Bringing Sukoon to Pakistan's marginalised populations:
In the Urdu language, Sukoon means peace of mind. It represents a state of mental ease. In the course of our field work in Karachi's urban slum communities, we learnt that the sentiment expressed most often is that of lack of Sukoon. People's daily worries and stresses have left them with a persistent sense of unease. In Pakistan, one the main sources of stress is constant illness, a significant contributor being consumption of unsafe drinking water. Our aspiration is to give people the peace of mind, the Sukoon, that they and their children will go to sleep safe from water-borne illness.
Sukoon water's pilot plant in Karachi serves as our platform for innovation:
Sukoon Water runs a chlorination and filtration plant in Gulshan-e-Sikandarabad Colony, an informal community in Karachi. The community we serve has about 60,000 residents with an average household income of $210 for a family of seven. Our decision to pick this location was because of strong local partners, SINA health and BRAC. Our plant leverages off-the-shelf technologies (e.g.chlorine, activated carbon filters and sand filters) and employs three local community members for daily operations. Our community presence allows us to innovate with new ways of delivering safe water to the community residents and develop a robust delivery model.
Sukoon water has a network of 65 distribution points in the community:
More than 80% of sales come from a network of 65 community based retailers, with the remaining 20% coming from the plant and our partner, SINA primary care. Servicing customers via community retailers allows us to increase access to safe water for customers who are are > 5 minutes walking distance from the plant. Retailers also have the social capital to market the water directly to customers. Our challenge is understanding what is the optimal number and distribution of retailers in a single community. The map shows the current spread of retailers we serve in Gulshan-e-Sikandarabad Colony.
SUKOON WATER HAS SOLD > 2.5 million liters of safe drinking water SINCE 2016:
Since starting operations in August 2016, Sukoon Water has sold > 2.5 million liters of safe drinking water. In 2018, we are on track to sell between 1.8 and 2 million liters of safe drinking water. Our pilot plant has the capacity to sell 3.6 million liters annually. Therefore, part of our challenge is understanding how to increase demand to get us closer to production capacity, which will improve Sukoon Water's unit economics and make our model more scalable.