advantage we started generating revenue, so people started acknowledging us and we also got a lot of media coverage during May 2020. That was when our journey started. When masks died down quickly in the next two-three months. We realized that we have to position ourselves as a technology provider company. That was when we shifted to B2B space. And in the B2B space we started providing formulations to Textile Companies to make their clothing and textiles antimicrobial. Similarly in the polymer space we were giving them solutions to make their products anti-microbial. So to give an example, astral water tanks use our technology in the inner layer to make anti-microbial water tanks. A very leading water purifier company uses our technology in some of the parts to make the water fortified with copper as well as anti-microbial water. These are some names, of course we are working hugely in water contact applications and in the polymer applications. 

Through Technotex our main objective was to connect to textile industry especially to non-woven space. And we aim to collaborate with them to give unique antimicrobial solutions, to make their product anti-microbial. 

What is your vision for the company?

So first of all, India as of now imports a lot of antimicrobials, this is only possible because we do not have very high quality anti-microbial formulations in India. So that is why many Indian textile companies importing from either the USA or UK and we would like to change that scenario. Where we would like to provide antimicrobial solutions not only in India but also on the global platform. Also we are the only global company to provide active copper technology. So we intent to be in the B2B space. And we intent to thrust our formulations in the B2B space in the plastics, polymers and in the textile industries and we hope to become leader in active copper anti-microbial technology and safe, sustainable anti-microbial solutions provider. 

What is your current market share?

In the polymers space we are having good market share but in the textile space we recently started. Till last year we were completely in the polymers space, in textile space we have not seen that much growth because of some certification issue, we corrected them from our end and then in this year, we intent to connect with the leading players in the textile industry and to some of them we already supplied our solutions, and they are already taking trials in the commercial stage and the pilot stage. We see a very good potential, and by the end of this year we can provide you a full figure of market share.

Are there any plans for new product or category launches in the near future?

In the near future, we are seeing sustainability is becoming a big thing. So everybody is discussing green textile and sustainable solutions so in the polymer space we are working on the biodegradable additive on master batch. That if you add in conventional polymer, the polymer or the plastic will degrade much faster. This is one R&D we are doing presently. Also in the textile sector we are trying to see the effect of very green and organic active ingredients like neem, tulsi, haldi, the extracts of which can impart anti-microbial benefits in a very sustainable way. 

What is your advice to the new startups that are coming to the industry?

As a startup, it is always a roller-coaster ride, there are going to be ups and downs, and you have to keep your calm and go through every challenge. I think this applies to all the entrepreneurs out there and for new startups, this is the era of startups. Three to four years back when we started there was not much support but looking at the current scenario and schemes of the government, now is one of the best times to take risks and open a new company. And also we need a lot of job creators instead of job seekers in the industry. Of course with startups we can solve many pressing needs that India needs today. Which can’t be done otherwise with the bureaucratic corporate agency or the government.  

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