You may call it the poor man’s fridge but Mansukhbhai Prajapati has done something that goes a long way in helping millions of poor.
Mitticool is the name of a company which has been doing brisk business in India and some parts of the world. The company manufactures earthenware products but is particularly known for a unique kind of fridge which does not run on electricity.
But Mitticool didn’t happen overnight. It started at a time when the word ‘start-up’ was nonexistent and ‘angel investors’ was a term unheard of. Mitticool is the culmination of Mansukhbhai’s journey from humble origins to what he is today.
Like many other inspirational people, Mansukhbhai hailed from a poor background. He somehow studied up to class X but then was forced to quit to help his family with finances.
It was while working in a pottery unit that an idea entered Mansukhbhai’s entrepreneurial mind: he could make earthen pans at a faster rate than those made by traditional potters using a modified hand press used to make roof tiles. Gradually, Mansukhbhai moved on to making clay water-filters.
Then in 2001, the Bhuj earthquake happened. Mansukhbhai suffered huge losses. Most of his clay products had been destroyed. He distributed whatever earthenware was left to the poor who had lost everything.
But a month after the earthquake he saw a photo of a broken water-filter made by him with the caption ‘poor man’s fridge’ in a local newspaper. That inspired Mansukhbhai to actually make a fridge for the poor.
Thus was born Mitticool, and very soon Mansukhbhai had built a fridge from clay.
Costing just around Rs.3000, Mansukhbhai’s fridge works on the basic scientific principle of evaporation. Like a clay pot keeps the water cool through the process of evaporation, a clay fridge keeps the contents inside cool through a similar process.
That the fridge runs without electricity is noteworthy. Since there is hardly any operating cost, a poor household can easily afford the fridge.
Over the years, Mitticool became a reliable brand name and its products reached countries in Africa and the Middle East.
Mansukhbhai has been honored for his innovative genius and entrepreneurial skills.