While the Covid-19 pandemic has fast-tracked the product pipeline of startups and technology firms, it is also bringing out the innovative side of several of the home-grown traditional businesses in various segments. These companies are banking on the increasing demand for anti-viral and immunity boosting products to come out with innovative products.
Duroflex, a five-decade-old homegrown mattress company for example, has rolled out what it claims is the country's first antiviral mattress protector made using Swiss textile technology called HeiQ Viroblock. The technology works on two actives -- silver ion and vesicle technology. According to the company, the silver ions which are woven in the fabric of the protector attract the virus and lock them in. The vesicle technology attacks the virus while breaking it down and destroying the RNA of the virus eliminating it within minutes.
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The technology has been tested on over 94 viruses and has been approved by the USFDA. Additionally, the protector is also waterproof, anti-dust mite, and hypoallergenic. Since it is light-weight, it can be rolled up, and washed up to 30 times without losing effectiveness.
“We spend a third of our lives sleeping and today our sleep spaces have also become our work spaces, leisure zones and much more. Hence, like masks and sanitisers, which have now become commonplace, every Indian will soon want to use an antiviral mattress protector,” said Mathew Chandy, managing director, Duroflex.
Another home-grown firm, Milton Industries, has also come with an app enabled ‘smart tiffin box’ targeting employees who have started resuming work with offices slowly opening up. One can heat the food stored in the box by giving command through the app. Even if the food is not consumed immediately the container retains the heat for the next 60 minutes. The thermostat automatically turns off after these 60 minutes to avoid overheating of the food. Priced at Rs 3,000, the tiffin also has the GeoTag feature which senses the user’s geographical location and automatically warms the food before the person’s arrival.
Claiming to contain the spread of coronavirus through its novel device, Kolkata based Melvin Healthcare has developed a Scalene Hypercharge Corona Canon (Shycocan). The device is designed to release a very high concentration of environmentally safe electrons using proprietary Photon-Mediated Electron Emitters made with a superalloy developed by the company, to emit and excite photons with the required kinetic energy. As the high energy photons bombard bulk surfaces and suspended particles in confined environments, the electron cloud actively ‘disarms’ air and surface transmission of the corona family of viruses. “Even if an infected individual were to walk into the room, these electrons would neutralise the potency of the virus present in aerosols while sneezing or coughing,” said Rajah Vijay Kumar who has developed the device. The company says the product has received approval by both the USFDA and European Union’s CE. It has been priced at Rs 20,000.
Another Kolkata based company Century Ply has also started using nano technology in manufacturing of its plywood and laminate products. The highly activated nanoparticles physically rupture and kill viruses coming in contact with it, claims the company, claims the company.
Experts say while Covid-19 has been the reason behind the emergence of such claims, it is a tactic to push one's products in the market. “Immunity and antiviral have become the key big words but consumers are not gullible and if they see through a company’s claims, it loses the game even before it has begun it,” said brand expert Harish Bijoor.
As demand for immunity boosting items booms, Raichur-headquartered pharma company Shilpa Medicare has entered the OTC category with the launch of the country’s first green tea film. Called Green T, the film completely dissolves in water with no loss of nutrients, aroma, essential oils, or flavour unlike tea bags which leave residual particles. “We are talking about green tea, or more specifically epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a polyphenol component of green tea that research suggests might be substantially more powerful than HCQ and zinc at protecting against viral infections. Therefore, our Shilpa’s Green T films have 60 per cent of EGCG content,” said Vishnukant Chaturbhuj Bhutada, managing director, Shilpa Medicare.