Air pollution is a year-round problem which needs immediate attention. It continues to be a big concern in cities like Delhi and many other metros in the country.The levels of contaminants or the pollutants are at an all-time high and the latest addition to the list is ozone which is the most dangerous of all in our atmosphere. Barun Aggarwal, CEO – BreatheEasy Consultants tells SPOI of how his company is in the market to make a difference in the lives of people, to give them the quality air that they deserve –
When was the company formed and what was the idea behind it?
It all started when Kamal Meattle, Chairman of Paharpur Business Centre got severely ill due to Delhi’s toxic air and was requested by doctors to move out of Delhi. However, instead of leaving the city, he converted his entire office buildinginto a fresh air sanctuary by using high quality air purifiers and air filtration solutions. As a result, Paharpur Business Centre is now rated as one of the healthiest buildings of Delhi by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Govt. Of India and has been tested to have very high air quality by Lawrence Berkeley National Labs (LBNL), California.
Carrying forward his vision of transforming the indoor spaces into safe environments for people of all age groups to breathe in,Breathe Easy was founded in 2013. BreatheEasy over the years has helped innumerable families, schools and businesses in Delhi-NCR Region by helping them breathe clean indoor air. BE’s centralised solutions transform entire homes and buildings into fresh-air sanctuaries. For smaller budgets as well as spaces without central air conditioning systems, we provide easy-to-install portable solutions including air purifiers and detoxifying indoor plants. We also offer face masks, nasal filters, car filters and air quality testing.
Air pollution continues to be a big concern in cities like Delhi and many other metros in the country. How do you try to build a strategy that also helps to sensitize customers about this issue?
We are extremely aware of the crisis that has hit our cities. We work through various Not For Profit organisations to fix the outdoor air quality issues in India through “Awareness, Advocacy and Change”. The long-term goal is to fix outdoor issues. However, we must protect ourselves first in the interim till we are able to fix the outdoor issues.
We are also working on building India’s first environmentally friendly filter disposal system to ensure that the filters do not get to the landfill and back into the air.
How has the consumer perspective changed over time on this issue?
Consumers are directly responsible for 20% of all carbon impact, which is a direct result of vehicular pollution. Yet reducing air pollution from cars and industries has not been enough to meet state regulated air quality standards. Last year Delhi saw a dramatic surge of 999 as AQI which is equivalent to smoking 50 cigarettes a day. This directly upped the sales of masks specifically N-95 and N-99. There was also a spike in the sales of air purifiers as consumers resort to panic buying with air pollution in Delhi-NCR breaching critical limits. Today, a consumer is much more aware about his changing surroundings and willing to actively do something about it than he was five years back.
All of this shows that consumers are concerned for their health and the wellness of their loved ones. And we aim to deliver our best to their interests.
What is the need of the hour according to you under such circumstances?
A general misconception that goes around air pollution is that it occurs only during winters. Just because it is prominently visible and it affects majorly during that time, which by the way is prompted by certain seasonal factors, lets people believe that “that” air is toxic. On the contrary, air pollution is a year-roundproblem which needs our immediate attention. The levels of contaminants or the pollutants are at an all-time high and the latest addition to the list is ozone which is the most dangerous of all in our atmosphere. The city is choking on ozone and if the problem persists, Delhi-NCR might just have a public health crisis.
Amidst all of this, IQAir comes with a sigh of relief and the swiss technology that is not only efficient in bringing down the levels of PM, VOCs, CO, and various other toxic gases but its super advanced technology takes down ozone as well. The Indian market is flooded with various brands and our Research and Development team has ingeniously been working and testing all the different brands available, thus we only recommend the best of the lot. Breathe Easy is in the market to make a difference in the lives of people, to give them the quality air that they deserve. And in that spirit, we partnered with IQAir to bring the bestselling technology from Switzerland which has already made a place in the international market to India, thereby changing the face of Indian market. Since more than 90% of all airborne particulates are smaller than 0.3 of a micron, its 99.5% efficiency in the HealthPro range takes them to the top of the class.
Could you share a brief of how you have helped your customers solve the air problem with your solutions?
We believe that a “one-size-fits-all” strategy does not work well with indoor air cleaning. We provide customised air purifying solutions for clean air indoors. Air in any given enclosed space can be purified to the matching quality of that in the mountains. Ranging from research and testing to coming up with the best of solutions keeping in mind the needs of the client, we offer portable solutions as well as centralised custom solutions. And supplementing them with indoor plants that are deemed best as natural air purifiers.
What are your plans for next two years? What is the scope of innovation in this space?
Although the Indian Air Purifier market is still in its nascent stage, the market has a vast scope as people are getting aware and conscious about the effects of air pollution on their health, their family and especially on young children& elderly people. Innovations in air purifiers need to be holistically devised to kill excessive bacteria and virus, remove odours, and remove dust, pollen, and other pollutants from the atmosphere. This has spurred the overall market especially in tier 1 cities across India, wherein Delhi contributes more than half of the total market. From smart purifiers that can be controlled via mobile apps to those that can be installed in your cars, the market is breaking the monotony of basic air filtration techniques and bringing in advanced features along with eye pleasing body to the customer.
Breathe Easy is focused on growing top line and expanding its services across a wider geography as awareness is starting to build across other cities in India. Geographical expansion and even better customer service is going to be the focus for us over the next 2 years.
A general misconception that goes around air pollution is that it occurs only during winters. Just because it is prominently visible and it affects majorly during that time, which by the way is prompted by certain seasonal factors, lets people believe that “that” air is toxic. On the contrary, air pollution is a year-roundproblem which needs our immediate attention. The levels of contaminants or the pollutants are at an all-time high and the latest addition to the list is ozone which is the most dangerous of all in our atmosphere.
How do you try to reflect the sustainability efforts of your brand in the products and solutions you bring out in the market?
Clean Air is a birth right. Unfortunately, in order to achieve this, one must invest in technology and spend thousands of rupees if not more to achieve somewhat clean air in some of the most polluted cities of the world. However, our approach to clean air ensures that the investment made by our customers is not wasted and the clean air being generated by the systems is reaching the customers and not getting wasted. We monitor our customers locations at all times to ensure accurate results.
Also, we have for the first time introduced ZERO Ozone electronic filters in the Indian market that can change the filtration industry. The market is seeing large numbers of electronic filters that produce Ozone hit the market. However, it is very important that one does not introduce a different pollutant when trying to remove a different one.