Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Titan institutes an award for social impact products

The start-ups will be awarded a cash price of up to 65 lakh each, depending on their business requirements, mentored by Titan and Tata Trust

Titan Company Ltd announced its first Design Impact Awards on Tuesday in Mumbai, shortlisting eight start-ups across fields like healthcare, water conservation and agriculture after nearly a year-long evaluation process of going through nearly a 1,000 entries. The start-ups will be awarded a cash price of up to 65 lakh each, depending on their business requirements, mentored by Titan and Tata Trust and may also find opportunities for larger collaborations with Tata group companies, top executives told Mint.

“We will look at enabling these start-ups through partnerships and collaborations," said Bhaskar Bhat, managing director of Titan, adding that the company will also look at the possibility of whether some of these ideas even those outside of the eight shortlisted but among the entries received could be handed over to other group companies and if they can take them forward.

“We might collaborate and take some of these start-ups and forward ideas may be with our company or with other Tata group companies. There is an opportunity for us to leverage it. It gives us a wide canvas," said Revathi Kant, chief design officer of Titan.

Nearly a year ago, Titan initiated the Product Design Award calling for entries that have a social impact. The company got 993 entries of which 121 applicants were asked to submit a detailed plan. From these, 18 were shortlisted and presented to a jury, chaired by Harish Bhat who is brand custodian of Tata group, which then selected eight winners.

The winners included U-Sense, a company that has created a credit card-sized test, for sensing UTI infection quickly using nano-fibre technology at a cost of 30 per unit. There was another that tested eight parameters of diabetes called Anupath, offering a small palm-sized solution for a mobile solution. The companies in the field of water conservation and waste water recycling included Nanosolution, a one step low cost solution to treat waste water and Zerodor, a manufacturer of waterless urinals, save 1.5 lakh litres in one PAN per year. There was Green-House-In-A-Box that was hoping to help marginal farmers increase their productivity sevenfold and at the same time use 90% less water.

The startups were facilitated in the presence of Ratan Tata and Harsh Mariwala, chairman, Marico Ltd who was the chief guest.

The Impact Awards will be driven as a part of the company’s annual corporate social responsibility agenda, said Kant.

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