Published: 15th May 2019
This water delivery start-up in Bargarh is quenching the thirst of people affected by Cyclone Fani
Piyush Balodia's EME is helping to fulfil the most basic need of human beings — getting them clean and fresh drinking water right after Cyclone FANI wreaked havoc
Water is one such resource whose importance dawns on us only when it becomes inaccessible. And to quench the thirst of those homes ravaged by Cyclone Fani, EME, a water delivery start-up from Bargarh, is doing its bit.
Let me go back a bit and tell you more. When Cyclone Fani made landfall, Piyush Balodia was in Jaipur to crack a deal to set-up his company EME there. After several trips in the blistering heat, he finally did it! But upon hearing the news of Cyclone Fani, he was devasted. Determined to do what he can, he decided to fly down to Raipur and then, travel to Bhubaneswar by road. "We have a water treatment plant in Bhubaneswar, but I wasn't able to get through to them because the network was down. I contacted our plant in Bargarh and asked them to get water cans," shares Piyush.
On their way: Piyush and the team of EME | (Pic: EME)
For two days, Piyush, his friend Rakesh Samal and a delivery boy delivered and donated as many as 400 water cans in two days. They slept in their own car and hardly ate, but their determination to do something for their state kept them going. Currently, they are taking the help of Marwari Yuva Manch in the capital city and have stocked water in two to three locations for people to access. Apart from donating, efforts are on to deliver as much as possible, despite the lack of power and several fallen trees in their path. "We are getting frantic phone calls from those who don't live in Odisha, but whose parents do, requesting us to deliver to their parents immediately," says Piyush, as he assures me that they are doing all they can to make this possible.
Currently, they are also present in Boudh, apart from Jaipur, Bhubaneswar and Bargarh
The journey of EME started when the graduate from Vikash School of Business Management, Bargarh realised that the water from their own borewell was not just clean, but also preferred by all those who used to visit. So, on their huge dairy farm, Piyush installed a mineral water plant and started supplying water. "I travelled to Pune, Mumbai, New Delhi — everywhere — to understand the plant," informs the 24-year-old. While they first operated through a helpline, he soon realised that this leaves huge scope for human error, like not noting down the details of the delivery request correctly, not taking all calls because they are busy. It was Rakesh who suggested that they launch an app and then, things went on more seamlessly.
Helping out: Team EME distributing water | (Pic: EME)
It took a lot to bring EME on par with mainstream bottled mineral water. They reduced the weight of their bottle to 19 grams from 22 grams and visited local restaurants to convince them to stock up on EME water bottles. A demo and an EME staff deployed at the eateries convinced them of the brand. "It was hard to break into new markets too, like Bhubaneswar and New Delhi, but we did it," says Piyush. Today, they have about 50 delivery executives, 30 employees and a distribution network of 20. They have come so far and they still have a long way to go. And on the way, they want to do as much good as they can.
Difference between mineral water and packaged drinking water
- In mineral water, minerals are either added or they can be naturally present. Packaged drinking water is just regular drinking water that is treated and is safe to drink
- The taste of both varies
- Mineral water goes through a natural process of filtration and coagulation while packaged drinking water is chemically-treated
- Packaged drinking water is usually more expensive as it goes through a series of processes
For more on them, click on myemeapp.com