Impact Stories

Clensta’s Watershed: A Pioneering Approach to Waterless Hygiene

The global population expansion, economic development, and the deepening impact of climate change are contributing to the growing water scarcity, establishing a direct link between water crises and health crises. Water scarcity significantly restricts access to safe drinking water, basic hygiene practices, and healthcare facility operations. In India, as per a 2018 NITI Aayog report, nearly half of the population face extreme water stress.[1] There are millions of people who lack access to safe drinking water and rely on healthcare facilities lacking basic water facilities. In this scenario, every drop of water holds immense value, thus, innovative solutions for water conservation are imperative.

Recognizing this, Clensta, supported by SAMRIDH, embarked on a transformative journey by leveraging waterless technology to revolutionize personal hygiene practices. This groundbreaking initiative provides a sustainable alternative for maintaining personal hygiene without depending on water. This is particularly advantageous in healthcare settings with limited resources. Furthermore, it empowers consumers to significantly reduce their water footprint, making a meaningful contribution to the preservation of our planet’s most vital resource.

How It Started?

The inception of Clensta’s transformative journey was deeply personal for the founder, Puneet Gupta. His tenure at a defense-tech startup brought him face-to-face with the stark realities soldiers faced due to water scarcity, and his mother’s battle to maintain personal hygiene as she recovered from her knee surgery illuminated the profound impact of water scarcity, transforming Puneet Gupta’s insight into a mission.

Clensta’s response was a breakthrough: a waterless personal hygiene product that promised to save up to 350 liters of water per 100 ml bottle (each 100 ml bottle can be used up to 5 times for a full body bath and each bucket bath uses about 70 liters of water, i.e., 70 liters x 5 times = 350 litres), with each usage. This wasn’t merely an innovation; it was a stand against the environmental footprint caused by the traditional mandate of water use. By opting for clean formulations and recycled plastic, Clensta’s commitment to the environment was as clear as the waters it aimed to conserve.

Expansion and Impact

Clensta, however, had to face the daunting task of carving a niche for its waterless hygiene products—a challenge that many startups confront when disrupting market norms. Here, the financial backing from SAMRIDH was a game-changer, providing the much-needed runway for Clensta to refine its pricing strategy to entice early adopters and encourage initial trials. Moreover, SAMRIDH’s endorsement lent invaluable credibility to the venture, bolstering consumer confidence, and attracting further capital investment. This partnership enabled Clensta to access cost-effective capital, which in turn facilitated the expansion of its sales team and the establishment of direct distribution pathways through well-established networks and industry participants. Thus, it was able to expand its distribution into untapped markets and scale its impact. Today, Clensta is making strides in addressing hygiene needs in tier 2 and 3 cities—a testament to the power of blended finance in driving innovation with a purpose.

Already, the company’s contribution to health and personal hygiene has been acknowledged by distinguished figures including the then hon’ble President of India Sri Ramnath Kovind and globally acclaimed organizations.

On the road ahead, Clensta aims to build upon its core pillars of integrating nature with technology, sustainability, and positive empathetic care to expand its offerings and reach. In the short term, the goal is to deepen market penetration with its suite of waterless products, including shampoo, body baths, and toothpaste, catering to essential stakeholders in defense and healthcare. This effort is complemented by an exploration of international markets, with African sales marking the beginning of its global footprint.

Looking to the medium term, Clensta’s ambitions rise to a broader scale. The company aims to secure larger adoption rates by integrating its products into healthcare protocols through policy reform and government backing. Active discussions are underway to fortify ties with the Armed Forces, potentially making its waterless solutions a standard in military hygiene. Already, Clensta has been able to expand its waterless body baths and shampoos into various branches of the Indian Armed Forces, including the Navy, the Army, and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The company has also recently launched an initiative to donate a bottle of clean water upon sale of each product with its ‘Buy 1 Give 1’ campaign. The company has already saved 1 Billion litres of water with its waterless range of products and through this campaign aims to further donate another Billion litres of water. Concurrently, the company plans to harness its waterless technology ethos to innovate and introduce new products, thus widening its impact within the healthcare sector and beyond. These strategic moves are set to position it not only as a market leader in waterless hygiene solutions but also as a pivotal player in the sustainable healthcare revolution.

India’s water crisis, magnified by climate change, underscores the   urgency of sustainable healthcare. As the country grapples with a water supply that belies its massive population, innovations like Clensta’s not only offer respite but also reinforce the power of human ingenuity to turn the tides in the fight against health and personal care challenges exacerbated by environmental changes.