Samit Jain, Pluss Technologies
While the pandemic has dented the purses of many in the consumer durables sector, there are some companies that are also witnessing an uptick following the onslaught of the virus.
One of them is home grown firm, Gurgaon-based, Pluss Technologies, that designs temperature-controlled boxes for vaccine transportation. It is expecting to double its business in the next couple of months, driven primarily by the one single act that concerns humanity at large - transportation of Covid-19 vaccines.
Pluss Technologies has tied up with Dr Reddy's and is expecting to start selling around 10,000 boxes by the next couple of months.
The company is run by Samit Jain, a technology entrepreneur and engineer from BITs Pilani, who told Moneycontrol: "Our work started pre-Covid, but Covid has got us into the limelight because everybody is talking about temperature control and cold chains.”
Dr Reddy's has received approval from the Drugs Control General of India to conduct Phase 3 clinical trial for the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine. In September 2020, the drug major had partnered with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to conduct the clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine and for its distribution rights in India.
Pluss Technologies makes phase change material, which enables medicines to be stored and transported at precise temperature ranges that, significantly, other solutions like ice or dry ice are unable to provide.
It has come up with boxed solutions for key temperature ranges such as minus 2 to minus 8 degree Celsius, minus 20 to minus 30 degree Celsius, going up to as low as minus 30 to minus 50-degree ranges.
In addition, the company has also developed a minus 70-degree phase change material, that can be used for the Pfizer vaccine.
Pluss Technologies received funding from Tata Capital Innovation Fund in 2012. That enabled it to venture into phase change material as a totally indigenous product.
The company has recently won a European Patent for its vaccine box and has tied up with airlines such as SpiceJet, which would use its technology for transporting the vaccines. Pluss has also linked up with a leading logistics company for carrying, unarguably, the most precious substance on planet today.
"Different vaccines need different temperatures. When you look at dry ice it is minus 70 degrees while ice pack is zero. You cannot use a zero-degree material and a minus 70-degree material to maintain temperatures, which are not close to minus 70 or zero. So, we have developed a special substance called phase change material," explained Jain. With his ability to innovate, he sure is on a good wicket.