Published: 23rd May 2020
This start-up by IIT Madras alumni is making air purifiers that suck the pollution and toxicity out. Here's how
AirOK Technologies is taking the #AatmaNirbharBharat narrative forward with their indigenously developed air purification tech. This is how it works
V Deekshith Vara Prasad met V S Krishna and Yasa Pavan Reddy during their time at IIT Madras. They were pursuing different specialisations - Deekshith was in Civil Engineering while Krishna was pursuing an integrated MTech in Civil Engineering and Yasa Pavan, an MS in Environmental Engineering - but their concerns over India's depleting air quality prompted them to band together and launch their start-up, AirOK Technologies, which manufactures indigenously developed air purifiers and masks. What started in 2015 in Chennai, has now shifted base to Delhi, which is among the most polluted cities in the world.
So how did it begin? "I graduated in 2015 while Krishna and Yasa were still pursuing their degrees. Krishna interned with me after I graduated and it was Yasa and him who gave the idea to work with clean air technology," says Deekshith, "I had previous experience working in an Indo-German project to monitor and compare the air quality in a city in Germany and a city in India - Chennai."
V Deekshith Vara Prasad, Founder and CEO, AirOK Technologies
When Deekshith began working on this project, he learned how much India is affected by air pollution. "I started researching about clean air technology and found it interesting," recalls Deekshith, who spent two years researching about his new company. The trio launched AirOK Technologies in 2017 when Yasa and Krishna graduated. "We decided to move to Delhi as it had the most need of such a product," says Deekshith. They also have branches in Chennai and Hyderabad.
AirOK's indigenously developed tech EGAPA has now been patented. "Our air purifiers are made locally by people who have lived India and breathed this air for years," adds Deekshith. AirOK's air purifiers not only address the issue of PM 2.5, but also removes toxic gases and chemicals, bacteria from the air around you, says Deekshith. The start-up mostly focuses on air quality in Indian workspaces. "We are responsible for providing clean air for five years after we have installed the air purifiers in an office space. An office can extend it beyond that," says Deekshith.
As the pandemic became larger, the start-up has produced N99 and N95 masks and distributed them in hospitals across Delhi. "We have also started producing masks of all variants after COVID-19. You can't expect daily wage labourers to purchase expensive N95 or N99 masks. They need cheaper, everyday options," says Deekshith. AirOK has also developed tech, which they have already proposed to the Delhi government, to fit on the HVAC systems to prevent Coronavirus from spreading in air-conditioned rooms.